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Old 08-19-2004, 10:48 AM   #1
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Sunrise 0.1 released

Sunrise is my new tool for converting web sites and newsfeeds for offline reading on your handheld.

Essentially, Sunrise is a much-improved version of JPluck, you should definitely check it out:
  • Native Windows interface
  • Multiple simultaneous conversions
  • Liberal, fault-tolerant RSS feed parsing
  • Stores downloads in an offline cache for fast subsequent retrievals
  • Improved Mozilla integration.
Sunrise requires Java 1.4.2 and is only available for Windows. Sunrise is freeware (but not open-source).

Sunrise Quick Tour, contains many screenshots.

Update: Sunrise 0.2.1 (2004-08-26) now available. Better desktop integration and a handy New Item Wizard. Also, major bugfixes for cookies and HTML detection.

Download from PalmGear

More information: Frequently Asked Questions

Last edited by Laurens; 08-27-2004 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Added Quick Tour
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Old 08-19-2004, 11:23 AM   #2
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Laurens, I haven't looked at it yet, but the screenshots look great - and judging from your programming skills (JPluck), I am sure Sunrise is going to be a hit!
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:33 PM   #3
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This looks exciting, thanks for the news. I have to admit that you've peaked my curiosity for your final product. Thanks for releasing the early versions for Plucker. I'm sure the community will appreciate that.
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Old 08-19-2004, 02:29 PM   #4
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Very nice Laurens. Really looking forward to your new viewer. I am sure it will be a hit because you are an awesome programmer and you provide us with some really nice links like NYT, BBC, CNET and Reuters. Isilox does not even support rss feeds but Sunrise does and that makes all the difference. I hope there is some support for anti-aliased fonts in the future. Plucker supports this but I am not sure if Palm OS 6 will make this easiear for programmers to develop.

Last edited by mercedes; 08-19-2004 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 08-19-2004, 02:50 PM   #5
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Laurens,

I started playing with Sunrise and I would like to know how to use the jxl files on your web site with the Sunrise desktop? Sunrise loads way faster that jpluck.

Last edited by mercedes; 08-19-2004 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 08-19-2004, 04:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercedes
I started playing with Sunrise and I would like to know how to use the jxl files on your web site with the Sunrise desktop? Sunrise loads way faster that jpluck.
Well, Sunrise uses its own SDL format, instead of JXL, so you can't use the files from the JPluck site. There are some example SDLs provided in the distribution: BBC News, Christian Science Monitor and New York Times. I will provide more examples with the next update. (Due next week, I will try to post weekly updates.)

In the future, I want to provide an online Showcase where people can upload and share their SDL definitions. There should also be an option to automatically synchronize your SDL with the latest online copy. (I.e. "check for updates".) This ensures that you always have the most up-to-date definitions. (I always get a barrage of e-mail when the New York Times changes something on their site that causes the JXL to stop working correctly. I want to avoid that in the future.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercedes
Sunrise loads way faster that jpluck.
This is because it uses a native Windows UI, rather than Swing. You've probably noticed that the interface feels as responsive as any other Windows application. Sunrise and other SWT apps like Azureus and RSSOwl do not suffer from that familiar sluggish feel associated with Java apps and load much faster.

Startup might become a bit slower once you have more downloads in the cache, though. I've not optimized the startup procedure yet, so there's some gain to be made here.
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Old 08-20-2004, 11:58 AM   #7
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Could there be a way to import .jxl into .sdl?
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Old 08-21-2004, 04:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgetguru
Could there be a way to import .jxl into .sdl?
Well, converting between the two formats isn't as straightforward as you might think. There are some important differences in the more advanced settings like XSL transformation and URI rewriting. I kind of balk at implementing such a feature as my time is very limited. (I will be working on my viewer virtually non-stop for the rest of the year.) In a few weeks I hope to have implemented the Showcase I've talked about earlier in this thread.
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Old 08-23-2004, 11:30 AM   #9
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So if I understand you right, Laurens, you're developing something new along the lines of Plkr and iSilo?
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Old 08-23-2004, 12:34 PM   #10
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Yes, my viewer will be similar to Plucker and iSilo. It has a twist, though, but I can't reveal what that is at this point. I don't want to give the competition any good ideas.
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Old 08-23-2004, 12:42 PM   #11
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Heh I am sure you already made them so curious they are waiting like vultures
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Old 08-24-2004, 09:50 PM   #12
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Hey Laurens, I've replaced Jpluck with Sunrise and have been very happy so far. It does seem to work better for me than Jpluck. Is there a "PluckThis" style extension available for Sunrise? That's the only reason that I need to keep Jpluck around at all just now...
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Old 08-25-2004, 12:28 AM   #13
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I've tried the original Sunrise, and now the 0.2 version, and both fail to get through the first document I've created (the online copy of the FreeBSD handbook, if anyone is curious =). I've tried it under 2000, XP, and 2003, all with the latest service packs and patches installed. It gets about 80% of the way through (grinding the machine to an absolute halt), then throws a Java exception (org.eclipse.swt.SWTException, Failed to execute runnable (java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Argument cannot be null)), and the whole thing closes itself. Nice.

