Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New DHS widget

Brian Mason has built a new widget to check the current security status of the Department of Homeland Security. You can get it in the widget gallery here.

Thanks Brian!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yahoo Widgets 4 is released

Yahoo Widgets 4 was just released today. They added a dock mode with mini-widgets and auto-widget updating. Part of me is frustrated because this is one of the things we have that they didn't until today.

Another part of me is happy because it means we were right to include those features.

And yet another part of me is excited because it means the widget market is heating up and getting more overall exposure with more users for everyone.

And the last part of me is getting really hungry for some lunch. I think I'll go get some food.

Before I go I'll ask, are there any cool features of the AB5k container you'd like to see? Any other widgets you think we are missing?


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More updates and the new branch

I have created a new branch in Subversion for me to work on a completely redesigned window manager. No more hacked up JDesktopPane! This will give us the ability to plug in cool animations and effects as well as further isolate the desklets from eachother. No longer with a single bad desklet be able to muck up the display.

Added a single place in the code to display errormessages. re-enabled stacktraces as well.

Added Cooper's architecture overview to the wiki.

Charlie posted his Yahtzee desklet.

quick updates

We are starting our planning for Java One. More details soon. In the mean time here are some more updates.

Applied a patch from Augusto Sellhorn to buffer the background gradient image. It greatly speeds up repainting.

Added updating to the standard pre-installed desklets.

Added updating and a proper resize control to the Wikipedia desklet. It still looks ugly but at least it works.

Friday, March 16, 2007

New maven jars and other updates

i work on two of our support jars for swinglabs: swingx and swingx-ws. These libs were in flux for a while and were using branches, sometimes
requiring us to use multiple versions of each jar. I have finally merged these branches back into head and uploaded final jars (along with
their support jars) to our Maven repository at :

This means there will fewer jars to download, reduces the sizes of most desklets, and increases the reliability of deploying them.
Here are the rest of the updates that I know about (Cooper may have done others)

  • weather desklet: turned dragging back on, added mini-icons for the the dock label, added resizing to the config dialog

  • mapviewer: made resizable, updated to new mini-maven jars, added check for the correct street address format,

  • wikipedia: switched to maven jars. download went from 5 mb to 200k

  • clock: switched to maven jars. download is now 76k

  • Updated the container to use the new swingx and swingx-ws jars. no more dupes!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Test post

I'm trying out the new version of MarsEdit which should fix the crashing bug with Blogger blogs. Let's see if it works.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Docs, Fixes to IFrames, and Updating Desklets

Fixed internal frames on Windows (and hopefully unix). This means you shouldn't see the title bars anymore on shaped desklets.

First version of self-updating desklets. See the developers group for more details.

Added a progress spinner to the bottom of the dock so that you get some feedback when preloading the standard desklets.

Updated the Weather desklet to grab the current weather from a thread rather than in the init() method. This means it will start up faster and won't hang AB5k if your network is down (say, because you are on a plane :)

Major refactoring of the Main class. Startup and thread is better defined now and should be easier to maintain in the future. (It's amazing what you can do on a two hour flight from Denver to Portland).

Added dock support to the Calendar. Now you will see the date as well as the time in the dock. As it should be.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Mavenized most of the desklets

I've updated the desklets to be mavenized. This means that the swingx_painterbranch, joda, and JoshUtil jars are now stored in a repository on The desklets which use these jars can now share them, reducing the total download of the intial AB5k install by many megabytes.

We are mentioned on Artima
Many bug fixes!

Cooper and I fixed a bunch of bugs today after the lunch. The most important fix is that double clicking a .desklet file on Windows will now launch AB5k properly and not do a second launch if one is already running. Everyone please download and try again. We seriously changed the classloader so you'll need to nuke your ~/.ab5k folder before running the new version.

Another change: to properly isolate desklets from eachother they no longer are allowed to use the libraries built into the container. This means that they must include things like swingx.jar themselves. This has greatly increased the size of most desklets (since most of them *do* use swingx.jar). Once we get swingx and the other common jars into a maven repository then we'll change the desklets to use those instead, which will drop the size back down. This will also greatly reduce the download time since maven loaded jars may be shared between desklets.

* make the 'get more desklets' point to instead of
* rebuild and update everything to the website
* made the system look and feel be used
* better looking desktop icon on windows
* fix single/double launch on windows and loading desklets from double click
* fix missing icons on windows
* removed focus rect from big ab5k logo button
* updated most desklets to work properly with the new class resolution

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

AB5k is live!

AB5k, the all Java widget system is live. Go check it out at