GUI Development with Java
The near future for Java shows no letup in the rapid rate of innovation. JFC has just been released, with the 1.2 version of Java. Many promising technologies are just on the horizon, including 3-D, JTAPI, Java Sound, Java Speech and many others. Since there is far too much alphabet soup to remember, please check out the JavaSoft API page at http://java.sun.com/products/api-overview.html. The 3-D API tries to provide a comprehensive imaging model for three-dimensional graphics with some of the best features of PEX, GL and friends. JTAPI lets Java programs control telephony equipment at all scales, from a single voice-mail modem up to a large Private Branch Exchange (PBX). Java Media Framework gives access to all kinds of image, audio and video recording/playback, including Java Sound. Java Sound will provide several sound formats from simply playing sound files (available in 1.2), to recording, to full control over synthesizers such as MIDI. Java Speech will include both speech synthesis and speech recognition.
Many contact tracker systems are available from the simple (my own freeware JabaDex) to the fancy ones limited to MS-Windows, such as Symantec ACT. When Java Sound and JTAPI are released, developers of contact tracker systems can write code to dial the phone, answer it and incorporate voice mail, maybe even add bidirectional FAX support. We will no longer have to write it once for Linux, again for MS-Windows, again for Macintosh and again for Solaris. We will be able, as JavaSoft's slogan promises, to “write once, run anywhere”.
Ian Darwin has used UNIX systems since 1980 (mostly Solaris and OpenBSD in the last few years) and used Java heavily since 1995. He is the author of JabaDex (a 5,000-line Rolodex application entirely in Java), two textbooks (Checking C Programs with Lint, published by O'Reilly, and X User's Guide Volume 3: OPEN LOOK Edition, available on CD-ROM) and more recently, two four-day Java Programming courses through Learning Tree International. E-mail him at email@example.com.
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