Swing Sightings Volume 23

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Swing Sightings Volume 23

March 16th, 2006

One of the most exciting kinds of e-mail that the Swing/JFC team receive is a product announcement for a new Java TM 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 you can launch the application via Java Web Start by simply by clicking on the the button.

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

 Maple Mathematics Software - MapleSoft

Home : http://www.maplesoft.com

At this year's JavaOne, Dr. Kevin Ellis, the manager of the Graphical User Interface team at Maplesoft, did a technical session about their desktop Maple application for symbolic and numeric computation. Maple is an extremely capable interactive mathematics application, with three million users. The original GUI was written in C/C++ however Kevin's team has created the current front-end in pure Java, including a custom document editor that supports text, mathematical notation, and interactive graphics. Reviews have been very positive. Check out the screenshots to see what they've created at MapleSoft.



  Sun Sim Datacenter link

Home: simdatacenter.sun.com

The Sim Datacenter is a big web started app from right here at Sun Microsystems. In the words of our matchless marketing department, Sim Datacenter lets you: Simulate your datacenter to see how Sun's new CoolThreads servers can save you power, cooling, and space. Inspired by the "The Sims" games, this interactive tool will challenge you to build a high-performing datacenter.

My favorite part of the show is the 'cash register ring' that plays each time each time another Sun server is added to the data center. Actually, I think the same sound plays even if you add an IBM server, however when Sun's bell rings, an angel gets its wings.


 Su Doku link

Home: http://www.pmilne.net/SuDoku

Phil Milne, a long-time team Swing developer (he authored JTable), has written a (free!) desktop version of the popular Japanese number placement game called Su Doku. Interestingly, the mobile J2ME version of the game is based on the same game engine code as desktop one.

Phil sent us a brief description of both of them: The web started Su Doku game is small (about 130K) although the application sports hints, undo, (including - take me back to where I made a mistake!), load/save and a variety of display modes, from the classic newspaper format to glitzy gems. It comes with over 200 games built-in but can provide hints for puzzles loaded from newspapers.

More info at www.pmilne.net/SuDoku. Also available for mobiles from www.sudokugems.com.





Home: www.savaje.com

Way back in August 2001 we covered a SavaJE powered PDA that ran on pure Java, from the lowest layers of the OS through the Swing GUI, in Swing Sightings #3.

The wait has been long but SavaJE and LG have just announced a mobile phone that will run the latest SavaJE software. That's a Swing GUI you see in the picture and that's because everything you see on the screen is Java2D and Swing and the rest of desktop stack. This is a phone that's pure Java - right down to the metal.

Here's a quick summary of the device's vital signs, from the SavaJE press release: "The LG Electronics handset features a slide design with 176x220 color TFT display, 1.3MPixel camera, Bluetooth, and an SD Card memory card for storage of up to 1GB of applications, music, video and pictures. The handset plays MP3, AAC and AAC+ music formats as well as H.263 and MPEG4 videos., [Ed: and so on, skipping ahead to the good part] ... SavaJe OS opens wireless development to desktop developers for the first time on mobile devices, with support for Sun's Swing-based advanced graphics API."

The device is scheduled to ship this year (2006). It's great to see the SavaJ software finally land on mobile phone!


Home: www.objectvisualizer.com

Erik Swenson [email: efswenson at gmail dot com] sent us a pointer to this app, along with a tidy description:
ObjectVisualizer is an open source business intelligence tool that builds upon Object Persistence technology to provide easy to use query, reporting, and charting capabilities. Features include: Query, filter, and aggregate data using objects, Interactive Data Table, Report Generation, Chart Creation, and Plugin Architecture.


 Podereso Manager

Recently, Romain Guy forwarded a screenshot he'd received from Brazilian developer Giovanni Martina (email: drayah at gmail dot com). Giovanni's app is still in beta, however we thought the screenshots looked so good that it was worth sharing them now.

Giaovanni sent me this short description of the app:

Poderoso Manager is a pure Java/Swing application and makes use of Karsten Lentzsch´s excellent JGoodies Looks library. The application is targeted for the small to midsize printing industry in Brazil. Among its many features are support for customer relations, stock management, invoicing (billing), production management, production cost calculations and reporting among other things. All the data is saved to a server running PostgreSQL 8.0 on the network. The Poderoso Manager GUI divides all of the business areas for a typical printing company into colored circles called groups, like "customers" and "services", for a fast and easy workflow. Choosing a group exposes the set of tasks the app supports for that group that have been enabled for the current user. All the groups also have their own distinct color theme that's shown throughout the GUI.

I think this the first Swing sightings application we've featured that is localized for Portuguese!


