ThinG - a GUI Editor for Thinlet

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ThinG is a XUL GUI Editor for Thinlet.

Thinlet is a GUI toolkit for Java, designed for really thin clients running on Java 1.1, Personal Java or Personal Basis Profile (MIPD), Applets, as well as full featured stand-alone applications running on J2SE 1.4. GUIs are build using XML (XUL) descriptors. It is a fast and flexible alternative to Swing.

ThinG has been written by Dirk Möbius in (almost) seven days, using JDK 1.4. The license is GPL. Of course, it is written using Thinlet itself.



2005/03/10 - A word about Thinlet versions

There's a new Thinlet version on the Thinlet homepage called thinlet-2005-02-27. I advise you not to use this version to run ThinG. You will get an error if you try. Please use the version of thinlet.jar provided by ThinG in directory lib/. Also, make sure that you do not accidentally have another version of thinlet.jar in your CLASSPATH when you start ThinG!

However, you may use the newest version thinlet-2005-02-27 to run your application with a Thinlet XML document that has been created by ThinG. But please notice that there are some (minor) differences between the attributes of both versions:

Element ThinG version
Thinlet version
dialog Attribute close defines a method that will be called when the dialog is closed. Attribute closable is a boolean that indicates whether a close icon will be shown on the dialog.
header Attribute resizable is a boolean that indicates whether table columns are resizable. Table columns are not resizable.
textfield, combobox, spinbox, passwordfield No alignment attribute. Attribute alignment controls text alignment inside the component.

Also, i18n support has been changed. Since ThinG doesn't support i18n at the moment, I will not go further into details. I18n support is planned for a future release.

I admit that the current situation totally discontenting. I'd expected the new version of thinlet.jar to be downwards compatible with the current ThinG version, given that I used a checkout from their CVS repository. Instead, the new version is totally different!! This stems from the fact that there are two groups of Thinlet developers currently struggling about the future direction of Thinlet.
Until those differences are sorted out, all I can do is to wait for the Thinlet API to stabilize. As soon as this happens, I'll release a new ThinG version that supports whatever features are contained in Thinlet.

My apologies for not being able to provide a better solution.

2005/01/28 - BugTracker and Forum links added

Don't hesitate to post bug reports, feature requests or any general comments about ThinG.

2004/11/28 - Binary installer available

See below in the "Download" section.
I'll add more detailled installation and compilation descriptions later. I hope it suffices for now...
Also later: WebStart demo!

2004/11/22 - ThinG v0.1 released.

Although it looks like an alpha release, I consider it at least of beta quality -- almost all Thinlet components can be edited by ThinG (everything but <bean>). Please give it a try!
More information follows.


  • Either a Java Runtime Environment, or J2SE, version 1.4 or higher

    Note that version 1.4 is only required to run ThinG. Thinlets created by ThinG will run on any platform mentioned above.


Binaries: thing-0.1-install.jar
Install ThinG by either double clicking the install file (Windows) or by running 'java -jar thing-0.1-install.jar' (Unix).
Source code: thing-src-0.1.tar.gz
Ant 1.6.2 or higher is required. Run 'ant -projecthelp' in the top-level directory of the source tree for compilation options.
CVS: Browse the ThinG CVS Repository
Information about read-only access to the CVS source code repository can be found here.


  • Thinlet - what the fuzz is all about: the GUI toolkit created by Robert Bajzat.
  • Scriptable Thinlet - an extension to Thinlet, which allows you to write  your Thinlet actions in BeanShell, JavaScript, Jython or Groovy, embedded into your XML document. In the near future, ThinG will support Scriptable Thinlets.
  • Theodore - another XUL Editor for Thinlet, written by Wolf Paulus. Theodore is a very good, full-featured and popular application, with professional support, and a continuing inspiration for ThinG. (Trial-Ware)
  • Open XUL Alliance - a portal for XUL (XML UI Language) toolkits such as Thinlet.
  • jEdit - a programmer's text editor and a development environment, written in Java. ThinG is being developed with jEdit.
  • Ant - a build tool for Java, superior to make. Ant is required to build ThinG from the sources.

Dirk Möbius (dmoebius at
Last update: 2005/03/15
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