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Jonathan Simon

Jonathan Simon is a developer and author specializing in user interaction. He is currently heading up the user interface effort for Firethorn, a startup developing a J2ME-based mobile banking application. In a previous lifetime, Jonathan designed and developed mission-critical financial trading clients for Wall Street investment banks. He has written extensively about his experiences here at, as well as for IBM DeveloperWorks, JavaWorld, Addison Wesley and O'Reilly. He is especially interested in interaction design and data visualization with an emphasis on the access and presentation of information to improve the user experience. An avid percussionist, composer, and electronic musician, Jonathan spends most of his non-working hours on the drums laying down the funk or otherwise making really cool noises.


jonathansimon's blog

"The JavaOne Effect"

Posted by jonathansimon on July 15, 2004 at 5:13 AM PDT

I've been doing monster searches over the past few months for a Swing developer here in NYC. I am seeing a lot more Java developers now than I was a month or two ago. Is it because the economy is improving or because it's right after JavaOne.

Brainf***, another useless language diversion

Posted by jonathansimon on July 7, 2004 at 5:53 AM PDT

Basically, this guy set out to write a really small (or smallest) Turing complete language back when the Amiga was king. Apparently, he got it down to under 200k.

Here is the full list of commands.

Swing apps, even demos, should always look good

Posted by jonathansimon on July 1, 2004 at 1:01 PM PDT

Sun showed a demo application to demostrate real time Java. There was a thick client application controlling a reverse pendulum (basically a machine that held a stick straight up, like when you balance a ruler on your hand). They had an application along with it to control the motors and display settings -- including failover.

New UI Stuff in Tiger -- Rock on!

Posted by jonathansimon on June 28, 2004 at 4:09 PM PDT

You guys know by now my stance on native look and feel support. I saw some demos showing native looking apps on Mac, Windows and Linux. Very impressed. I know I talk alot about the need to look native. That's definitely my problem space, but I also definitely realize the need to have an application that looks absolutely identical between different platforms.

JDIC misses the big picture

Posted by jonathansimon on June 3, 2004 at 10:24 AM PDT

"JDIC will enable applications written for the Java platform
(Java applications) to integrate more seamlessly with their native
desktop environment."

I wish it did. I really wish it did... but it doesn't.

Swing: People still aren’t getting it!

Posted by jonathansimon on May 10, 2004 at 2:23 PM PDT

So far, of the people I’ve brought in, no one has been able to answer a simple Swing threading question. Several even suggested to use SwingUtilities.invokeLater() for expensive work - not knowing it’s actually executing in the Swing thread. I’m making a point of this because it highlights a disconnect between the design of the Swing API and its users.

Office Absurdity 1: Three coworkers

Posted by jonathansimon on January 13, 2004 at 8:55 AM PST

Recently, three coworkers compare notes about their work history. Mike
adjusts the pictures of this three teenage children and smiles, "I have
only had three jobs in my career."

Mary laughs and says, "Me too. I've also only had three jobs... but
I've only been working for three years."

RedDotNet - A cool product

Posted by jonathansimon on October 20, 2003 at 7:47 PM PDT

Hey all. Been a long time I rapped at ya, so here it goes.

Don't forget to read about usability

Posted by jonathansimon on August 5, 2003 at 6:55 AM PDT

There has been some great talk about usability over the last week. Most of us here are primarily developers or technical managers. I want to remind everybody that there is a whole field of study around usability with several books, websites, conferences, and workshops to help you design your applications.

We have to make Swing UI's not suck

Posted by jonathansimon on July 30, 2003 at 2:02 PM PDT

I took another look at SwingSightings recently, and something struck me -- most of the user interfaces (UIs) for the Swing applications are not very good. I'm not naming names and I'm not saying everything is bad (there are in fact some pretty cool apps up there). What I am saying is that on a whole they are not so great.