Pieces to Use To Build Your Java Applications

It’s time for another quick round of “pieces that make building applications easier or cooler”. Catchy name isn’t it. Here are today’s candidates:

  • Skin Look And Feel 1.1 – Gives you an easy way to add “skinning” to your application. Among the features of the latest version is a new Windows XP look and feel.
  • Ant 1.4 beta 2 – Actually, Ant already does pretty much everything I want and I haven’t even begun to explore all its powers so I don’t need a new version. But when a new version of one of the most important Java tools out there comes out, you should still at least take a moment to check it out.
  • Velocity 1.1 – In the past I had only considered using XSLT to build templates and format data. But Velocity is so easy to use I’m rethinking that. I used Velocity once already to build a quick application and template that took a number and used it to build a custom graphic (data + Velocity template -> Velocity -> SVG file -> Batik -> .png file). It was very very easy and “very very easy” is not something I have ever associated with XML and XSLT.
  • Vanessa, Rachel, Hazel, Clare, etc. The guy seems to have a thing for naming his programs after girls. But they are all nice girls. They help you look at your Java Web Start cache, verify that your JNLP file is correct, load resources and more. I’ve got this website listed on my resources page because of the excellent JNLP FAQ that is maintained there and the Venus app publisher you can use to help you publish your applications via JNLP. But you should also pay attention to the plethora of utilities that the author has created and all of them are centered around Java Web Start and JNLP.

And something that isn’t really pertinent to anything but is cool nevertheless: dungeon, tunnel and castle pieces for roll playing