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System Tray Madness!

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kapta
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Joined: 2005-05-08
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I have just been testing running applets in a different VM (separate_jvm parameter), each time an applet is started using this, a new system tray icon is created.

I opened two instances of the same applet, this created up to 4 system tray icons, one from previous running applet that had been closed, and two for the applets now running, and not sure what the fourth one was for.

Any how, I think this leads to a bad user experiance, if this is needed due to there being different consoles for each jvm, maybe you could batch all the different consoles onto one system tray icon, so when right clicked it gives you the options "Open Console 1, Open Console 2, etc", instead of creating a new system tray icon. Other than quick access to the console and java control panel not sure why a system tray icon is needed, let alone multiple instances of it.

Also the first time an applet/jvm is started does the system tray really need to show a bouble message saying visit java.com? get kind of irritating after a bit.

Also does the system tray icon need to stay there after an applet is closed? it stays until a browser is closed, I think if you must have a system tray icon, then it should hide itself after an applet is closed (and browser is still running) as it serves no purpose other than being an advert for java :).

Rethinking this System Tray thing will lead to a considerable better user experience.

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psynixis
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Joined: 2005-04-26
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I agree that it would be a good idea to lose the Java icon in the system tray by default for applets. This small detail really detracts from all the fabulous hard work that's been going on with Consumer Java, and it seems like it should be pretty simply and quick to fix.

See:

http://www.psynixis.com/blog/2008/04/11/sun-please-stop-showing-the-java...

wrandelshofer
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Joined: 2004-11-11
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I second this.

For me, the system tray is a reserved space for device services. I don't expect to see a new icon showing up in this area, when I open a page in the browser. This is something which irritates me.

Except for debugging, I don't know a reason, why a user would ever have a need to use it in the first place. In my opinion, it should go away. At least, if the icon would be more toned down visually, it would be more bearable.

The same is true, for the orange splash screen. On Mac OS X, the default Java splash screen is color neutral (gray on white), and therefore blends better into a larger number of web designs. It still brings the message across.

kapta
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Joined: 2005-05-08
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thx for the replies, as mentioned the separate_jvm parameter works well but if the user refreshes the page this create a new system tray icon. So if user refreshes the page 10 times you'll end up with 10 system tray icons, this really does effect the usability of this feature.

kbr
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Joined: 2003-06-16
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Excellent point. I've filed 6683047 to track this issue and will aim to fix it in the next available build (currently 22; see the 6uN early access forum for notes on the current numbering scheme).

kbr
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Joined: 2003-06-16
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Note that currently the stale JVM instances will time out and shut themselves down after roughly two minutes, but clearly they should shut down much more promptly.

kbr
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Joined: 2003-06-16
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6683047 will be fixed in the forthcoming build 22.

kapta
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Joined: 2005-05-08
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ah sounds great, btw great work with Java N, System trays were the only grip i had with it.

kbr
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Joined: 2003-06-16
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> I have just been testing running applets in a
> different VM (separate_jvm parameter), each time an
> applet is started using this, a new system tray icon
> is created.
>
> I opened two instances of the same applet, this
> created up to 4 system tray icons, one from previous
> running applet that had been closed, and two for the
> applets now running, and not sure what the fourth one
> was for.
>
> Any how, I think this leads to a bad user experiance,
> if this is needed due to there being different
> consoles for each jvm, maybe you could batch all the
> different consoles onto one system tray icon, so when
> right clicked it gives you the options "Open Console
> 1, Open Console 2, etc", instead of creating a new
> system tray icon. Other than quick access to the
> console and java control panel not sure why a system
> tray icon is needed, let alone multiple instances of
> it.

...

> Also does the system tray icon need to stay there
> after an applet is closed? it stays until a browser
> is closed, I think if you must have a system tray
> icon, then it should hide itself after an applet is
> closed (and browser is still running) as it serves no
> purpose other than being an advert for java :).

This was the lowest cost mechanism for giving the end user control over the Java Console of the multiple JVMs that are spawned by the new Java Plug-In.

We can consider doing something different -- feel free to file an RFE under the Java Plug-In/plugin2 category with the Sun Bug Database. However, to be honest we have higher priority work to do between now and GA to really make the new plug-in an effective deployment vehicle.

> Also the first time an applet/jvm is started does the
> system tray really need to show a bouble message
> saying visit java.com? get kind of irritating after a
> bit.

This should only happen the first time after installation of a new JRE. If you're finding otherwise then please file a bug. I don't think it's that annoying. Java is free and this little bit of advertising helps keep it free.

jsight
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Joined: 2005-06-30
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> This should only happen the first time after
> installation of a new JRE. If you're finding
> otherwise then please file a bug. I don't think it's
> that annoying. Java is free and this little bit of
> advertising helps keep it free.

Flash is free and it doesn't do this. Worse than that, the tooltip has the annoying habit of stealing the focus, causing whatever the user is typing to stop working.

Please don't annoy my users with idiotic popups in the notification area. They like using my apps, not having their experience interrupted with popup windows.

cowwoc
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Joined: 2003-08-24
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I tend to agree with jsight. There are two problems with the icon as far as I'm concerned:

1) Double clicking on it brings up the About dialog, which (in my view) is far from useful. I think you should find some other dialog to be the default. The icon should either be useful or it should be gone.

2) The icon should only be visible while an applet is alive. When the applet shuts down the icon should disappear immediately, even if Java is technically still loaded in the background.

