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Sun Open-Sources Java UI Toolkit

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the knowledge-is-power dept.

Sun Microsystems 59

ruphus13 writes "As the mobile space heats up, Sun has released the source code for Java Lightweight UI Toolkit under the GPL v2 license. ZDNet quotes Sun's senior director of embedded software saying, 'By creating LWUIT, Sun is reaffirming its commitment to the mobile development community and by open-sourcing the LWUIT code, we are enabling mobile developers to quickly and easily create rich, portable interfaces for their applications -- functionality that they have been requesting for some time.' Will Adobe follow suit?" Sun is also working on some fixes to holes in their mobile Java platform, which were discovered by a Polish researcher who demanded €20,000 to disclose the information.

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And this is bad why??? (4, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24634625)

"which were discovered by a Polish researcher who demanded â20,000 to disclose the information. "

You know what??? GOOD FOR HIM.

So noone tought this would happen with lawsuit-happy, dig-your-head-in-the-sand companies (I'm not saying NOK and JAVA are)

Tips for dealing with large corporations, if you give it for free, the don't want it. If you put a price tag in it, you make it worth it.

Re:And this is bad why??? (-1, Troll)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24634649)

You know what??? GOOD FOR HIM.

Who said it was a he?

Re:And this is bad why??? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24634683)

You know what??? GOOD FOR HIM.

Who said it was a he?

The English language. References to persons of generic or indeterminate gender are properly phrased 'he'. Tortured phrasings such as '[s]he', 'he/she', and (the worst) alternating 'he' and 'she' when referencing the same speaker are recent innovations which solve a nonexistent problem.

Re:And this is bad why??? (3, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#24635079)

Indeed. Giving in to whiny feminists only makes them whine twice as loud about the next thing.

Get them all back in the kitchen I say!

I know I won't be modded down for this because only women would object to those sentiments. As Slashdot is populated solely by unencumbered males, it is thus a haven for those wishing to express their support for the oppressive patriarchal system.

Down with the Rule of Law! Long live the Rule of Thumb!

Re:And this is bad why??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24635183)

Just wanted to learn you a little humility : -1,Troll

Re:And this is bad why??? (0, Troll)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24635879)

It's 'teach', not 'learn'.

Re:And this is bad why??? (1, Insightful)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 6 years ago | (#24639445)

References to persons of generic or indeterminate gender are properly phrased 'he'.

This was true once. It was also once true that the second person singular pronoun was "thou". Neither is true any more.

If you don't like it, complain to your local linguist, who will be very happy to point out that languages are defined by usage, and language change is inevitable and unstoppable.

Re:And this is bad why??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24640601)

but it's true right now.
What he described actually is common usage.

Re:And this is bad why??? (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 6 years ago | (#24640803)

People who study this sort of thing note that there's a generational thing. Generally speaking, the younger you are, the less likely you are to use a male-default pronoun.

I'm not that young, but I noticed the fact that you used "he" to refer to an anonymous coward. You're probably right, but the point is, I noticed. Your use of the generic "he" stood out to me.

Note: I haven't trained myself to notice, my parents and teachers weren't especially PC, and I wasn't looking for it specifically as far as I know. It's just the language that I happen to speak.

Re:And this is bad why??? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24655223)

Re: established use in English of "he" for singular, indeterminant gender.

This was true once.

Its still the dominant usage now (second only to the much-hated-by-prescriptivists-but-long-established singular "they" for the same case), despite the fact that some people push any one of a wide variety of linguistic innovations to solve something that isn't considered a problem by most English speakers and for which, where it is perceived as problem, there has been a well-established, popular solution for centuries.

If you don't like it, complain to your local linguist, who will be very happy to point out that languages are defined by usage

Indeed. And actual usage frustrates those who have sought to destroy generic "he" much as it has those prescriptivists who have fought for centuries to eradicate the popular singular "they".

Re:And this is bad why??? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24642663)

Tortured phrasings such as '[s]he', 'he/she', and (the worst) alternating 'he' and 'she' when referencing the same speaker are recent innovations which solve a nonexistent problem.

Get with the program. The way to do it is to use they/them/their as singular indeterminate gender. It reads more naturally these days than using 'he'.

Consider "The user must then click on OK to submit their request" vs "The user must then click on OK to submit his request". I find the second one jarring and awkward. The first one captures the fact that you are talking about an abstract user.

