March 8, 2007

Desktop Java and Desktop Linux: A Match Made in Heaven?

Although the .NET vs. Java war is basically over for control of the Windows desktop, where .NET is sure to become the managed language of choice for new Windows desktop applications, there is a new battle brewing. That battle is for the Linux desktop. Now that Java has been open sourced under the GPL, even the most strict of the "free software only" distributions can start bundling it and integrating it into their Linux distributions out of the box. Indeed, many of them already have. In addition, the more ardent GPL supporters who have traditionally shunned Java can now embrace it as a first class citizen of the OSS world. Besides licensing Java under the GPL, The Swing team at Sun has also been hard at work improving the look and feel on the Linux desktop in Java 6. Take a look at the following two screen shots. One is the actual calculator from GNOME, and the other is a mock up I did in Swing using Netbeans and Matisse. Can you tell which is which?



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