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Java Development Initiative Status Report

Don Murray
October 07, 2002

This report updates the status of Unidata's Java development efforts reported at the last Policy Committee meeting.


The long-term objectives of Unidata's Java Development Initiative are:
  1. Deliver turn-key platform-independent applications for the analysis and visualization of meteorological data. These applications must provide and extend the most important capabilities of currently-available applications such as GEMPAK, GARP, and McIDAS. Use of these applications should require no knowledge of Java or component architectures.

  2. Deliver easily installed executables, user documentation, and test cases for the turn-key applications.

  3. Identify or create a component-oriented framework that supports construction of custom applications from components used to build the turn-key applications. This framework should be useful to create new combinations of components that provide subsets of the capabilities of the turn-key applications, connect them in unanticipated ways, or provide tailored mini-applications for embedding in educational materials. Use of these components may require knowledge of component architectures or Java.

  4. Deliver full source code, class documentation, and test cases for the MetApps components.

  5. Enlist other developers in enhancing components and developing new components for the framework by providing an archive, mailing list, developers' forums, documentation, web site, and support for the components.

To accomplish these long-term goals, short-term objectives include the delivery of incremental releases involving users, incorporating feedback, refining the development process, and enhancing the software with each release.

Progress to Date

Four prototype MetApps applications have been developed: a gridded data viewer for viewing model data, an interactive sounding application, an image viewer for viewing and looping image data from local and remote datasets, and a surface observations viewer. Development on all these prototypes as standalone applications has ceased. Lessons learned in developing these prototypes and some of the components have been incorporated into the development of an Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) application which will be the reference application for goals #1 and #2 listed above. All work since the last status report has focused on the development of the IDV. This application is being used to develop and test the framework listed in goal #3 above. A developer's manual is in progress to satisfy goal #5.

In more detail, recent accomplishments include:

Current development beyond what's listed above includes:

Ongoing efforts include:

This document is maintained by Don Murray <dmurray@unidata.ucar.edu>