I think the first question we need to ask ourselves is: what is the target audience for this icon? If it's a programmer than double clicking on the icon should bring up the Java Console for debugging. If it's a home user I wonder why you need an icon at all. From a home user's point of view, I don't think he can do anything useful with it at all.

demonduck
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Joined: 2008-03-14
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> I tend to agree with jsight.
[stuff deleted]
> I think the first question we need to ask ourselves
> is: what is the target audience for this icon? If
> it's a programmer than double clicking on the icon
> should bring up the Java Console for debugging. If
> it's a home user I wonder why you need an icon at
> all. From a home user's point of view, I don't think
> he can do anything useful with it at all.

That's the point some of us have been trying to get across to the Java development team for a long, long time. Who's Java for? It's for developers to produce usable apps/applets for end users.

The end users are not developers. End users and developers need different facilities and interface devices.

99% of the end users will *NEVER* open the Java console and even fewer of them will *EVER* open the Java Control panel.

All the actions the Java development team expects the end user to do in order to run an applet or an application are never going to happen. That's why so many people hate Java.

The Java development team needs to start thinking like a Microsoft Windows engineer. Make it simple for stupid people. Stop thinking like electrical engineers...

And even though all the new parameters available in the applet tag are really useful to developers like us, the average guy who wants to use a third party commercial applet for some purpose is going to be completely mystified. Incorporating the use of all the new and very useful applet parameters into a commercial applet will be a support nightmare.

And yet, the madness goes on...

smartini
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Joined: 2005-09-01
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Hi,
why don't pass an optional (page) parameter to the Applet (or the Java Web Start Application) to tell to use the System Tray instead, with default off ?

There are (few) cases when this could be useful, like Support Applications deployed to Customers: "send me the Applet log", or "Open the Console and tell me what is inside that log", or "tell me the exacp Java Version you have", and so on ...

Bye,
Sandro

kapta
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Joined: 2005-05-08
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This sounds like a good idea, this way you could also pass an argument to name your applet, so it appears named in the system tray, so it can easily be identified and killed if needed.

Or if not disabling system tray by default how about a vm parameter to disable system tray icon?

carcour
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Joined: 2003-06-18
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You're right I am also in favor of removing the Java icon in the tray. Flash is so widely used and its success is because of its perfect deployment and startup speed even though it had a weaker technology. Java on the other hand had a great technology but failed at the startup and the deployment. Java applets shouldn't clutter the user's system tray. People do not care about technology they care about end results. Some people might argue that the system tray are to enforce the Java brand but other methods should be used such as a great splash screen with Java.

Carl Antaki

demonduck
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Joined: 2008-03-14
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> You're right I am also in favor of removing the Java
> icon in the tray. Flash is so widely used and its
> success is because of its perfect deployment and
> startup speed even though it had a weaker technology.
> Java on the other hand had a great technology but
> failed at the startup and the deployment. Java
> applets shouldn't clutter the user's system tray.
> People do not care about technology they care about
> end results. Some people might argue that the system
> tray are to enforce the Java brand but other methods
> should be used such as a great splash screen with
> Java.
>
> Carl Antaki

I agree completely. I think that people know about Java by now after 10 years of pushing it into peoples faces. I think it's time for Java to become the invisible technology that works great and doesn't demand that the user become involved in configuring his/her system or making choices at startup or waiting for an "internet experience".

Wouldn't it be great if I could just show big panoramas in my applet viewer without anybody groaning at the need to set memory limits; wait for startup; see that stupid "I'm Java -- Love me" startup screen. Just do what the web developer want to do and shutup about it...

kbr
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Joined: 2003-06-16
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> Wouldn't it be great if I could just show big
> panoramas in my applet viewer without anybody
> groaning at the need to set memory limits; wait for
> startup; see that stupid "I'm Java -- Love me"
> startup screen. Just do what the web developer want
> to do and shutup about it...

You can do this right now with the new plug-in. Please see the Jake2 example at https://jdk6.dev.java.net/plugin2/jnlp/#EXAMPLES_JAKE2 . It completely customizes the user's experience so they don't know Java is in use.

demonduck
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Joined: 2008-03-14
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> > Wouldn't it be great if I could just show big
> > panoramas in my applet viewer without anybody
> > groaning at the need to set memory limits; wait
> for
> > startup; see that stupid "I'm Java -- Love me"
> > startup screen. Just do what the web developer
> want
> > to do and shutup about it...
>
> You can do this right now with the new plug-in.
> Please see the Jake2 example at
> https://jdk6.dev.java.net/plugin2/jnlp/#EXAMPLES_JAKE2
> . It completely customizes the user's experience so
> they don't know Java is in use.

You see, that's exactly what I mean. The web developer has to be proactive to *DISABLE* all the startup crap. I know how to defeat the default Java startup screen. I do it all the time. That's what I don't like. Why make me disable it so the user doesn't have to look at it? Java should just be quiet. A lot of developers don't take the time to disable the startup crap and it's really annoying stuff.

It's not just what I have to do. It's what should be done that is important.

Stop trying to get the attention of the user to tell them how great Java is. It's like some cheap salesman trying to make phony friends with someone so as to take advantage of them.

When Flash starts up or Acrobat or other plugins -- except for Quicktime -- which I avoid like the plague -- they just start. No memory hassles, no "Look at me, I'm XXXX" They just work -- quietly.

Stop trying to tell the World how great Java is. It makes Java look like it's not quite sure of itself. And there's a *LOT* of people who really hate Java on the desktop already. You are only making it worse by telling people "Look -- it's Java"

I repeat -- just shut up and work! If someone wants the console, it can be made visible from the menu bar. That's all "Javaness" the browser should exhibit. 99% of the users out there are *NOT* ever going to want to "...control the various JVMs...".

SUN's Java development need to start thinking transparency. They should stop trying to make Java important -- just make Java work...

dserodio
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Joined: 2004-02-10
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I agree with every single word of your post, it's something I've already complained before