Sunday, May 3, 2009

JDesktop Integration Components

If you have been a Java developer for a while you may have had the experience of being told that Java can't do everything that native C can. You may have struggled with the HMTLEditor pane while Windows developers down the hall embed Internet Explorer into their programs with just a few lines of code. I'll admit it: as great as Java is, there are times I long for the features and system access of native programming. Well, we don't have to wait any longer.

JDesktop Integration Components, or JDIC, is a catchall project for a set of modules that gives Java developers access to native features through cross-platform APIs. It was started by the Desktop group at Sun to let Java applications better integrate with the desktop on which they are running. They made JDIC open source to as a way to get rapid feedback from developers on desired features, as well as bug reports. While there are no current plans to do so, the JDIC team is looking into pulling some of the JDIC features into a future version of the core Java libraries.

JDIC is broken up into five components and one incubator project:

Desktop: Launches desktop programs to open, edit, print, and mail files.
Filetypes: Sets desktop file type associations.
Browser: Embeds a native web browser (Internet Explorer or Mozilla) into an AWT canvas.
Packager: Command-line tools for converting Java Web Start programs into native installers.
Tray API: Support for system tray icons and pop-up menus.
SaverBeans: System screensavers in Java

The API is available at :

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