Java bindings to GTK and GNOME
About our involvement in the java‑gnome User Interface library Open Source project.
We believe that while the web is ideal for offering services, only carefully tailored desktop applications can provide a truly rich user experience that is both responsive and usable. Our choice of the GNOME Desktop is due to our belief that it provides a great choice for long term growth. With a vibrant and cosmopolitan user and developer community, GNOME is a broad platform that has already proved itself suitable to widely diverse requirements ranging from corporate desktops to embedded devices across its international audience.
We have been working with and on Linux and Unix-like systems for a long time (depending on which staff member you're asking, well over 20 years). While our programming background includes C, Perl, PHP, and Python, the bulk of our large scale engineering and deployment work has been with Java. When we returned to doing Linux desktop user interface design, choosing to target GTK was a no-brainer, but as our programming experience was most recently concentrated in Java, we wanted to find a way to work with GTK from Java. And that is when we discovered the java-gnome project.
After a few years getting to know the library and developing increasingly complex applications with it, the previous maintainers and authors involved suddenly moved on. We were (somewhat to our surprise) left to pick up the pieces. While we were willing to take on the burden of looking after the project, it didn't take very long looking inside the old 2.x generation of the library to realize that the internals were a disaster-zone and completely unmaintainable.
So, taking a deep breath, we set out on the thing often talked about but rarely executed upon: a complete from-the-ground-up re-write. java-gnome 4.0, as this effort was called, was originally an initiative of just Operational Dynamics, but we have been pleased to be joined by dozens of developers from around the world who are likewise excited about the opportunity to write rich GNOME applications using modern tools in a powerful language unencumbered by patents held by companies who want to destroy the Free and Open Source Software movement. java-gnome 4.0 is now a truly global effort with contributors from around the world. There is still much work to be done, of course, so we welcome new contributors. See HACKING to get started.
Official release tarballs of the java-gnome project are (like most GNOME software) available at ftp.gnome.org.
Release notes concerning the current version of java-gnome always to be found in the NEWS file at the java-gnome website.
We use the Bazaar third-generation distributed version control system to facilitate development and participation by others. We host the mainline branch here at this site, along with working branches of various contributors. One of the great things about bzr is that you can easily browse a repository online via the web; simply click on the link above to see the top of the mainline source tree.