jueves jun 24, 2004

Easy Swing: JDNC is out!!!

JDNC is out!!!

I can't resist posting. For us Swing lovers JDNC (Java Desktop Network Components) is great news!!!

JDNC will ease our lifes with Swing. A set of components and out-of-the-shelf stuff for Swing.

This is great news for desktop Java. We now have JDIC to ease life in integrating our desktop applications with the desktop environment (Gnome/KDE/Windows) and JDNC to ease life in generating our desktop applications.

JDNC has been released in Open Source mode (LGPL). You can go and fetch it inmediately!

JDNC is work in progress!!!

With release 0.5 you have JNTree, JNTable, JNTreeTable, JNEditor and JNForm, among some other stuff (including different models). Go take a look at the API.

You have the power!

We can drive. We can participate. We can suggest. We can influence. It's an Open Source project at Java.Net that is open to everybody. I'll join in as quickly as I can!

viernes jun 18, 2004

Joel, web, Mono and JDIC

Joel

As soon as I received Joel's email informing me of a new posting about Microsoft and its APIs I rushed into it. It's some time now since I became part of Joel's fans, he's one of my preferred writers on the net!

I must admit I know little about Microsoft Windows, .NET and all that stuff (I gave up after browsing a huge book on Windows API programming in C several years ago) so I trust Joel on the Windows API and Microsoft's situation. After all he has worked for Microsoft in the past and he probably knows about them.

The web trend

I agree with Joel when he states that Microsoft Windows API programming is moving into web development. There's a web trend to do everything web. Even if the web does not fit the users, this is, even if the web is not an optimal architectural decission for the application.

I don't really like web development. Far too complex to do things. You have to take into account cookies, user session timeouts, security, multi-browser support, accesibility, proxy-cache settings, etc. And then you can choose on Struts, the Java Application Framework, JFaces, JSP, servlets and whatever. Just too complex to have a simple form, isn't it?

Things are about to change here, hopefully. Have you noticed the creation of WHAT lately? It's a Mozilla-Opera working group to standardize web development. That's good news!!!

The desktop trend

But I think Joel is missing the Gnome-Linux point of view. Here on the Linux side we don't suffer Microsoft's trap. In fact there's huge activity about desktop programming.

Even Havoc Pennington (ex chair of the board of the Gnome Foundation) talks about desktop development. He wants the Gnome-Linux community to agree upon a desktop language. A High Level language to develop rich-client Gnome applications. On that article he ponders different aspects of Java, Mono and C++.

JDIC

It's easy for me: I have already chosen. I am on the Java side. I have good, sound APIs. APIs for everything. For LDAP, transactions, email, imaging, gaming, 3D Painting, speech. APIs owned by lots of different companies using the Java Community Process. Open APIs. No traps here.

We that have already chosen Java should be happy about the recently announced JDesktop Integration Components. Some components that will allow us to transparently integrate with the desktop. JDIC is Cool Stuff !!.

Life is good: Linux, Java, JDIC, EuroCopa 2004 and a weekend to enjoy!! ;-)

miércoles jun 16, 2004

Eclipse-SWT, anyone?

I should learn some SWT, I assume. It's a fashionable thing. If a customer gets trapped in that maybe I'm assigned to help then in migrating. I should be prepared.

I thought I could make some open-letter asking for help to learn SWT. After all open-letters are fashionable as well. After all swingers are fashionable too ;-)

I've installed one of the Eclipse 3.0rcX releases lately in my laptop. What a memory hog!. Slow (yeah, I'm still running Mandrake 9.1 on one of those PIII 700Mhz :-( ). It crashed several times. Ok, well, anyway, back to SWT...

I didn't find any good tutorials at the Eclipse site. Well, in fact I hardly found the SWT page. It took me several clicks to reach a swt related page. After that you reach the Tutorials page and... all you find is a wiki and some stuff from the University of Manitoba? Since I'm some sort of busy guy, and because Spain is playing the Eurocopa 2004 in Portugal right now, I want to go straight to the point, learn some quick SWT and leave. So there we reach my first question:

Question I: Do you know of any good, free, straight-to-the-point, SWT tutorial?

I didn't find anything about SWT accesibility. You know that your UI should be accesible to people with dissabilities. This is not just a fancy requirement, the fact is that you must be accessible in lots of government related stuff, in lots of different countries. So there goes my second question:

Question II: Does anyone know a good URL for learning SWT accesibility?

Since Spain had already finished playing (Spain I-Greece I, good match, real pity ;-) ) I did some more browsing through the recently found SWT page. And some others. I happened to take a look a the Eclipse build notes here . Now I am astonished there're so many "crash" words in there (more than one hundred). So here comes my third question:

Question III: Does Eclipse/SWT crash that much?

I decided to go for the official sources because the tutorial at University of Manitoba is in PDF, and I don't really like PDF. So I decided to go for the SWT Part 2 here. A little bit outdated since it's 2001. It says you have to dispose things. Lots of things. It talks of images, fonts, and whatever. So here comes my fourth question today:

Question IV: Do you really have to dispose things in SWT?

If you have any good answers to these questions I would be delighted you to email them to me clicking here. You can leave a comment to this blog if you prefer. Thanks in advance

UPDATE: GTK Accesibility

I've found that someone at IBM is working on GTK accesibility. Or should be working on that. Or whatever. The fact is that the bug was assigned to him a little time back (October 2003) and he has been doing little progress. Good luck, mate!


Swing Fonts in Linux II: ScreenShots

Moazam has asked me to include some screenshots of enhanced fonts in Linux. Click on the image below to see one:

Reduced screenshot. Click to enlarge

So I got the SwingSet2 sources (and resources) from my JDK distribution (demos/jfc/SwingSet2 directory) and modified the AquaTheme quickly. I then set up my JAVA_FONTS environment variable and launched "The Gimp" to grab a screenshot. Fast. The Java code I included in the "AquaTheme.java" file looks like this:

private final FontUIResource userFont = 
  new FontUIResource( new Font( "Tahoma", Font.PLAIN, 12 ) );
private final FontUIResource controlFont = 
  new FontUIResource( new Font( "Tahoma", Font.BOLD, 14 ) );
    
public FontUIResource getUserTextFont() { return userFont; }
public FontUIResource getControlTextFont() { return controlFont; }
// Same for getMenuTextFont, etc.

martes jun 15, 2004

Swing fonts in Linux

Although JDK fonts have improved with time I don't like them that much, I'm afraid. I always prefer bigger fonts. Better for your eyes, I think.

I prefer using some other fonts. For instance Microsoft TrueType fonts. Or even OpenOffice fonts. Many Linux distributions allow you to easily import extra fonts to your desktop.

Once you set up your preferred fonts in your system you can enable them for use in your preferred Java application. Just

export JAVA_FONTS=/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Microsoft:/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1:/path_to_font_directories

before your java command line. And you are all set!

miércoles jun 09, 2004

Impressive SMIL authoring tool

Looking for SMIL authoring tools I happened to meet LimSee2. Wow. That's Swing. And it rocks!

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