Monthly Archives: May 2006

Google Pulls Back The Curtain A Little More

Google used to be wrapped in mystery. Most developers knew little about how they do what they do. But over the last year or so they’ve been pulling back the curtain to reveal things like the Google File System, how they process enormous datasets, and in some cases even some details of what tools they are using to do things like Google Mail (Java, of course 🙂 ).
They took that to its next level by releasing a beta version of a Java toolkit for Ajax work called the Google Web Toolkit. It offers a lot of the same kind of remote procedure calls and DHTML/JavaScript stuff we’ve seen before in nifty toolkits like DWR except that this time I see just a few things I haven’t seen elsewhere. One of those things is that when you do a web interface which has multiple tabs and you use their toolkit, you can actually bookmark individual tabs and even use next and previous in the browser correctly. This is something that is broken on many websites that use Ajax today.
I haven’t put it to use yet but I will be trying it out in the future and comparing it to DWR unless someone else beats me to it.

Showing Off Swing

I have liked Swing ever since I first used it. It makes far more sense than any of the Windows/GDI, X Windows, or Amiga UI work I had ever done in the past. It offers far more flexibility (often without a lot of pain) and I’ve never understood why anybody would be down on it other than because it has something of a learning curve associated with it. Nevertheless, it has gotten bashed because it is slow (I never thought so), ugly (can’t agree), or just not cool enough.
Both of the latter two perceptions, I won’t even refer to them as problems, are being addressed by people like Romain Guy who are working hard at technology demonstrations that show what Swing is really capable of and how cool and sexy it can be. If you want to see some pictures of the latest demonstration of what Swing is capable of, you can check out Aerith, a Very Cool Swing Demo. It features all kinds of 2D, 3D, and other effects to look like the latest thing from Apple.
Go there, check it out and maybe it’ll influence you to try something in Swing that you might not have otherwise considered.