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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Up to Speed with Swing
Author:
Steven Gutz
ISBN:
1 884777 64 3
Publisher:
Manning
Pages:
498
Price:
£39-50
Reviewer:
Brian Bramer
Subject:
java; user interfaces
Appeared in:
10-6
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.