I've had a few (few more than usual for some reason!) questions lately about what projects I've been involved in previously, whether I'm doing any at the moment and whether there's any cool stuff I can point people to that I've done in Java especially. Up until now, the answers to those questions have been something along the lines of "not many that I can tell you about", "no" and "perhaps a couple that I've contributed to but none that I've actually created".
So for various reasons, along with a friend I've now decided to plough ahead with a new project, Quelea. It's a lyrics projection package designed for use in churches - there's a few of them available already, but I want to play around with a few extra features and write one that, in my mind, consolidates the best features of the ones out there at the moment. It is, of course, completely open source and free. And 100% Java.
If you're interested, the main website is www.quelea.org
and the google code page is http://code.google.com/p/quelea-projection/
. If you want to check out the source code, compile and play around then feel free, anonymous read only access is provided via subversion and I always try and make sure the commits are stable!
Technically speaking, I also want to dispell a few all to common myths with this project that I hear way too much:
- You can't create slick looking UI's with Java, you have to use .NET or similar (have a look at the screenshots so far, I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out!)
- When you do anything remotely complicated with databases and the like you have to resort to native, platform specific code (Quelea uses HSQLDB which is fast, open source and 100% Java)
- You have to resort to platform specific languages for doing non-standard things like reliably displaying a full screen canvas (Quelea does that perfectly well at the moment!)
- Java is too slow for dynamic, responsive UIs and general mainstream applications (Searching the song database already works in realtime and is pretty nippy)
I'm sure there's others as well, but the above are the most common I've heard!
So, feel free to check it out, leave feedback (though bear in mind it's in VERY early stages at the moment, I've literally just posted the first couple of screenshots) and fire away with any questions you may have! Development rate will depend on what we've got going on (Quelea inevitably comes relatively low down in the priority list) but the current goal is, by Christmas, I hope to have an alpha shipped demonstrating the basics. Exactly what features that will include remains for time to tell...!