REVIEW - Up to Speed with Swing - User Interfaces with Java Foundation Classes

Title:

Up to Speed with Swing - User Interfaces with Java Foundation Classes

Author:

Steven Gutz

ISBN:

1884777643

Publisher:

Manning Publications (1998)

Pages:

498pp

Reviewer:

Brian Bramer

Reviewed:

December 1998

Rating:

★★★☆☆

Clearly Swing is a major advance on the AWT and very important for professional system developers. This book presents a through introduction and reference to Swing (why to use it, how to use it, how to optimise it, etc.). The explanations are clear and concise and there are plenty of sample programs (available from a web site). Recommended for the professional developer and as a student text in an HCI module.

Although GUIs may be built using the Java AWT it uses native host operating GUI components and hence has a platform dependent look-and-feel. This fine when working with one host system, all the programs have the same interface. When using the same program on different platforms the use of buttons, pull down menus, etc. depends on the host system.

The subtitle of this text is

User interfaces with Java Foundation Classes . Swing (part of the JFC) is a set of GUI components layered on top of the basic graphics and windowing facilities of the AWT to give a platform independent look-and- feel. Part one (52 pages) reviews the AWT and then discusses Swing basics - the MVC (the Model-View-Controller) architecture, the role of delegates, the pluggable UIs available and the
JComponent
class. Part two (238 pages) covers the Swing components (panels, buttons, menus, dialogues, etc.) and part three advanced topics, in particular creating custom look-and-feel and optimising performance. Note that creating your own UIs with a corporate look-and-feel is a non-trivial task. However, Swing currently supports several plug-gable UIs (including X-windows Motif) which may be selected with the UIManager.setLookAndFeel method.

Clearly Swing is a major advance on the AWT and very important for professional system developers. This book presents a through introduction and reference to Swing (why to use it, how to use it, how to optimise it, etc.). The explanations are clear and concise and there are plenty of sample programs (available from a web site). Recommended for the professional developer and as a student text in an HCI module.


Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.