Swing Sightings Volume 9

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Swing Sightings Volume 9

April 17th, 2002

More Swing Sightings!

The button indicates that if you have Java™ Web Start installed, you can launch the appication 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.

 Architectural Studio - Autodesk

If you saw James Gosling's keynote this year at JavaOne, you got an eyeful of an Autodesk application called Architectural Studio.

The app has been getting lots of great press, this article on CNET for example. Sadly much of the good press fails to mention that this application is Java from top to bottom. We will not make that mistake here!

Architectural Studio is an application for sketching buildings that's targeted at architects (suprise!) who use paper and pencil today. Users draw on semi-transparent windows that look like sheets of vellum and they can easily mix 2D and 3D renderings with photos and freehand sketches. The app is multi-user, several architects working in different physical locations can collaborate on the same design. This app takes full advantage of the features in the Java2 platform - it's a great example of what's possible!

You can read lots more about Architectural Studio here: www.autodesk.com/archstudio

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A long (long) time ago the never-humble Jets quarterback Joe Namath said "I can't wait until tommorrow, because I get better looking every day". And so it is with Limewire's GNUtella client. Among the top 10 downloads on download.com for nearly a year - about 200,000 downloads a week! - Limewire has been cranking out new releases every month or so and each one has looked better and performed better than the last one.

We featured LimeWire back in Swing Sightings #1 about 9 months ago. If you take a look back at the original screenshots you'll see how much the application's look has evolved. The new version exposes a new more elaborate search and indexing facility in the gradient backed panel on the left and among the many nice new look and feel touches, you'll find rotating banner ads at the bottom of the window. Unless, that is, you fork over a little money for the "Pro" version.

Greg Bildson from Limewire presented a session about GNUtella this year at JavaOne. If you didn't get a chance to see the presentation, there's a copy of it online. See the downloadable file for Building P2P Applications with Gnutella under the Java Technologies for the Desktop sessions.


You can visit Limewire online at: www.limewire.com

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 Metamorphosis: A Short Course in GUI Design, by Karsten Lentzsch

Metamorphosis is not another Swing application, in fact it's not really an application at all. It's a short tutorial, written by Karsten Lentzsch about Swing GUI design that shows how ugly ducklings can evolve into swans. Karsten is both a fine UI designer and a skilled Java/Swing developer. In fact we've featured apps from his jgoodies site in Swing Sightings #2.

If you design and build Swing clients we really recommend taking a look at this. It's completely painless and you're likely to learn something useful. Just click on the Java Web Start link.


Check out the article at: www.jgoodies.com/metamorphosis

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 JProfiler - ej-technologies

JProfiler is a new performance tuning tool for J2SE and J2EE from ej-technologies in Germany. Just released in March of this year, it comes with a great looking GUI. The thread history screenshot is suitable for framing.

JProfiler is available for $199, and there's a free evaluation version, so give it a spin!

You can visit the JProfiler website at: www.jprofiler.com

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As I type this I'm listening to an MP3 file of good old Ludwig Van Beethoven played by a pure Java WinAmp clone called JLGUI. This great little web-started player is also an open source application. So if you're interested in building your own player or jukebox or whatever, take a look! The GUI is actually an interpreter for Winamp skins which is definitely good if you like things compact. Interestingly, I downloaded the MP3 file using another great Java2 application, Limewire. Note: JLGUI isn't really a Swing application, the GUI implementation is pretty simple and it's based on AWT. Still, great stuff!

Java - now covering all your desktop audio needs!

Check out JavaZoom at: www.javazoom.net/jlgui/sources.html




(After WebStarting, hit the "play" button, and you'll hear a song by one of our favorite bands: Holy Zoo!)


 MKS Integrity Manager

The MKS Integrity Manager is a "customizable and completely scalable process and workflow management" tool for software developers. When software organizations become large, well-defined processes for managing feature and bugfix requests from initial contact to testing and shipping product can make the difference between chaos and steady progress. The integrity manager is a nice tool for creating and refining those processes. Check it out!

