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  • Client Application Development

    [moved from the mailing list]

    On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 07:50:27 +1000, Cameron Zemek <[email protected]> wrote:
    Below is a wiki page that I wrote of the features I would like to see in a client application development environment:

    * Rich set of GUI widgets
    * Able to create custom widgets including canvas widgets
    * Multimedia components
    ** Image component to display JPEG, GIF, and PNG formats
    ** HTML browser
    ** (Optional) Audio player
    ** (Optional) Video player
    Spring Rich is a framework, not a widget library. Of course you can easily use whatever widgets you want.

    * Internet components
    ** Send mail to SMTP mail servers
    ** HTTP client
    ** (Optional) Retrieve mail via POP3/IMAP
    ** (Optional) Samba browser
    ** (Optional) FTP client
    * XML parser
    * (Optional) HTML parser
    Those are all services that Spring makes integrating with easy, but the services themselves fall outside the realm of Spring.

    * Interface to databases.
    * Standalone database (eg. SQLite)
    The Spring framework itself does this. (Of course Spring doesn't implement the database interfaces, but it makes working with the libraries that do [JDBC, Hibernate, iBATIS, etc.] easy.)

    * (Optional) Office components (such as Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, etc)
    This would be a combination of widgets and manipulation libraries. For the manipulation libraries, I sugest you look at the POI project at Apache.

    * Print framework
    ** Printer discovery and setup
    ** Printing of GUI widgets
    ** (Optional) Postscript driver
    ** (Optional) Publishing layout engine. Paragraphs/Images/Tables etc.
    Everything except a "publishing layout engine" are all provided by Java and your OS already. A "publishing layout engine" is a complex task, which is one of the reason tools like FrameMaker are so expensive. But of course that engine falls outside the scope of Spring Rich itself.

    That said, printing is such a common task that it would be worth our while to make things as easy as possible for people to print. It's a far more complex problem than most people realize (even the major web browsers screw it up a lot, and they obviously put a lot of work into the issue), but we could at least make it easier.

    NOTE: there are already some open source tools out there for Java that meet some of the above features.

    I hope to look more closely at Spring's Rich Client Platform. But I would love to see something that meets the above.
    You may want to re-read Spring and Spring Rich don't seek to do what others already do very well, but rather to make using those services as easy as possible.