Re: JDIC criticism misses the big picture

Danno has a weblog where he publishes a lot of good articles about Desktop Java. His latest post "JDIC criticism misses the big picture", well, misses the point. While his criticism of Jonathan Simon's rant about the new Java Desktop Integration Components (JDIC) is completely on target, his tongue-in-cheek comments about JDIC's features aren't. Here is my take on them.

About JDIC's web browser control he writes

The reference implementation uses Mozilla, but why use HTML when you've gone tot he trouble to write a Java GUI? Oh yea... Ads.

I maintain an application for exchanging business documents, such as orders or invoices. It is a desktop application with the classical three-pane layout. For document viewing, I transform the documents to HTML and display them. And that's where pure Java sucks. Three years ago, when development started, I had the following options: JEditorPane, IceBrowser and NetClue. JEditorPane is horrible and IceBrowser prohibitively expensive. So I settled on NetClue. NetClue has it's own issues and, as it seems, has turned into abandon-ware. It has not been updated in years; emails aren't answered. At this point, JDIC's web browser is a great alternative. While it's not pure Java, it's cross-platform enough for my taste.

JDIC has APIs to associate programs with file types. Danno's comment

Just what Java needs, more "JNN is not registered as the default News Reader, would you like to register it now?" dialogs.

is funny. But then, noone forces you to misuse the API. I don't think that associating an application with it's file type during install time is a bad thing. I could see JasperAssistant use this API to associate itself with *.jasper files.

JDIC ships with a tool for putting JNLP applications into installable packages. Danno:

Clicking on a link in the platform native web browser must still be to hard, wizards are much easier.

Yes it is. I have users, who are pretty computer-illiterate. Sometimes they don't even know how to move a window. No kidding. For installation, we couldn't point them to a URL and tell them to click that link. The webstart method of installing software is not going to cut it. They don't have Java installed. It wouldn't work for updates either. Some of the users are, for whatever reason, unable to download updates from the web site. I actually have to ship the CD and tell them to shove it in the CD-ROM and push the "Next" button until the update program is finished. I don't know why, but they manage to do that. The wizard interface works wonder, it seems.

Danno comments:

They are also looking at adding screen savers.

This is silly, indeed.

Mon, 14 Jun 2004, 22:14 | Java | PermaLink
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