You can visit the MKS website at: www.mks.com

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  Kunstoff Look & Feel

The Kunstoff look and feel (L&F) has to be one of the nicest looking we've ever seen. It strikes a nice balance between decoration and utility, and though it's visually striking, the look doesn't get in the way of applications that use it. The Kunstoff L&F is derived from the Java L&F and provides the same "feel". Although the look is quite different than Java L&F, the implementation weighs in at only 43K. This Swing Sighting item heralds the arrival of version 2.0 of the L&F. We're looking forward to version 3!

And here's a little bit of trivia from the FAQ for those of you who don't speak German:

Kunststoff is the German word for plastic. It is a composition of the two words Kunst and Stoff. Kunst means art, but in this case it has the meaning artificial. Stoff has the meaning stuff or material.

Check out the Kunstaoff L&F at: www.incors.org

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 RefactorIT - Aqris Software

Featured on the RefactorIT home page is a link to the Agile Software manifesto , a short document that advocates some sensible principles for producing software. My personal favorite begins: "Welcome changing requirements, even late in development".

RefactorIT is a plugin for Forte/NetBeans, JBuilder, and JDeveloper, that automates one of the tasks that those of us in the software business spend much of our time doing: maintaining and evolving large pieces of software. If you've ever had to change the name of a package that had previously been, say com.sun.java.swing, to a new name, say javax.swing, you can appreciate the value of a tool that automates complex transformations of Java source code.

Hopefully you got a look at RefactorIT during JavaOne, if not, check this out!

The RefactorIT website is at: www.refactorit.com

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 Creditex RealTime

Karen Weiss from Creditex provided this description of their new "RealTime" application:

"Creditex, the premier global electronic trading and informational resource for credit derivatives, has introduced a new trading platform that provides traders with real-time prices and a fully audited, secure instant messaging function. RealTime responds to industry needs for faster price updates as the growing credit derivatives market displays significantly increasing levels of activity and volume.

RealTime promotes creditex's overall strategy to improve liquidity and standardization in the global credit derivatives industry. RealTime was developed completely in-house using dealer feedback and the extensive experience of the creditex team. RealTime is based on Java WebStart and Swing technology on the client side and SilverStream's J2EE-compliant application server on the server side."

Check out RealTime at: www.creditex.com

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  JExam - Jacob Martin

Jacob Martin sent us a pointer to a tool he's created for creating and giving exams. He tells us that JExam has been used to run tests for about 2,000 students each semester for the last 3 semesters.


Looks like testing has come a long way from pencils and those awful little blue test booklets I remember!

You can check out JExam at: exams.uga.edu/~jmartin/JExam/index.html

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 Webtribe from Media Knowledge

Naoyuki Ashida, the Director of Technology and U.S. Operations from Media Knowledge Industrial
Co. Ltd., provided this description of the Webtribe IDE for building client/(J2EE) server apps: "Media Knowledge's premier product, Webtribe, is a framework for building bug-free Java Web applications and is a platform for running them on servers and clients in multiple platforms. It allows even systems designers without Java expertise to build, test, run, and maintain database applications up to 5X faster." The IDE supports building database applications that target several kinds of clients, from wireless MIDP devices to (of course!) desktop Swing applications.

You can check out Webtrive at: www.web-tribe.com

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 AltoWeb AltoStudio

Steve Wilkes was kind enough to send us this description of AltoWeb's AltoStudio J2EE and Web Services IDE:

"The AltoWeb Application Platform provides a J2EE server-side framework with built-in best practices, prebuilt components and extensibility APIs. The AltoStudio gives a streamlined, graphical way to build, test, deploy, and manage for the entire lifecycle of J2EE applications and Web Services. The AltoWeb Application Platform integrates with leading J2EE application servers, Java IDEs and Web authoring tools."

