I just had a great experience installing and configuring free message board software from Snitz
. It was no hassle and I had something up a couple of minutes after I downloaded it. I didn't bother to read the instructions, it told me what to do when I pointed my browser to it.
If I could have one thing, I'd like a totally anonymous board. With Snitz, users need to register before they can post--I like the NNTP (give any name you want when you post) style. It's the kind of style you see at JoelOnSoftware
or F'd Company
I don't know why Sun can't solve the problem of making native feeling GUI's with totally portable code. It has been done before, and they are so close. The problem with Swing apps is that they don't feel or act native. You can't use a scroll mouse with them, they blink excessively on redraw, and they are so sloooooow.
Look at what the Eclipse team did
. SWT apps scream and are portable. They feel native, and use lots of native code, but the code you write is 100% Java. This toolkit is so good that you can't even tell that the apps are written in Java. The one problem with SWT is that it introduces a new API--it's not just an implementation of Swing. That's too bad, because if it were, the regular implementations would disappear. My guess is that it's just not easy to make an implementation of Swing this way, especially with the pluggable look and feels (which should just go away).