Swing Sightings Volume 21

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Swing Sightings Volume 21

November 19th, 2004

One of the most exciting kinds of e-mail that the Swing/JFC team receive is a product announcement for a new JavaTM application that features a Swing GUI. A close runner-up is the URL for a new game or a compelling never-before-seen applet.

Over the years we've collected many links to this information. In fact, if you walked down the hallways here you would see the walls plastered with hundreds of screenshots from applications developed outside of Sun. Therefore, we have decided to launch a Swing Connection feature to share this bounty. Don't expect a comprehensive survey; these are applications that we bumped into or that found us.

This feature is called "Swing Sightings" and here are several new applications we've happened upon recently. Previous Swing Sightings are available in the numbered web pages listed below. These applications don't come with our special seal of approval (we don't have one) and, although we may have tried some of them out, we don't claim to have really tested any of them. They're here because, based on the descriptions and the screenshots on their web sites, they look like good examples of what is possible with Swing.

The 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.


Grokker - Groxis, Inc.

Home: www.groxis.com

Howard Rosen (howard at groxis dot com), former member on the Swing Team, is now working on this spiffy new product called 'Grokker' and sent us this:

"Grokker is a next generation research software tool that is rapidly being adopted by professional researchers, students, and faculty because it enhances the value of search engine results, databases, and content sources.

Grokker visually displays thousands of search results into an interactive map (picture) of intuitively organized categories so you can more easily explore and discover when you're not sure what you're looking for, or find what you need more quickly when you do.

You can also filter the results, throw away what you don't need, re-arrange the rest how you want it, then save the map or share it. It's like having thousands of bookmarks in a single file!"

Grokker can also be seen in applet form on InterfaceFLOR's online product catalog.


click on an image for a larger view


 Yahoo Site Builder

Home: webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb

If you want to put your small business on the web, Yahoo! Small Business is your one stop shop for helping you get online, sell online, and market online through products and services including domain registration, hosting, ecommerce, and customer recruitment tools. SiteBuilder is a Yahoo Small Business product that enables a user to create, publish, and update a web site from within one of the most capable Swing applications we've seen in some time. It's a complete HTML authoring tool, with templates, clip art, drag-and-drop editing, and precise positioning and layout. Very slick, take a look!





 Aduna AutoFocus Personal

Home: aduna.biz/products/autofocus/personal

Have you ever noticed that it can be easier to find a document on the internet than on your very own hard drive? Personally, I have difficulty locating email messages that have aged more than a few months, despite valiant attempts to define and adhere to a filing system. It's hopeless. Aduna's AutoFocus Personal app supports searching text and all of those formatted files (StarOffice, HTML, WordPerfect, MS Office, PDF, etc) that you've stashed (somewhere). Searches results aren't just reported in endless lists. What's amazing about this product is that search results are displayed as "ClusterMap" diagrams. Useful and pretty slick to see and interact with. Free evaluation copies are available. Check it out!




  Abeille Forms Designer - JETA Software

Home: www.jetaware.com/forms_product.jsp

JETA Software is a developer tools company in Houston, Texas and they've got a new product. Abeille (pronounced ah-bay) Forms Designer is a WYSIWYG Swing GUI builder based on the JGoodies FormLayout System. There are loads of nice features, like support for shadow effects and specialized texture and gradient fills. Abeille is not a code generator. Forms are stored in binary files which can be loaded by your application and added to any Swing container. This is a great looking application and it features icons and the Alloy L&F from INCORS.







Home: www.blogbridge.com

Before writing this short blurb about the BlogBridge blog viewer I decided to give it a quick test spin.. Which is quite easy because it's a web started app. And now it's 30 minutes later because I lost track of time surfing the hundreds of blogs that BlogBridge provides access to by default. This is a great open source Swing application that's just what you need for funneling the blogiverse through one convenient GUI. Definitely worth a test spin and don't forget to come up for air. Note also: Pito Salas who was kind enough to send me a pointer to BlogBridge, mentioned that the BlogBridge folks are going to host a service that stores the app's state so that you can carry on from where you left off from any computer.






