KitchenSink - the why and the what

One of the reasons I named this blog KitchenSink is because the demo I've been writing about has a splash screen that shows a kitchen sink with silverware in it. The impression that you are supposed to get from the splash screen, is that this tool is a useful utility. You'll have to let us know if you "got it".

Project Alameda is not a product, it's an idea. We are showing it at JavaOne to get feedback about the direction it should take. Should it be a full featured consumer tool? Should we align it with JDS and have it feature a Java application catalog? Should we provide it as an SDK? We've put together four channels as a talking point.

There's a lot of interesting activity in this "rich clients that aggregate/parse the web" space. Mac enthusiasts know about Watson. For those of you that are corporate marketing news junkies, check out Rocket Desktop. A fellow Sun blogger, richb is looking for a RSS aggregator. There is definitely a need here, the browser doesn't always cut it and it's hard to find things on the web. Although if you are just looking for a RSS aggregator there are some browser based solutions (extension to Firefox).

[Amazon shopping channel]

Above is a sneak preview of one of the channels. It uses the Amazon APIs to present the Amazon products in a hierachy that you can browse, check out the prices and the reviews.

Come by the Swing and Java 2D pods to check it out and let us know what you think.

BTW, sorry for the change in looks again, sotto took up too much real estate


Wait a second... That looks almost like Watson. In fact, I was able to almost duplicate the same screen. Same widgets, same icons, same general look and feel. The only difference is that the bottom screen (which shows the record album cover) is a draw on Watson while it shows up as part of the main screen on Project Alameda. However, you still have the "open draw" icon on the lower left bottom of the screen. Plus the icons on the toolbar (except for the "Show All") are different. Is this really from a demo of Project Alameda or from a modified Watson?

Posted by David Weintraub on June 28, 2004 at 03:50 AM PDT #

[Trackback] Many of you know that part of the happenstance of my coming to had to do with a set of tools I wrote for Watson, a web services client (of sorts) for Mac OS X. Well, Dan Wood revealed today that "a large company has licensed the Watson Tec...

Posted by FatMixx on June 28, 2004 at 05:52 AM PDT #

cool stuff... I'm one of the developers of the free watson tools (baseball and football scores). I'm very excited by this product, and I'm thinking that my employer might be interested (though I obviously can't speak for them). Any way of getting betas and channel SDK information? I would love to port my tools and see if would be interested in some of my other ideas, now that we might have a windows option to release on. Thanks, Sujal

Posted by Sujal Shah on June 28, 2004 at 05:55 AM PDT #

Yep, you are right, it looks a lot like Watson, especially since we chose to show a image of Alameda on the Mac rather than Windows or Linux. I'm not sure exactly what I can say here, but let's just say that there has been an agreement between Sun and Karelia. Since we haven't decided on a direction, we've been using Watson as template for our prototype. We've been thinking that we should make this available as a SDK, so we are glad you're interested.

Posted by Kathy Brown on June 28, 2004 at 08:18 AM PDT #

It's a Good Thing´┐Ż for Watsons Developer, it's a pisser for those having purchased Watson. I really pushed this app for my clients and now it's being EOL'd. I really hope that the "Watson-esque" functionality lives on under the Sun umbrella. Hopefully, there's some momentum to smoothly transition into an upgrade come October.

Posted by Geoffrey Miller on June 29, 2004 at 02:40 AM PDT #

Hey, good luck with the recent developments, the product definitely serves a need that a browser alone doesn't. Having said that, have you checked out Macromedia's recent foray into the web-enabled microapplication space? They're calling it Central and it's very intriguing, looks and behaves in a very similar way, tiny specialized useful applications. Even the layout of the top four default apps with extensibility for more as developers make them is the same. All you need to play with it is a quick download and you're off; all you need to develop for it is actionscript, which is nearly the same as the javascript that Apple says you can make widgets for the upcoming Dashboard. I see a trend - simple to deploy and use, simple to code and develop for. Didn't mean for this to be a MM product pitch, I swear! It's just that there's so few that "get it" when it comes to trying to think outside the browser, so it might do you some good to at least check it out.

Posted by Al Abut on June 29, 2004 at 06:50 AM PDT #

I've looked briefly at Central. And you are right it does look intriguing. The marketing guy I'm working with has spent quite a bit of time with it and considers it a competitor, especially if we go the consumer route. In a completely different but relevant space, click Linspire's CNR... another angle we've looked at.

Posted by kathy brown on June 30, 2004 at 03:03 AM PDT #

I'm sure most of you may not already know it - but "Watson for Windows" has already been built over a year ago - it's called "the seeker" - and it is way better than Macromedia Central which has been in beta for alomst a year now. Windows users do yourself a favor and check it out - over 270,000 downloads on

Posted by Earl P. Swimmington on July 18, 2004 at 08:13 PM PDT #

Well, I keep getting the 'software no longer supported' message in Watson, and the Karelia blog has no info... so what and when can we expect something to come of this? I'm curious mostly because I use Watson on a daily basis (TV and movie listings, weather mostly)... and will DEFINATELY be interested to try out the sequel if thats what this is

Posted by brian on September 13, 2004 at 10:02 AM PDT #

When is it coming out Watcon is EOL on the 5th of october and this was supposed to be out before then. Central is fre, so I hope this is too. Especially for those of us that bough Watson and are getting it yanked out from under us with no replacement other than Macromedia's Central.

Posted by Deacon Nikolai on October 02, 2004 at 05:15 PM PDT #

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We are part of .Sun, a group in Marketing that operates and designs Sun's web presence. So naturally we focus on the web in this blog but random musings slip in often.


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