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Java: Develop Rich Client Application using UIDL and Applino

The UIDL (User Interface Description Language) project was created through the realisation that the browser model was very good for application deployment but that HTML was not suitable for complex applications, resulting in low developer productivity and a poor end user experience. The project proposes that the browser needs to be extended to support an alternative syntax aimed specifically at user interfaces rather than layering complex technologies on top of HTML.

The main features of a UIDL page are the ability to create complex user interfaces (using Swing based widgets) and to communicate asynchronously with server based objects (using the JSON-RPC protocol).

Whilst this may sound similar to AJAX, the implementation is much cleaner thanks to the ability to natively instantiate complex UI components within the browser and the ability to transparently present server based objects via their JavaScript proxies.

The Applino project was designed to allow multiple Java applications to be run within a single JVM (Java Virtual Machine) thereby reducing resource consumption and significantly reducing start up delay.

  • An applino is to the desktop what a servlet is to the server.
  • Applino provides and environment for running multiple Java desktop applications within a single JVM.
  • The Applino environment runs as a taskbar icon and starts when the user logs into their computer.
  • Applini (Applino applications) are similar to servlets in that they contain runtime descriptors and have their life cycles dictated by the Applino container.

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