 Force Field Explorer

Home:  dasher.wustl.edu/ffe

The TINKER molecular modeling software is a complete and general package for molecular mechanics and dynamics, with some special features for biopolymers. That's a quote from the TINKER web site. Quite frankly I'm not entirely sure what a biopolymer is. However I can say that they look fantastic in the new (second release) "Force Field Explorer" visualization tool which is part of an effort build an overall molecular engineering package. Michael Schnieders (mike_schnieders at hotmail dot com) was nice enough to send a pointer to FFE and a brief description:

"We use Swing for the GUI, sockets and the JNI for communication with TINKER (150,000 lines of FORTRAN code), Java3D for visualization, and Java Webstart for distribution. Additionally, most components of Force Field Explorer are dynamically created from XML files that specify various molecular Modeling commands and control parameters. As the TINKER code evolves, we just cut and paste into a few XML files and the Force Field Explorer Swing components are automatically updated without recompiling any code. This package is free with source code and is distributed from the Ponder Lab at Washington University in St. Louis. In our opinion, Java is the only language that had all the technologies needed to make this happen."





 YourKit Java Profiler

Home: www.yourkit.com

YourKit is a developer tools company from beautiful St. Petersburg Russia, also the home of some of Sun's Swing engineering team. YourKit has created a tool for memory and CPU profiling that's advertised as both low overhead and fast. It can be run standalone or integrated with any of the popular Java IDEs. YourKit is one of the few tools companies that we've run across that has a slogan: "Don't get lost in data, get information!". Thanks to Vladimir Kondratyev (mail vova at yourkit dot com) for sending us a pointer to the latest version of this app!





 EditiX - XML / XSLT Editor

Home: www.editix.com

Abrillant (tec at japisoft dot com), a JAPISoft developer, sent us the following nice description of their new XML editor:

"EditiX is a Swing based XML editor designed to help web authors and application programmers take advantage of the latest XML and XML-related technologies such as XSLT / FO and XSD Schema. EditiX provides users with an extensive range of XML functionality within a refined IDE that guides you with intelligent entry helpers. EditiX has realtime XPath location and syntax error detection. Helpers are also provided with context syntax popup supporting DTD, Schema and RelaxNG. EditiX supports multiple templates and project management. User can apply XSLT or FO Transformation and show the result with a dedicated view. All the process can be managed by shortcuts. EditiX includes default templates with XML, DTD, XHTML, and many more.






Home: www.exurbi.com

Edoc is a very impressive desktop publishing application from a little company called eXurbi. It's a WYSIWYG editor that supports producing documents that combine complex text (including "robust & internationalized hyphenation"!) and graphics through direct manipulation. Documents can be printed directly or via Postscript, and you can export your document to PDF or SVG for viewing on the Web. Check out the screenshots and then check out the free evaluation version of eDoc. It looks very good!





 RMS Admin

Home: www.optimus-prime.com

There was an interesting thread called "Beautiful Looking Java Applications" on JavaLobby.org. Thomas Lam from Optimus-Prime (thomas at optimus-prime dot com) submitted RMS Admin. It's quite a looker for a J2EE Request Management System administration app. Thomas sent us this note about his experience building the app: The recent enhancements to the J2SE 1.4.2 platform (eg. speed, memory usage and Swing native look and feel) have made it a better choice for writing GUIs on Java platform. In addition, its ability to run on multiple operating systems such as Linux made us possible to deliver this to our customers in non Windows environment.

Our experience with Swing APIs is that while it's more complex it's also far more powerful and flexible than other GUI tookits. There are also abundant of open source libraries and tools we could use with Java, which also helps to speed up development of our RMS Admin application.





Home: www.energycontrolsystems.com

Stan Dickerson (engineering at energycontrolsystems dotcom) from Energy Control Systems was nice enough to send us a pointer to this app. WebECS is used in commercial buildings like schools and banks and restaurants (a picture of McDonalds appears on the home page!). Stan sent us this brief description of WebECS:

"It's a graphical user interface for Energy Control Systems' Linux-based building automation systems. Swing is used in Java applets which run on the Linux console or Windows PC's. The applets allow viewing or modifying schedules, temperature setpoints, trend graphs, alarms, etc. for large hotels and resorts, shopping malls and other buildings. Apache Batik is used for system displays which show current conditions on floor plans and equipment drawings with animated pumps, fans, etc."







