Thinlets use XUL-based presentation configuration files (much greater development and runtime design flexibility here at some startup and possible runtime performance trade-off) and the ability to run from JVM 1.1 (think the Microsoft imposed obsolesence – gosh, shucks awful nice guy Bill Gates saying “lets make Windows a level playing field by tilting all the competition right off the board of ever hoping to be competitive in Windows”)- to deliver a jar engine that is 37KB in size and typically hosts sophisticated GUI apps, see ThinG, at about 250KB. Talk about giving Java GUI more reach. And if you look at ThinG, the range of GUI widgets is very impressive.
I have liked the trends for Java GUI I have been seeing in size and versatility from the Java community – J2ME, JSWING-Lite and now Thinlets. And as always, a large chunk of this stuff is Open Source. Along with Eclipse, NetBeans, SourceForge, and a whole slew of other Java open sources – Java is becoming a dominant Open Source player. Can you hear us now, Eric Raymond ?