Re:And this is bad why??? (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24659829)

Now we just refer to everyone as RETARDS.

Re:And this is bad why??? (3, Informative)

JamesP (688957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24634685)

You know what??? GOOD FOR HIM.

Who said it was a he?

TFA (some people actually read it you know...)

Re:And this is bad why??? (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 6 years ago | (#24634701)

Who said it was a he?

TFA? I leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine whether it was likely that the GP read it, though.

Re:And this is bad why??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24634777)

More to the point, who said it was bad?

Re:And this is bad why??? (2, Insightful)

mixnblend (1002943) | more than 6 years ago | (#24634731)

Where in the summary or in the article does it say that any of the authors thinks this is a bad thing? You imply it yourself but the sentence above reads,

"which were discovered by a Polish researcher who demanded Ã20,000 to disclose the information."

They are merely stating what occurred. Neither make a value judgement about his actions.

Re:And this is bad why??? (1)

maestroX (1061960) | more than 6 years ago | (#24635849)

  • Tips for dealing with large corporations, if you give it for free, the don't want it. If you put a price tag in it, you make it worth it.
  • Using Imperial Units is supporting Darth Vader

ERR: Does not compute.

new & improved business models ready (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24634651)

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Re:new & improved business models ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24637093)

Dude, get a fucking account and log in so you can post at -1 where you belong.

Dickhead.

LWUIT vs JavaFX vs Plasma (4, Interesting)

oever (233119) | more than 6 years ago | (#24634689)

Oh my, evertying about LWUIT seems ugly. It is an ugly acronym, the screenshots look horrible (green text on a very pink folded person) and the rotating cube is unaliassed and completely unnecessary.

There is an article on ZDnet [zdnet.com] explaining the differences between JavaFX and LWUIT. It explains that LWUIT is a stop gap for people that cannot use JavaFX yet. But looking at the content of the LWUIT homepage I conclude that SUN could have better not release LWUIT at all.

As for phone GUIs, I'm rooting for Plasma [kde.org] . At Akademy last week I saw lots of EEE PCs and other small PCs, Nokia internet tablets, OLPC and OpenMoko machines all running Plasma. And it looks amazing and is easy to use and customize.

Re:LWUIT vs JavaFX vs Plasma (5, Insightful)

digiti (200497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24634981)

Well LWUIT could use the iPhone theme but then Sun would get sued. No point in deriding a technical project on the lack of a full time UI designer...
The text in the 3D cube in newer versions of LWUIT is anti-aliased, its still not as smooth as it can be but it runs on pretty much every phone out there.
Furthermore, it will look better with newer devices while still supporting existing 50$ phones.

Plasma, iPhone, Android etc. are all great but LWUIT runs today on a billion shipping phones... I doubt any of the above would ever make that number.

See some of the newer demos and videos here:
http://lwuit.blogspot.com/

Re:LWUIT vs JavaFX vs Plasma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24636127)

...No point in deriding a technical project on the lack of a full time UI designer...

It's a UI project, FFS! And it's Sun Microsystems here, not some handful of students hacking. It's way too late in the game to be making excuses; Sun really should be ashamed.

Re:LWUIT vs JavaFX vs Plasma (1)

digiti (200497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636331)

Its not a UI project, its a UI library designed by and for programmers with demos designed to explain details for programmers. If you assume Sun has UI designers on payroll you obviously haven't used Sun products ;-)
Relatively to Sun this is pretty good and since its free software that gives power to the programmers which is more than most other mass market solutions.

Re:LWUIT vs JavaFX vs Plasma (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 6 years ago | (#24634999)

LWUIT runs on MIDP 2.0 phones, i.e. a large part of the phones out there - not just expensive smartphones which might be capable of running Plasma.

Re:LWUIT vs JavaFX vs Plasma (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#24635061)

Well, it reminds me of the reportedly apocryphal story of the exchange between Lady Astor and Winston Churchill.

"Winston, you're drunk!" she is reported to have said. Churchill replied, "Yes, Madam, and you are ugly. But in the morning, I will be sober."

Of course, the joke is about the difference between temporary and permanent situations, and Churchill was semi-permanently drunk. In later years he used to do his morning's work in bed while he swilled a bottle of brandy.

The question with respect to the toolkit isn't whether it is visually ugly. That can probably be repaired. The question is whether it has ugly use patterns, which would be much harder to repair. In the next release, a visually ugly toolkit might not be ugly, but an awkward toolkit will probably remain so.