 JAXB Workshop link

Home: jaxb-workshop.dev.java.net/milano/milano.html

Kirill Grouchnikov [email: kirillcool at yahoo dot com] sent us this brief description: JAXB Workshop is a set of tools for working with JAXB. The tools include:

  • IDE for viewing schemas and generating Java classes
  • Scrambler for XSD schemas
  • Parser for XML colorers



 Log Summariser

Home: logsummary.dev.java.net

Just last week I spent a bunch of quality time staring at the java.com web site referrer logs and writing little (Java!) applications to try and get handle on the big picture. There were browser-based tools for doing some of this work however they were slow and not terribly flexible. And now, just when I've finished, I've discovered a nice Swing tool that does the job: Graham Lea's Log Summariser. It's another fine example of the JGoodies libraries in action and it would have saved me a great deal of time if I'd only heard about it a week earlier. If you've got logs, check out this Web Started app.




 Empower  link

Home: mpowerplayer.com

Michael Powers, who's the Chief Technology Officer for Empower, Inc., sent us the following description of Empower Although it's a bit of a sales pitch, that seems appropriate in this case, since Empower is all about selling mobile games. Right from your desktop: Empower is your digital hub for mobile gaming. Play an entire library of mobile games right on your desktop, for free. It's a storefront for finding, trying, and buying software for your mobile phone. Every game in the extensive catalog has a playable demo, and with a few clicks you can buy games and send them to your mobile. Download the player for free, browse the games, and play before you pay. It's the smart way to buy mobile games.



Home: www.kbforge.com

Kbforge is a new free desktop search application specifically designed for software developers, and it's available for Linux and Windows. Developer Victor Negrin (email: vnegrin at kbforge dot com) sent us this description of the app:

What differentiates kbforge from other desktop search programs, is its ability to assist the user in categorizing the information before it is indexed. Using databases and collections of databases, kbforge can categorize information into meaningful subject matters. A host of other features and options make kbforge the ultimate tool for finding that elusive program fragment, or example or article. kbforge uses JDIC for web browsing, previewing search results, and quick launch tray. It also uses Lucene for indexing and searching, and unlike most other Lucene based applications, kbforge uses Lucene as the default database manager as well. Its companion product, kbforge.plus, provides a wide choice of database managers and additional features.

 Dupe Eliminator for iTunes

Home: www.markelsoft.com

Tom Markel (email: tom_markel at markelsoft dot com] from Markelsoft sent me a pointer to his specialized Swing application. The Markelsoft site, which provides several Java applications and components, describes Dupe Eliminator as the "ultimate add-on to iTunes". It's for getting rid of "pesky duplicates and dead link files".

Not being an iTunes user, I can't vouch for the peskiness of iTunes' duplicates and dead links, however I'm glad to see a Swing app linked to the musical mainstream. Tom pointed listed some other features of the app: song search, sorting, syncing your iPod, viewing the iTunes Music store, and playing songs within Dupe Eliminator.

You can see it all in the demo video here.

 Brief Convey

Home: www.brieflegal.com/convey

Adrian Fisher-Fleming (email: adrianff at brieflegal dot com) sent us this description of their application for "real estate conveyancing". I have to admit that, up until now, I hadn't realized that conveyancing was something people did. Thanks to InvestorDictionary.com I've learned that it's just the "the act of transferring the ownership of a property from one person to another". Here's the description from Adrian:

"Brief Convey is a fully integrated real estate conveyancing application designed with the British Columbia Conveyancer in mind. The application is a document automation/assembly package with built in file management. It's written in Java and uses an XML Native Database. We have embedded the OpenOffice Writer into our application which is used to create templates and merged documents."

In addition to the screenshots, there's a demo video of the app in action.


 Oculus for Java Technology & Oculus GeoTime

Home: www.oculusinfo.com

Richard Brath from Oculus (email: rbrath at oculusinfo dot com) sent me the following description of their eye-popping 3D applets:

"Oculus is focused on three-dimensional, interactive, information visualization. We provide software and services to transform business data into high-value visualizations for Fortune 500 firms. Oculus for Java
Technology(tm) is a software toolkit entirely in 100% pure Java for creating high-performance information visualizations. The visualizations can be embedded into web pages and can provide the end-user with far more functionality and insight than possible with static images or standard charting. Oculus also creates software applications on top of Oculus for Java Technology, such as Oculus GeoTime, a visualization for efficient analysis of complex data over time and geography within a single, highly interactive 3D view. Images are C 2005 Oculus Info Inc."

 ShoppingStar link

Home: www.shopping-star.net

My colleague Romain Guy sent me a pointer to this app because the application's product chooser looked familiar. It's very similar to the CD chooser in the Joplin demo that we showed at JavaOne 2005. Developer Martin Schmid (email: info at shopping-star dot net) sent me the modus operandi for the app:

"ShoppingStar is a desktop Amazon.com shopping client that supports tracking and comparing prices and price histories. You can also collect and organize Amazon products in ShoppingStar libraries. All Amazon site localizations are supported - US, DE, CA, UK, JP, ..."

