Swing Sightings Volume 3

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Swing Sightings Volume 3

August 14th, 2001

More Swing Sightings!

The Web Start button indicates that if you have Java Web Start installed, you can launch the application by just simply clicking on the the button. Note: if you don't have Java Web Start installed, you can get it here.

If you know of an application that should be considered for this Swing Connection feature, we'd love to hear about it. Please contact us.

 Swing on an iPAQ! - SavaJe

Are you tired of being accosted by engineers with belts full of PDAs boasting about the tiny GUI applications they've written for the tiny Java implementations that run on these devices? Fellow Swing developers, now there's a way to deploy your own applications on a PDA.

SavaJe, pronounced "savage", has released a beta version of their full J2SE 1.3 implementation for the Compaq iPAQ handheld PDA. The 12 bit color display is only 320x240, so your desktop Swing applications may need a little layout polish before you release an iPAQ version. Here's a picture of our StylePad application running on the iPAQ. Thankfully, it's toolbar just happens to fit nicely.


 JWord - Techdigm

We've featured applications both large and small in this column. The Techdigm office products, JWord and JCalc, are definitely in the former category. Not in terms of download size - they're actually pretty compact, especially when compared with their elephantine Microsoft Office suite brethren. However in terms of user interface functionality, these application are quite big.

If you've ever sat down and seriously considered building a competitive office suite, you really have to admire any group of engineers who've managed to pull it off. The folks at TechDigm have done so with their pure Java "Techdigm Office Suite". There are two applications, JWord and JCalc, that provide MS Office compatible word procesing and spreadsheets anywhere Java2 is available.

And to top it off, the applications look great. See for yourself:

(note: click on the images for larger views)



 IconBrowser - FreeHEP

Here's a nice icons browser written by Tony Johnson. It comes preconfigured with 100's of free icons. The icon browser is actually just a demo of the "Free High Energy Physics", FreeHEP, application framework.

The IconBrowser site is at java.freehep.org/demo/IconBrowser

(note: click on the images for larger views)

Icon Browser


 3D Lego Demo - FreeHEP

Here's another application that's based on the FreeHEP framework (see above). This one uses a Java3D based plotting package to render surface plots in several styles including one based on solid blocks called "lego" (no relation to the toy). This demo was written by Joy Kyriakopulos. If you're planning to plot in 3D, check this out.

The 3D Lego Demo site is at java.freehep.org/demo/LegoPlot

(note: click on the images for larger views)



 eCollector: On The Edge Software

Here's a commercial software product that doesn't fit the "applications for programmers" category we see over and over again. Rather, the "eCollector" application is for managing your personal collections; things like stamps or coins or (yow) Beanie Babies. You can even buy complete collections so you don't have to enter all that data and scan all those images.

The eCollector site is at www.ontheedgesw.com/ecollector

(note: click on the images for larger views)



  Article on new Swing features in 1.4 - Matt Chapman @ IBM's DeveloperWorks

Here's an article we bumped into recently, it's from IBM's DeveloperWorks site and it provides a nice introduction to the new Swing features being introduced in the 1.4 release of Java. It's one of several excellent articles about the latest Swing technology from the DeveloperWorks site. And the truth is that this doesn't exactly fit the "Swing Sighting" mold, in fact you might view this item as just shameless self promotion. Nevertheless, we hope you'll read it!


 JCertify - Enterprise Developer

If you're interested in becoming a Certified Java Programmer, you may want to take a look at JCertify - a tool for studying for the certification exam. JCertify drills you on Java facts, quizzes you about them, and tracks your progress.

The JCertify site is at: www.enterprisedeveloper.com/jcertify

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 Ganymede - University of Texas

Ganymede is a "metadirectory" system that's been in development and active use at the Univeristy of Texas at Austin for about the last five years. It's a bit tricky to describe so we'll quote Jonathan Abbey, who's the Ganymede project lead: "Ganymede allows large groups of administrators to share administrative control over designated portions of a master network directory database, and provides transactional reliability and intelligent constraint management to keep network directories consistent". Recently the application has been deployed to administrators and end-users at UT with Java Web Start.

Although we're not keeping score, this has to be one of the longest existing Swing applications we've heard of.

The Ganymede site is at: www.arlut.utexas.edu/gash2

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  SkinLF - L2FProductions

By combining Fred Lavigne's Skin look and feel with your favorite Swing application you can increase the number of pluggable look and feel options from the handful of standard ones - Metal (the "Java Look and Feel"), Windows, Motif, Aqua on the Macintosh, to literally hundreds of choices. This is because the Skin Look And Feel supports both GTK and KDE themes, and both communities have been steadily adding to their war chests of L&F themes for years now. A great example of what can be done with SkinLF can be found on the netbeans.org site, check out the instructions for skinning the netbeans IDE here.

Note: Fred was kind enough to provide some highly custom screenshots. He's combined several screenshots into a single image so that you can see several parts of one application. Weird but cool!


(note: click on the images for larger views)


 Seismic Data Viewers - Concept Systems

Concept Systems is a UK company that provides software and services to the "marine and land seismic industry". Their clients include many of the largest oil producers in the world. Some of their newest applications are Java Plugin enabled Swing applets that allow clients to visualize seismic data. Here are some screen shots of the new applications. If you're wondering if the the folks on the Swing team understand what these seismic charts and images mean, the answer is "we have no idea". However we're glad to see that Swing, Java2D, and Java Plugin are being used for important commercial applications and we thank Lee Kindness from CSL for sharing with us.

The Concept Systems site is at www.csl.co.uk

(note: click on the images for larger views)



 JGraph - Gaudenz Alder

In the first Swing Sightings column we featured two graph rendering components and recently we received word that there was another deserving package. It's an OpenSource graph visualization component for Swing called JGraph and a nice looking companion graph editing application called GraphPad. JGraph is suprisingly small (90KB), integrates nicely into the Swing component class hierarchy and supports drag and drop and all the selection modes and display/editing options you might expect. Enjoy!

The JGraph site is at www.JGraph.com

(note: click on the images for larger views)


  MeatFighter! - Michael Birken

A few weeks ago I spotted a group of engineers gathered around my bosses door - nothing terribly unusual about that. There was quite a bit of laughing and gesturing which was a little odd so I poked my head in the door to see what was up. And there was the manager of all of the Java Client Software groups flailing away at a full screen hand-to-hand combat game, which pitted what appeared to be pork-chop against a boxing hot dog.

MeatFighter is a game written (for fun) by Michael Birken, who's a student at Columbia. It's one of the first, and is certainly the silliest, full screen Java applications we've seen. Running the game: you can start Meat Fighter with the Java Web Start button only after first installing Java 1.4 Beta first. You also have to add the "1.4-beta" line to the "Java Runtime Versions" list on the Java Webstart Preferences panel.

(note: click on the images for larger views)





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