In any case, I've designed a number of mobile apps over the years, and every time I do one, the next one diverges more strongly from styles of interface I used to use on desktop applications. Mobile apps work benefit greatly from being radically streamlined. The biggest aesthetic problem with most desktop programs are clutter and complications; this problem is greatly amplified by the constraints of mobile apps.

It follows that a well designed mobile app should be pared to the bone. While it is still possible to have bits of ugliness, like really bad font rendering, a streamlined interface has much less scope for ugliness.

Some of the demo LWUIT screenshots are supposed to show as many of the toolkit's features as possible. Any actual app that looked that way would be really badly designed. That's all too common of course, but there isn't any system I can think of that is both general purpose and can't be used to create ugliness.

Re:LWUIT vs JavaFX vs Plasma (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24641399)

That's all too common of course, but there isn't any system I can think of that is both general purpose and can't be used to create ugliness.

I think anything past "any system" is redundant. They say that for every idiot-proof system the universe will create a better idiot, well show me a ugly-proof system and I'll be just as amazed.

Re:LWUIT vs JavaFX vs Plasma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24635969)

LWUIT an ugly acronym? I happen to think it's pretty CUIL. Oh... wait a minute...

Java = Any Platform, Plasma = Qt Platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24648581)

Why would I want to use Plasma, and lock myself in to the Qt platform, when I can use Java, and not not be locked in to any platform?

Re:Java = Any Platform, Plasma = Qt Platform (1)

oever (233119) | more than 6 years ago | (#24650703)

Java is a GPL platform just like Qt. There is little difference.

Licence is GPL+Classpath Exception. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24634715)

Huge difference.

Re:Licence is GPL+Classpath Exception. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24634913)

Yep, it actually gives developers more leeway in linking non-gpl modules in their project.

Re:Licence is GPL+Classpath Exception. (1)

U96 (538500) | more than 6 years ago | (#24637213)

How does Classpath Exception help when in MIDP everything gets smushed into the same jar file -- there are no separate modules to "link" to one another. Even if when using IDE tools in Eclipse like EclipseME that make it "look like" you're linking to a jar, that's actually IDE automagical convenience -- for MIDP what's happening under the covers during build is that the toolchain is unpackaging everything out of the linked jar and putting it all in the single MIDlet jar that you ship.

Re:Licence is GPL+Classpath Exception. (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 6 years ago | (#24639715)

Java linking happens at runtime.

Cool! (0, Redundant)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24634717)

And they're not charging for it either.

More information can be found in the LWUIT blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24634871)

Demos and videos included:
http://lwuit.blogspot.com/

interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24635067)

Before Sun was into java, they teamed up with NeXT to create the OpenStep specification. sun had a beta Openstep package for solaris (sparc only) but then got java fever. Many of the original Java classes bore a striking resemblance to the Foundation Kit. It's been downhill since.

Sun's track record at designing good toolkits is like Han's reiser's track record of not murdering his wives, or Cowboy neal's track record of not being fat.

It worked! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24635259)

> Will Adobe follow suit?

OMG! It worked: http://opensource.adobe.com

Adobe has open sourced their UI toolkit as well (Flex)!

GPL? (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24635339)

When I go to the download page there is no source code and no GPL.

https://lwuit.dev.java.net/servlets/ProjectProcess?tab=1 [java.net]

Re:GPL? (2, Informative)

digiti (200497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636353)

Check the SVN: https://lwuit.dev.java.net/source/browse/lwuit/

Re: Will Adobe follow suit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24635383)

I just read an Adobe press release. They have announced that they fully plan to do so just as soon as a stable GNU Hurd is released.

No 64bit Java plugin (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24635473)

They'd better fix this bug:
http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4802695

Re:No 64bit Java plugin (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24642365)

Market research shows that 0% of all java users currently use browser java-plugins on 64 bit machines, so why bother ;)

If the ask-slashdot thread about flash is right and there is really only one linux developer for the flash plugin, and that one works* on 64 bit installs, then I wonder how many developers there are for the java plugin. Either 0 or more than 100.

* if correctly installed, just how to install it is another point.

Classpath Exception? (0, Troll)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24635555)

Is this another one of those "LGPL-like" variants of the GPLv2?

The LWUIT home page doesn't mention it, it just provides a link to the GPL2 page.

