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Don't worry, I won't linger. Allow me to break the
latest news from the JavaWon 2003 Dev Pow Wow as
reported in the XUL News Wire story. Here we go:
Amy Fowler (a blond bombshell working for Sun if I
dare to say (*)) wrote a whitepaper titled "Java
Desktop Network Components (JDNC): Boosting
Interactivity and Productivity at the Same Time" for
the new javadesktop.org site (part of the new java.net
Sun Community initiative).
Amy kicks off the paper with a Jakob Nielsen quote:
"Billions of dollars are wasted every year in lost
productivity as people wait for Web pages to perform
duties that could have been handled better by a 1984
Macintosh-style graphical user interface application."
and jumps in:
The problem is that the primary content delivered
to browsers is HTML, a markup language that wasn't
designed for implementing user interfaces. In the
early days of Web applications, users were so enamored
with the basic capability of accomplishing tasks from
their browser that they put up with the archaic "get a
new page on every click" user model. But the Web isn't
new anymore and for many applications, users want the
degree of interactivity they get with traditional
clients. Web application developers have tried to
mitigate the inherent limitations of HTML forms by
achieve higher degrees of user interaction, but have
discovered the end result to be unwieldy and
challenging to maintain as the complexity of the
application grows. There has got to be a better
You've got it babe. Check out XUL.
Believe it or not Amy comes up with a different
answer. Guess what?
What do we need to break the HTML browser
application juggernaut? Java.
Come again, Sweetie.
Leveraging XML for Configuration. JDNC defines a
simple XML schema for configuring JDNC components for
desktop clients. What sets this apart from other
XML-based UI technologies is that it is neither a
toolkit-level markup language, such as XUL, nor a
general purpose markup language for Swing, such as
SwingML. This is not to say that these technologies do
not have their place, but the primary design goal for
JDNC is simplicity. The JDNC configuration schema sits
at the application level, which enables developers to
more quickly construct Java desktop clients precisely
because the schema is less complex. It leverages
Swing, but does not require the developer to have
expertise in either GUI programming or Swing.
The schema will enable a solid range of sensible
layout capabilities without providing the infinite
layout options of layout managers. Does this mean that
some clients cannot be constructed using JDNC? Yes,
and that's exactly the point. JDNC guides the
developer by narrowing the choices to a well-honed
subset of what's possible. Those who need finer
control and flexibility can already use Swing or one
of the general purpose markup languages to build just
I hear you.
And here's how JDNC looks like:
<format mimetype="plain text">
<integer minimum="1" maximum="5"/>
<date format="EEE MMM dd HH:mm:ss z
<table id="bugtable" sortable="true"
<column dataref="bugdata.bugid" label="BugID"
<sample>This bug is bad and I want you to
definitely fix it!</sample>
<format>MMM dd, yyyy</format>
<column dataref="bugdata.state" label="State"
Sun plans to roll out an early Beta in fall under an
open-source license on javadesktop.org
Let's welcome Sun to the world of XUL.
Full story @
PS: (*) Sorry, if anyone feels offended. I'm just
playing with Sun's latest marketing push using blond
bombshells. Check out the Christina Aguilera promo @
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