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Posted by editor on April 4, 2008 at 1:15 AM PDT

Just how obvious should Java be to the end-user?

There's a pretty heated thread going on this week in the Java Plug-In forum. The discussion System Tray Madness! started off with a complaint about multiple Java system tray icons on Windows, one for each running applet. Aside from that issue, participants are debating whether it makes sense for Java to have such prominence in the system tray at all. carcour writes:

You're right I am also in favor of removing the Java icon in the tray. Flash is so widely used and its success is because of its perfect deployment and startup speed even though it had a weaker technology. Java on the other hand had a great technology but failed at the startup and the deployment. Java applets shouldn't clutter the user's system tray. People do not care about technology they care about end results. Some people might argue that the system tray are to enforce the Java brand but other methods should be used such as a great splash screen with Java.

After a follow-up agreeing that the icon and Java splash screen are too pushy, kbr replied that the splash is easily dismissed, which prompted demonduck to reply that Java's verbosity shouldn't be the default:

Stop trying to get the attention of the user to tell them how great Java is. It's like some cheap salesman trying to make phony friends with someone so as to take advantage of them.

When Flash starts up or Acrobat or other plugins -- except for Quicktime -- which I avoid like the plague -- they just start. No memory hassles, no "Look at me, I'm XXXX" They just work -- quietly.

Stop trying to tell the World how great Java is. It makes Java look like it's not quite sure of itself. And there's a *LOT* of people who really hate Java on the desktop already. You are only making it worse by telling people "Look -- it's Java"

I repeat -- just shut up and work!

While that conversation continues, a sidetrack points out that refreshing the page brings up a new system tray icon, meaning that 10 refreshes puts 10 icons on the tray. That's obviously inappropriate, and bug 6683047 has been filed to fix it.

So some good has already come of this contentious thread. And if you have something to add to the debate over user experience and Java's visibility, by all means, take a look.

Also in today's Forums,
josandres needs to
Print a JPanel in headless mode.
"I'm developing an application from printing plotcharts in headless mode, that is, every hour my app prints a plotchart with some information. What i have is a JPanel (the plot chart) and when i invoke the printAll method, it checks the method isShowing() from Component class. this method checks that the Component is visible and its parent also is visible. My question is if there is any way of printing a JPanel without being visible...and how can i solve this."

segfault2007 wants to know
how to store json data in browser.
"I am writing a major project with glassfish. We are using a lot of restful services and servlets that talk via browser tru json. Imagine my page loads first, the init method is called in js, and then the dom tree is modified as the user interacts. when the user navigates to a different page within my server, and then hits the back button, the init method in my js executes, and all the data I polled from my server gets destroyed. how can I overcome this limitation? I guess I could store some data in session object, but that would still consume bandwidth. is there no way to store data inside the browser, like in the window. object?"

The latest Java Mobility Podcast is
Java Mobility Podcast 41: Down Under - Sydney Mobility Days Town Hall, in which
Roger leads a developer question and answer session of Australian developers at Mobility Days in Sydney.

In Java Today,
the Aquarium points out that the OpenSSO project has released build 4. New features include an new OpenSSO configurator, WS-Trust Security Token Service (STS) (based on Metro) is available on Glassfish, Sun Application Server, Sun Web Server, Geronimo, Tomcat and WebSphere. We're working on support in Oracle Application Server, JBoss and WebLogic Server, simplified STS client sample, configuration and/or user store replication across multiple OpenSSO instances where the embedded instance of OpenDS is in use, and various fixes. Check out the release notes or download the current stable build.

The SDN continues its series of profiles of Java Champions in Better Programming With Java EE: A Conversation With Java Champion Adam Bien. The self-employed consultant / lecturer / software architect / developer / author discusses Java EE fallacies and challenges, SE 6 features, writing javadocs, GlassFish, the process of writing code, and more. blogger Rick Jelliffe complains that Java's default handling of ZIP files has been broken for nine years, and asserts that it wouldn't have happened if Java had become an ISO-certified standard all those years ago. In Reaping what you sow: How a standard for Java would have made it better today, he writes, "Software maintenance and juggling issues on a budget are not easy. However I think it is more than plausible that had Sun gone ahead and submitted Java to ISO for standardization a decade ago, this issue would have been fixed long ago. Because ISO National Bodies give very high precedence to issues such as internationalization, accessibility, modularity, and conformance."

Following this week's release of a beta version of the "Consumer JRE", the latest Poll asks
"Have you tried out the Java SE 6.0 Update 10 Beta?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.

In today's Weblogs,
Arun Gupta talks about

Merb on JRuby 1.1 RC3.
"This blog provides how you can get started with Merb on JRuby 1.1 RC3. Merb is another MVC framework (just like Rails) but with a pluggable ORM, JavaScript library and Template language. Rails has built-in support for these using ActiveRecord, and ERB templates."

John O'Conner passes on a
Call for participation: Internationalization and Unicode Conference #32.
"The Internationalization & Unicode Conference is the technical conference for software and web internationalization engineers. If you have a product that implements the Unicode standard or an idea that will help others work with this standard, share your knowledge."

Scott Oaks checks back in with
More on the simple vs. the complex.
"Is the speed of an appserver on a single request indicative of how it will handle your traffic?"

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Just how obvious should Java be to the end-user?