Re:Classpath Exception? (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636027)

Is this another one of those "LGPL-like" variants of the GPLv2?

Basically, as I understood it, Classpath exception is "Running in the JVM isn't considered linking as GPL defines the term". If you went by the strict letter of GPL, the GPL would require all classes running in the same VM to be under GPL-compatible license. It's necessary to do it this way, because in JVM there's little technical difference in linking a library and running a class, and running separate JVMs for GPL and non-GPL-compatible classes is just silly.

Re:Classpath Exception? (1)

digiti (200497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636381)

The classpath exception is a different use case from LGPL which doesn't make sense in the mobile world where dynamic libraries can't be deployed (in most phones).
Its designed to allow proprietary applications but requires changes to LWUIT to be contributed back: http://lwuit.blogspot.com/2008/05/licensing-terms-of-lwuit.html
http://lwuit.blogspot.com/2008/08/lwuit-open-source-today-plus-great-new.html

Re:Classpath Exception? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24637891)

The classpath exception is a different use case from LGPL which doesn't make sense in the mobile world where dynamic libraries can't be deployed

I suspect there's something more complex than that, because the LGPL doesn't require dynamic libraries.

Re:Classpath Exception? (1)

digiti (200497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24640819)

No there isn't.
LGPL requires opening the application source code when linking with the library. The interpretation of the word linking has been widely debated... The classpath exception does not. Sun representatives have stated that the goal is to allow proprietary development with the library e.g.:
http://weblogs.java.net/blog/terrencebarr/

Re:Classpath Exception? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24644239)

Where precisely does the LGPL require opening the application source code when linking with the library? The whole point of the LGPL is that you don't need to release source of components that are not covered by the LGPL. You *do* have to provide a linkable version of the non-LGPL components, but that doesn't require source.

Re:Classpath Exception? (1)

digiti (200497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24644695)

That is my understanding of the license (IANAL):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPL_linking_exception

Section 4.d.1 seems to be relevant:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html

Re:Classpath Exception? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24645855)

Thank you for those informative links.

Section 4.d.1 is one of two alternatives. The purpose of these alternatives is to satisfy this requirement: You may convey a Combined Work under terms of your choice that, taken together, effectively do not restrict modification of the portions of the Library contained in the Combined Work and reverse engineering for debugging such modifications.

To do this you may satisfy 4.d.1 or 4.d.0. Given the normal Java packaging mechanism this should be trivial, since a JAR is just a ZIP containing class files and other components that are easily replaced.

According to the Wikipedia page the purpose of the Classpath exception is to allow conveyance of a combined work in a way that restricts modification of the library contained in the combined work: This restriction requires software projects which integrate a code library licensed under the LGPL to ensure that the license covering the combined work provides such permissions. Such a requirement can be difficult to meet, for example, in the case where code is distributed as statically linked software in an embedded device.

I believe this pretty seriously violates the intent of the GPL, as expressed in the preamble and in the GNU manifesto.

Re:Classpath Exception? (1)

digiti (200497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24646319)

I assume you are more familiar with LGPL than I am. However, I don't think this violates the intent of GPL (at least not more than the LGPL license) since the license was approved by RMS (it is the one used for open sourcing Java SE).

Re:Classpath Exception? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24646459)

It wouldn't be the first time someone has slipped something under Richard's radar. I would be very surprised if he'd agree to allowing Tivoizing like that.

useless (0)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#24635899)

A GPLv2 UI library is essentially useless. They either need a classpath exception or LGPL.

Re:useless (2, Informative)

digiti (200497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636371)

It has the classpath exception:
http://lwuit.blogspot.com/2008/08/lwuit-open-source-today-plus-great-new.html
http://lwuit.blogspot.com/2008/05/licensing-terms-of-lwuit.html

Jambi (3, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 6 years ago | (#24636139)

What about Jambi? Qt for Java. High quality easy to use UI framework. Yeah, I know it's Nokia now, but so what.

Re:Jambi (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 6 years ago | (#24641815)

As I understand, so far it's only desktop version of Qt for Java, and not Qt/Embedded.

And, of course, it still requires the native Qt binaries for each platform it runs on, so you can't just run it on any random J2ME phone. Which you can do with LWUIT, since it's pure Java.

Good God no. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24642539)

java and UI. All we need are more slow kludgy client java apps. No thank you.

Good Move (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24644359)

Too pity the language still sucks.

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