 MagicDraw UML 10.5

Home: http://www.magicdraw.com

Back in early August we published a preview about version 9 of the MagicDraw UML editor. Saulius Zukauskas (email: sauzuk at nomagic.com), who's the Marketing Manager at the No Magic Lithuanian Development Center alerted us that version 10.5 (TEN POINT FIVE!) of MagicDraw UML has been released. It's certainly nice to report about a Swing app whose version has reached double digits!

According to Saulius: "MagicDraw UML 10.5 is the first tool on the market to support the latest public UML 2.0 Superstructure specification from the Object Management Group (OMG). It also supports the UML 2.0 notation standard, and now adds UML 2.0 metamodel support, including the newest revisions introduced by OMG in October 2004. MagicDraw's support of the UML 2.0 metamodel covers all four compliance levels and corresponds to Level 3 (L3), which represents a complete UML implementation."

There's a comprehensive description of all of the new features on the MagicDraw web site.


 JSwat 3.0

Home: www.bluemarsh.com/java/jswat

Patrick Wright (email: pdoubleya at gmail dot com) sent us a note about the new release of JSwat, version 3.0. Here's the description, from the JSwat part of the Blue Marsh Softworks web site:

"JSwat is a graphical Java debugger front-end, written to use the Java Platform Debugger Architecture and based on the NetBeans Platform. JSwat is open-source software and is freely available in both binary and source code form. Its features include breakpoints with conditionals; colorized source code display with code navigator; movable display panels showing threads, call stack, visible variables, and loaded classes; command interface for more advanced features; and Java-like expression evaluation, including method invocation."

 ICDL Book Reader link

Home: www.icdlbooks.org

The International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) is a University of Maryland project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to create a digital library of international children's books. One of the project's goals is to create a free online collection of more than 10,000 books in at least 100 languages.

They've created an online book reader that does a nice job loading a book in the background while you interact with the pages that have been loaded so far. The book viewer also does a nice job animating the (zoom!) transition from page thumbnails to full-size pages.

The link link starts the viewer with the one book I could find with "Swing" in the title. Note also: check out the book viewer's Spiral View too. You can almost hear the pages riffling.


RageWork link

Home: www.ragework.com

Here's the description of this product the development team posted on the javadesktop.org product announcements forum:

"RageWork 2.4 is a cross-platform file manager designed to manage your files, documents, resources and do a lot of cool things."

"The key features of this release are fast sub-folder access, quick searching, a filter view, the ability to split and merge files, WWW editor validators, auto file completion, auto-change encoding in text-based files, bookmarks for network clients, the ability to resume file transfers in FTP, auto-recognition of encoding in FTP, tooltips for folder description, and improvements to status, error messages, virtual folders the UI and performance."



Home: http://sourceforge.net/projects/jsesh

From the "here's something you don't see every day" department: JSesh is both an editor for ancient egyptian hieroglyphic texts, and a library for inclusion of hieroglyphic texts in Java software. Developer Serge Rosmorduc sent us a few screenshots of JSesh in action. As you can see, JSesh supports editing documents that contain a combination of hieroglyphics and modern text. Wow!


  TJI Java Guru

Home: http://www.kinabaloo.com

Just after JavaOne 2005, Kinabaloo Software sent us a pointer to their stand-alone javadoc viewer called 'Java Guru'. They also make a Java IDE called TJI ("The Java IDE"), which is the first one I know of to include a chess plugin: "Unsolvable bug? Going round in circles? Then free your mind with a quick-fire chess game".

Here's the description of the javadoc viewer that the Kinabaloo folks provided: "Java Guru provides a fast and versatile way to access the Java API and API documentation. With a very easy to use point and click interface, the Java Guru is suitable for beginners and advanced users alike. Whatever IDE you use, or even if you use just a simple text editor for your Java programming, you will find the Java Guru an invaluable tool to have at hand. This is a commercial product (free trial version), check the site for details. It's also a very small download - only 120KBytes!


  Automatous Monk link

Home: http://www.automatous-monk.com

Paul Reiners [email: paulreiners at earthlink dot net] sent us a pointer to an unusual application that "Generates music from cellular automata."

For a quick sample, click on the web start link (below), press the "Compose" button, and then "Show/Play MIDI" (control-P) in the window that pops up. If you've got the volume on your PC turned up loud, be prepared for some puzzled looks.

And if you download JSyn, an audio synthesizer for Java, then you can listen run the Automatous Monk radio applet. JSyn is pretty painless to install, a signed applet does all the work.

The resulting "music" is pretty, uh, unusual. :-)



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