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Open Source Tablet Unveiled at JavaOne

by Dan Woods on Sep 26, 2013 |

During this year's JavaOne conference, Oracle engineers unveiled a prototype tablet made with off-the-shelf parts and an interface built on Java SE 8. The "DukePad", as it is known, was revealed to attendees during the conference's technical keynote.

DukePad is powered by a Raspberry Pi and uses the Raspbian Linux operating system to bootstrap the tablet's environment. From there, the user interface is built with JavaFX to deliver a high-quality graphical user experience. Applications for the DukePad are built and exposed as JavaFX OSGi modules, running on Eclipse Equinox.

The tablet was designed as a do-it-yourself project, and its page on the OpenJDK Wiki notes definitively that the "DukePad is not a product, it is an open source, freely available set of plans". Thorough directions are provided for setting up the tablet's environment, including software downloads and configuration, as well as links to the hardware used to build the tablet.

Features of the tablet's hardware include: a 10 inch touch screen; an embedded camera; 16GB of SD storage; built-in wifi; an accelerometer; and a custom designed case. The 512MB of memory from the Raspberry Pi core is configured to evenly split between system memory and video memory. The directions note that 256MB models may succeed in a similar halved configuration, though the DukePad was built from a 512MB model.

The project's wiki page also has high-resolution templates for the case's design, which can be used to laser-cut acrylic for building the body of the tablet. Fully assembled, the tablet measures at just about two inches in thickness, and runs a price tag of about $350USD. The project page notes that the DukePad team is "working with Special Computing to provide pre-built kits that can be ordered." This will allow the tablet's components to be puchased as a single product, instead of compiled disperately and through many vendors.

The source code for the DukePad is freely available as part of the OpenJFX repository, and the wiki page has detailed instructions on how to build the project using IntelliJ IDEA and Gradle.

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