Home: propro.ru/go/Wshop/povtree/povtree.html

In this column we've featured no end of tools for creating software, reports, diagrams, images, web galleries, you name it. Here's a first: POV-Tree is a graphics application for designing trees. You design the leaves, the roots, the branching structure. You can preview your design with POV-Tree and then create a ray-traced version with POV-Ray. POV-Tree has been localized for English, German, Italian and Russian. There's a very cool custom look and feel. Very green also. Thanks to Gennady Obukhov (gena_obukhov at yahoo com) for sending us a pointer to POV-Tree.






Home: research.sun.com/projects/jfluid

JFluid is a profiling tool developed by Misha Dmitriev (Mikhail.Dmitriev at sun.com) at Sun Labs that enables a developer to profile running Java applications. This is done with a special JVM that supports dynamic bytecode instrumentation. A developer trying to track down a performance problem can instrument method or even code fragments within a method while the application is running. The overall goal for JFluid is to enable "real 'emergency servicing': low-overhead, in-the-field diagnostics of running production applications".




 OthBase - Othello® / Reversi Game Database

Home: www.othbase.net

There's no shortage off Java apps and applets for playing Othello. Google reports 64900 hits for "java othello". OthBase is for serious Othello(r) / Reversi players who want to hone their skills by studying games that have already happened, like in tournaments or championships. It's a front end for Othello Game databases like Thor, SGF/SOF, PGN (VOG, Kurnik) games format and proposed new XML format called XOF. It can also be used to create new database entries. Thanks to Fabrice DI MEGLIO (fdimeglio at teaser dot fr) for sending us a pointer to OthBase!






 AppComposer from Digislice

Home: digislice.com/appcomposer.html

AppComposer 3 is "a visual authoring and integration environment designed to accelerate the assembly, modification, and deployment of enterprise applications using EJB, JSP, servlet, and applet-based components." AppComposer supports creating EJB or Web Service clients and the tool supports editing live applications - no more edit/compile/deploy cycles!






Home: www.servasoft.com

Here's the description of this Swing library from the web site: "SERVA TWaver is a ready-to-use component set that includes easy-to-use network graphical views and other Java Swing-based graphical business components for building advanced Java-based network & element management systems and network planning applications."






 Gallery Constructor

Home: www.through-the-lens.net

You've got the shiny new digital camera, you're producing images at an alarming rate, your hard drive is finally staring to fill up, and it's all not quite as satisfying as you'd hoped. That's because you need a way to share the wealth with your family and friends and everyone else who claims that they'd like to surf through your photo collection. You're going to want to create an online image gallery and you're going to want a tool to build it with. One that can deal with the myriad raw image formats different cameras produce, and one that lets you reuse and customize (HTML) gallery templates. And it has to be free. FREE. Check out Gallery Constructor from Through-the-lens.net, it's exactly what you wanted and it's pure Java. The lovely Swing look and feel is from JGoodies.





 Senomix Timesheets

Home: www.senomix.com

Charles D. O'Dale (charles.odale at senomix dot com) from Senomix Software Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada send us a pointer to their Timesheet application. It's a web started app for one of those basic business functions: tracking who's doing what and for how long. The web site provides this brief description:

"Senomix Timesheets is a networked timesheet collection and management system which operates securely both within corporate networks and over the public Internet. Centrally managed using Sun Microsystems' Java Web Start technology, Senomix Timesheets provides a fast, solid and secure thin-client solution for an essential management and billing task."





 MAVA Multimedia Suite

Home: www.j-hauser.de/java/mava-mm-suite_en.html

Juergen Hauser (jh at j-hauser dot de] sent us a pointer to this impressive Java Desktop application. He started the project as as a proof of concept implementation for his doctoral thesis and has continued to revise and extend it. Juergen sent us a short description of MAVA:

The Mava Multimedia Suite is a multimedia authoring and presentation application. Multimedia documents are authored with MMEd (Mava Multimedia Editor), which provides an interactive graphical GUI. The Mava Multimedia Suite uses a so-called operator-based approach: the author specifies relationships or dependencies between media items with operators. Application templates provide a set of operators for a particular application area (e.g. computer-based training or tourist guides). The suite is extensible, support for new application areas can be added during runtime. There's lots more information on the site, Juergen recommends starting here and then here, and then if you're ready for the plunge, here.