But the UI looks fairly nice. Unfortunately it uses SWT. Most Java professionals will tell you to stay miles away from that if you ask them, because it is implemented with native binaries, thus destroying Java's portability (more here). SWT is no more responsive than well-written Swing. At least there are alternatives to using that, and the JPluck project is definately not going to be dying anytime soon.

I can't reveal our plans, but Sunrise will have a huge amount of healthy competition very soon, and the JPluck codebase will be retrofit, renamed, and relicensed to allow a lot more contributors to help out with the new project.
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Old 08-25-2004, 03:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignatz
Hey Laurens, I've replaced Jpluck with Sunrise and have been very happy so far. It does seem to work better for me than Jpluck. Is there a "PluckThis" style extension available for Sunrise? That's the only reason that I need to keep Jpluck around at all just now...
Yes, choose "Help -> Send to Sunrise", this will open the page from where you can install the Mozilla extension or the bookmarklet.

Last edited by Laurens; 08-25-2004 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 08-25-2004, 05:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
I've tried the original Sunrise, and now the 0.2 version, and both fail to get through the first document I've created (the online copy of the FreeBSD handbook, if anyone is curious =). I've tried it under 2000, XP, and 2003, all with the latest service packs and patches installed. It gets about 80% of the way through (grinding the machine to an absolute halt), then throws a Java exception (org.eclipse.swt.SWTException, Failed to execute runnable (java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Argument cannot be null)), and the whole thing closes itself. Nice.
This happens because the VM is running out of memory. The high memory usage is a pervasive problem in the core JPluck library that dates back to the very first release (which I hacked together for fun) and it cannot be fixed without rewriting the library from scatch. Anyway, this issue makes Sunrise unsuitable for converting very large Plucker documents, but typical web content converts fine. (The conversion library for my own viewer has been designed with low memory consumption in mind from the start, so no problems there.)

All the same, I will add an option so that you can configure the maximum amount of memory that the VM can allocate. Currently, it's fixed at 128Mb, which should be plenty for typical documents. I had to push it over 300Mb for the FreeBSD document to convert, which only goes to show how flawed the core JPluck library really is. For the sake of comparison: when I convert the FreeBSD document to my own viewer's format, the memory usage spikes at 30Mb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
But the UI looks fairly nice. Unfortunately it uses SWT. Most Java professionals will tell you to stay miles away from that if you ask them, because it is implemented with native binaries, thus destroying Java's portability (more here). SWT is no more responsive than well-written Swing.
Most Java professionals who have spent a significant amount of time with Swing will acknowledge that for many applications Swing just doesn't cut it. Swing apps use more memory, start up slower and simply aren't as responsive as native UIs. Java's bad reputation for being slow and sluggish rests solely with Swing. believe SWT gives Java a second chance on the desktop. Just witness the surge in popularity of Eclipse and the declining usage of NetBeans, for example, or look at the huge popularity of something like Azureus. Anyway, numerous SWT vs. Swing flame wars have been fought and there's no need to start one here. Both technologies have their merits and drawbacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker
I can't reveal our plans, but Sunrise will have a huge amount of healthy competition very soon, and the JPluck codebase will be retrofit, renamed, and relicensed to allow a lot more contributors to help out with the new project.
Good luck, you'll need it. I know the JPluck code inside out (I wrote all of it) and I honestly believe you're better off starting from scratch. Really, I'm not saying that out of spite.
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