Its been a busy — an informative — day so far at Desktop Matters. Jasper Potts started out the day with a demo of the state of Nimbus so far; he’s got quite a bit of it implemented, but a ton of work remains. We chatting a bit about the state of frameworks in Swing, and Hans picked up on that discussion with an update on the Application Framework JSR.
Jim Moore talked about the Spring RCP project. This was particularly interesting because Spring RCP is used by “over a hundred large companies” but there are no official releases and the documentation is sorely lacking, so it hasn’t gotten as much attention as it might. Jim showed off a lot of the features Spring RCP developers get for free, like binding, validation, Acegi integration, Maven2 project management, and so forth. He talked about their Spring integration for injection, modularity, and so forth. However, he didn’t specify any kind of roadmap towards a 1.0 release and was ambiguous about Interface21’s plans to back Spring RCP in any official way. So, for me it remains an interesting project with a lot of depth but a touch radioactive.
Etienne Studer representing Canoo talked a lot their UltraLightClient solution which is primarily about a way to distribute very small but fully rich Swing clients because a large amount of the processing occurs on the server. So, great way to have very small Java Web Start or Applets — and a great way to have distribution problems handled automatically.
The most exciting news of the morning was that JIDE is open-sourcing about a 1/3 of their code, or 100k loc of Swing utilities and helper components. Very cool news. I’ve used JIDE’s stuff and they add a ton of very useful stuff to the Swing core classes. They also announced a new “container-management” application framework whose most useful feature was a “DesktopLookAndFeel” — a look-and-feel that encapsulates a large number of the individual platform look-and-feel guidelines. However, they leave layout-specific adherence to UI designers.
More to come…