Tuesday Nov 09, 2004

JDS Live CD now available for FREE DOWNLOAD

For anyone who wants to try the Java Desktop System before buying, Dave Southern writes:

Just wanted to let everyone know, that we now have the JDS Live-CD .iso available at jdshelp.org. A special thanks to Sun for allowing us to post it.

This is the same version of JDS that comes with Tom Adelstein and Sam Hiser's book, Exploring the JDS Linux Desktop.

Monday Nov 01, 2004

JDS3 for Solaris 10 (Early Access)

For anyone who's wondering how JDS3 is shaping up on Solaris, it's included in the new Beta 7 release of the freely-downloadable Solaris Express.

Update: Brief review (in Hungarian) and screenshots of S10/JDS3 on x86. Warning: this page has 100+ large images on it, don't say I didn't warn you...

Friday Oct 22, 2004

New notification gizmo

Fredrik's prototype looks the part alright, but I'm already having nightmares about the usability guidelines for such a thing... we already have alert dialogs if you need to give the user a message and a choice of actions, why complicate life by inventing something else that does the same?

These sorts of notifications should be about incidental things that don't require any further action-- it shouldn't matter if you never see them at all. Making the whole "balloon" clickable to open a relevant app or window is one thing (which is about as much interaction as a notification icon itself should allow), but offering a list of possible actions just doesn't really feel right to me... especially if they're presented as hyperlinks, which seems like an unhealthy nod towards Windows' "look, everything's a web page, really, honest it is" model :)

Friday Oct 15, 2004

JDS for Solaris 9 x86

Hasn't had a great deal of publicity yet, but Sun released its first version of the Java Desktop System for Solaris last week-- specifically, for Solaris 9 on Java Workstations (although it should work on other S9 x86 installations too). Pricing is the same as the Linux version, at $50 per seat.

Although it's nominally called JDS version 2 (to coincide with the version number of the most recent Linux release), it actually offers quite a few improvements over its Linux sibling, not least from its foundations in a more recent version of GNOME.

Monday Oct 04, 2004

JDS Book

You know a technology has arrived when O'Reilly publish a book about it... so behold Exploring the JDS Linux Desktop, by Tom Adelstein and Sam Hiser, which comes complete with a Live CD demo version of JDS2.

Thursday Sep 16, 2004

What`s new in HIG 2

As you'll doubtless recall, v2.0 of the HIG was released a few weeks ago, albeit without a great deal of fanfare.

Unfortunately there was no accompanying "what's new that I need to know about"-type section, so I've quickly hacked one together now that I've finally had a few minutes.

Friday Aug 06, 2004

Accessible theme thoughts

[Also posted to d-d-l]

Since I seem to be spending most of my time playing catch-up with GNOME's increasingly-sprawling accessible themes these days, I got to wondering if going forward we can't put more of the responsibility on the individual modules to install accessible icons alongside their regular ones.

The current situation just doesn't seem very workable going forward, if we're considering accessibility to be a core feature. We don't expect applications to submit all their icons to gnome-icon-theme for inclusion-- they just install their own. A similar process for accessible themes seems like a logical extension to me.

Modules installing appropriate icons into $(themedir)/HighContrast etc. would be one way, assuming it's actually possible to work out where those themes lives at install time, but that sounds rather ugly. Anyone any better ideas?

Thursday Jul 29, 2004

HIG 2.0

If you go down to the HIG today, you're in for a big surprise... well, a mild double-take, perhaps. The official HIG version is now 2.0, which will hopefully signify the start of a more frequent update regime.

Once you get over the inevitable excitement, you'll probably realise it's more of a 1.2 than a 2.0, but hey-- we have to get people to read it somehow :)

Tuesday Jul 27, 2004

Smooth As

Following the recent threads on desktop-devel, I've added the Simply Smooth (nee SmoothGNOME) theme to gnome-themes[1]... and informed the i18n guys about the string addition of course :) Please give it a whirl and help us decide whether it should be the default theme for GNOME 2.8 or not.

[1] Well, except the icon theme part, which I'm reluctant to add at the moment in case we decide it should end up in gnome-icon-theme.

Friday Jul 09, 2004


Was pointed at jdshelp.org yesterday, which is already starting to build up a nice little collection of rpms for JDS. What with that and the awesome blastwave project for Solaris, there's quite a little community starting to build up around Sun desktop products at the moment, which is really cool.

Friday Jul 02, 2004

Back to the grind

Got back to Dublin from GUADEC in Kristiansand late yesterday afternoon, only to be immediately dragged out to the pub again.

Was cool to meet up with some of the other GNOME usability folks again (or for the first time, in Bryan's case), even if the prospect of getting the draft HIG into shape for a release in a couple of weeks is a bit scary :)

Can't help feeling a smidgin disappointed at the impact Sun seemed to have this year-- can't quite put my finger on why, as we gave several good presentations, one of which was even running on a Solaris laptop running JDS-- hands up anyone who noticed that? :) Nonetheless I heard a few people commenting that we generally didn't seem to be flaunting ourselves or JDS very much, despite sending our biggest GUADEC contingent ever. (And I'm sure she didn't mean it at all the way it came out, but our Open Source Guru/Diva announcing at the closing keynote that she'd chosen to come to GUADEC over JavaOne because "they weren't really going to say anything there anyway", and defending her ongoing OSX usage to a roomful of GNOME hackers on the basis that "it's an open kernel, right?", didn't do much to boost this particular correpsondent's morale...)

But hey-- just watch us go next year in Germany :)

Tuesday Jun 29, 2004

Big (GNOME) deal

News finally broke today of one of another major JDS deal... Allied Irish Bank will transition 7500 desktops in its branches in the UK and Ireland to JDS over the next year.

Of course this is a great win for Sun (the competition was extremely stiff), and since AIB are HQ'd in Dublin it's a doubly-pleasing one for your friendly Sun GNOME team. But of course we couldn't have done it without the GNOME community at large... YOU ROCK!

Monday Jun 28, 2004

Greetings from Norway

Arrived late-ish last night in Kristiansand for GUADEC, and was one of the lucky ones whose luggage also turned up. Thought the omens were good the wine I had on the plane was from Extremadura, home of one of GNOME's biggest success stories so far, but on closer inspection it actually turned out to be from Estremadura in Portugal.

Things nonetheless looked up when a merry local in the otherwise deserted bar across the road from our hotel bought a round for the Sun crowd because he'd spotted Laca sporting a Linux t-shirt. Given the beer prices in Norway (about 8 euro for 0.5l in the bar we moved on to later), either he doesn't do it very often, or his proclaimed computer expertise earned him a tidy sum during the IT boom.

Monday Jun 21, 2004

Sun Java System Connector for Evolution

Sun's Java System Calendar Server connector (aka hydrogen) for Evolution 1.4 on Solaris and Linux was GPL'ed today and is now available in GNOME CVS.

Kudos to everyone who made this happen... hopefully the Evo 1.5 version will be along soon :)

Wednesday Jun 16, 2004


Been playing a bit with the gcalctool-ng branch of gcalctool today, to help Rich and Sami decide whether it was time to merge the new features back into head. Hopefully I've convinced them that it is :)


I am a Principal UX Engineer in the Systems Experience Design team, working at Oracle (via Sun Microsystems) since the turn of the century. I currently work on sysadmin user experience projects for Solaris. Formerly I worked on open source Solaris desktop projects such as GNOME, NWAM and IPS.


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