Now this is neat news:

More info here and here.

Quick update a few hours later: IBM has started to provide for another open source-esque programming IDE to compete with Netbeans. They talk some rubbish about Eclipse being a portal and Netbeans being a little too Java-centric, but what's interesting to me is the SWT or Standard Widget Toolkit. When you hear "Java", I'm afraid you might think "Seeeeeelow", and you're right, in part. Swing, the platform independant, "lightweight" user interface toolkit, can be just that. I recently made a quick app on my iBook with a single form that has a JTable in with maybe 6 or 7 cols and hundreds of rows. Talk about your molassas when sorting or rearranging, etc.

AWT is Sun's Abstract Window Toolkit that builds off of native peers. But the ways that you access these widgets are the same no matter what OS you're using. Direct AWT use is discouraged by many Java powers that be (new look and feel for each OS, since you're using the natives -- Sun wants Java apps to look "Java"-like, or at least not native-like, I think) but AWT won't go away (and programmers can, if they want, con't to use AWT directly) because Swing's objects extend AWT objects.

IBM has performed an end run around Sun and made its own GUI interface that doesn't build off of AWT (Swing is highly customizable, and Sun wants you to start there). It talks to natives directly in a method that's apparently less-stringent and with less overhead than Sun's AWT. This increases performance of GUIs (all that's really slowing Java apps)... training started again - bbl.

From the Mac Java list, one poster wrote the following:
"IMHO, Swing is the biggest mistake Sun has made with
Java - there's not even a close second. And Sun is so stubborn, they
won't countenance anything else. Witness that they have refused to
allow any Eclipse/SWT sessions or even BOFs at JavaOne in March."

If that's the case Sun better stop slinging stones at M$ from their proverbial house of cards. (I know, I was supposed to go with glass houses, but I get so danged tired of the same ole proverbs spoutin' out over and over. At least mix the metaphor, you know?)