 Sport Tool

Home: www.babichev.info/en/projects/sptool/index.html

SportTool (formerly Biker's Log) is a training log for cycling and rowing enthusiasts. It was developed by Alexander Babichev, a Russian developer who's also created tools for maintaining multilingual web sites.

The Sport Tool training log tracks distance, average speed, elapsed time, heart rate, weather conditions, route difficulty, etc. Support for printing reports is also included so when you're too tired to ride you can humble your colleagues with printed matter. The screenshots below show the Russian and English localizations of Sport Tool. Java desktop applications: now making cycling portable worldwide!





 Fluxtime Studio

Home: www.fluxtime.com

In Swing Sightings #16 we covered animation software called FluxTime. Recently, Marc Winter (marc.winter at fluxtime dot com] from FluxTime Interactive sent us a pointer to a new tool called FluxTime Studio, "an online animation environment where you can create animation clips, save them to your webspace, mail them to other people, or show them in your internet gallery." An account is needed to save, mail or publish animations however there's a free guest login that enables visitors to evaluate FluxTime Studio and send their animation clips as postcards.





 Style Report Designer - Inetsoft

Home: www.inetsoft.com

Style Report Designer from Inetsoft is a great looking visual report design tool that's part of the "Style Report Professional Edition". A typical developer would use the designer tool to create an XML/Javascript report template that would be incorporated into a J2EE based web service that generated the actual reports. Style report is an "an integrated reporting solution for multi-tier architectures", be sure check out their web site for all the details. And we couldn't help but notice that Style Report's designer looks great thanks to the Alloy Look and Feel from Incors.





 JWebEdixx HTML Editor Applet

Home: www.JWebEdixx.com

If you've ever stared down the business end of an HTML text area form input field and wondered how you were supposed to encode lists and tables and style changes and so on, you can appreciate the value of an applet like this one. JWebEdixx is a J2SE HTML editor applet from Robert Schaller Internet Technologies in Germany. You can add it to an HTML page to enable users to enter rich text and fill out forms in fine style. See for yourself - try one of the demos and create a few lists and tables. You can't get that kind of satisfaction without Java!






Home: memoranda.sourceforge.net

Alex V.Alishevskikh (alex at viceversa dot ru) was nice enough to send us some screenshots of the beta release of Memoranda - an open source personal project and diary tool. It's much more than a todo list manager, it supports scheduling and notification and a "time based diary" that you can use to pull everything together. With a nice built-in Swing WYSIWYG HTML editor! Memoranda has been localized for nine different languages and it's free software.

Memo to self: start using Memoranda immediately.





 Sketsa SVG Editor

Home: www.kiyut.com

Way back on the first day of this year Tonny Kohar (tonny at kiyut dot com) from a little Indonesian company called Kiyut sent us a note about their award winning SVG editor called Sketsa. SVG is an XML "language" for describing two dimensional graphics and interactive graphics applications. Sketsa supports freehand drawing as well as working directly with the the SVG XML document (DOM) itself. Tonny pointed out that Sketsa "features various tools for optimizing content creation, giving designers unsurpassed support for creativity. This tools include property palette, DOM editor, resources editor, SVG specific shape tools, transformation tools, and additional illustration tools. It also uses SVG as a native file format."





 DD Poker

Home: games.donohoedigital.com/poker

I'm no gambler but I'd have to be blind and opposed to watching TV to have missed how popular Texas Hold'em Poker tournaments have become, at least here in the United States. Poker professionals and Hollywood celebrities play and sometimes unknown poker studs become celebrities for taking their money. Digital Donohoe's No Limit Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament software is a slick looking game that can be used to hone your poker skills or to manage real tournaments. Evaluation versions of the app are available. Watch out for sharks.






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