You can find AltoStudio at: www.altoweb.com

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  SpeedDemon Download Manager

Ashwin Jayaprakash was kind enough to send us this description of the Speed Demon download manager:

"SpeedDemon - an Open Source tool to accelerate your Internet downloads. It works by downloading different parts of a file simultaneously and then recombines them to a location you specify. It also allows you to resume disconnected downloads. If you specify mirror links, SpeedDemon will download the file such that the load on the servers is evenly distributed. Currently, only HTTP downloads are supported. Please keep in mind that, some supports do not support resuming. In such cases, SpeedDemon just downloads the file in a single chunk.

For Developers: SpeedDemon has been designed to support different protocols. Support for any protocol can be developed by just implementing an Interface, packing it into a JAR file and then copying the JAR file into a specific directory. For more details, please refer the Architecture page. A lot of effort (read: precious weekends) has gone into developing SpeedDemon according to Design patterns and as a Multi-threaded, yet Thread-safe Swing application."

SpeedDemo can be found at: www.javaforu.com

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 Xalt Object Realizer

XML continues to be popular for encoding every imaginable kind of data - including user interface designs. The Xalt markup language from eNode is a nice example of this. It allows one to define Swing applications using a declarative XML syntax that's interpeted by a runtime (middleware) component called the Xalt Object Realizer. You can give this stuff a try by launching the sandbox application which is just a shell for the Object Realizer, cutting and pasting sample Xalt documents from the web site gallery into the sandbox text editor, and then pressing the "Make" Object menu item.

Xalt can be found at: www.enode.com


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Joerg Haeger has written an interesting client/server application for sharing a CD burner. Clients use an application or a plugin-enabled applet to upload files to the CD server which can write audio or data (or multi-session) CDs. Localizations are available in Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Polish, Norwegian, and Spanish and binaries are ready to go for many versions of Linux.

The Java Web Start link launches a demo client, so you can get a feel for how the app works. The demo app is also available as a plugin-enabled applet for various versions of Java Plugin and different browsers. See here for more information.

The WebCDcreator homepage is here: wwwhomes.uni-bielefeld.de/jhaeger/webCDwriter

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Brian Lovrin sent us a note about a great looking new consumer-oriented application for creating alpha-composited button graphics. The look and feel is custom and the graphics are rendered with Vincent Hardy's GLF framework (as well as custom code of course). There's a free evaluation copy of the application, so give it a try!

The AlphaButton website is at: www.alphabutton.com


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 Visual Paradigm

Angus Chan was nice enough to send us this item about their new Java IDE:

"Visual Paradigm IDE is a cross-platform and full-featured integrated development environment that allows Java developers to write/compile/run/deploy Java applications/applets with supporting features like project management, class and method navigation, syntax highlight, code completion to enhance software development productivity. In addition, the Swing GUI builder helps Java developers to design GUI visually and the code will generated automatically. Its Community Edition is now available free for the Java community."

The Visual Paradigm website is at: www.visual-paradigm.com


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 Pyware - Pygraphics Inc.

And last but by no means least... this months "Most Fun Swing App" sighting is.....


Dustin Merril from Pygraphics Inc provided this informative item about the Pyware "3D Java" application - the likes of which you probably haven't seen before.

"If you tuned into the opening or closing ceremonies of the Olympics in Salt Lake City, you saw Pyware 3D Java in action. Don Mischer productions and his creative team (including designer Colin Surles), used 3D Java and the new 3D Floor Covers plug-in to help them design and implement a large part of the show. In fact, the Floor Covers plug-in was originally developed for the creative team's use in designing and animating the ice skating portion of the show and entry of the Olympic teams into the stadium." It's not the first time Don Mischer and his team have use 3D to help them in the design and production of an Olympic event. At the 1996 Centennial games in Atlanta, 3D proved invaluable in the show design, rehearsal time and projection of camera coverage of the Opening and Closing ceremonies, according to Mischer. "

As if the choreographing Olympic openings and closing wasn't enough, 3D (aka "Dynamic Drill Design") is also used by marching bands, drill guards, and for the occasional Super Bowl half-time show.


The Pyware website is at: www.pyware.com


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