If you have been a Java developer for a while you may have had the experience of being told that Java can't do everything that native C can. You may have struggled with the HMTLEditor pane while Windows developers down the hall embed Internet Explorer into their programs with just a few lines of code. I'll admit it: as great as Java is, there are times I long for the features and system access of native programming.
If you hang out on java.net at all, or read any of the JavaOne news coverage, you may have heard of the JDesktop Integration Components (JDIC). This new API lets Java developers finally do the sorts of things we've always envied of our native brethren. This article will give you a complete overview of the JDIC features, with a small example of each, and a list of what to download to get started. We will try out all of the APIs except for the SaverBeans sub-project, which I will cover separately in part two.
JDesktop Integration Components, or JDIC, is a catchall project for a set of modules that gives Java developers access to native features through cross-platform APIs. It was started by the Desktop group at Sun to let Java applications better integrate with the desktop on which they are running. They made JDIC open source to as a way to get rapid feedback from developers on desired features, as well as bug reports. While there are no current plans to do so, the JDIC team is looking into pulling some of the JDIC features into a future version of the core Java libraries.
Introducing JDesktop Integration Components