In part 1 (in May 2011), I introduced the great work being done by CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico) with Java and in part 2 (in April 2012) I provided a status report on a desktop application that the CIMMYT team has created to process and analyze crop statistics received from around the world.
What's great about CIMMYT is that they're strongly focused on open source tools. In a recent e-mail I received from Hector Sanchez, the project lead, he writes: "If new open source tools are developed with the same objectives that will help consolidate scientists research and field work, please let me know."
Hector reports on a new article that's been written on the project:
Aside from the above article, the team has put together an Android application for collecting field data that is exported/imported through the Java desktop application as follows:
And so, aside from being a great piece of useful software proving the value of Java and the NetBeans Platform and open source software in general, this is yet another example of an application that is not moving from the desktop to the mobile phone. Instead, the mobile phone supplements the functionality of the desktop.
As I've stated in many for[u]ms and multiple times: the perceived death of the (Java) desktop is wildly overstated. For example, simply because of resolution requirements, no air traffic control system anywhere is being ported to a mobile device. On the other hand, most air traffic control systems have a lot to gain from having a subset of their functionality available on mobile devices and tablets, e.g., status reports are extremely handy to have available on a mobile device. But the deep visual analysis of crops and the negotiation of air traffic landing conflicts... on a mobile phone? Never going to happen.