December 18, 2002
Getting into the Swing of Full-scale Graphical Applications: O'Reilly Releases a New Edition of "Java Swing"
Sebastopol, CA--Java developers who moved from applets to full-scale
applications in the mid-'90s exposed several weaknesses of the Java
Developer Kit, one of which was the primitive functionality of GUI
components in the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT). To fix that particular
problem, Sun Microsystems' Java group came up with Swing, a set of much
more complete, flexible, and portable user interface components written
entirely in Java. According to the authors of Java Swing (O'Reilly,
US $54.95), Swing revolutionized user interface development, enabling
enterprise development in Java. With the release of Java 2 SDK 1.4,
Swing's performance is even better.
"The developers at Sun have put some hard work into speeding up all of
the Swing components," notes Marc Loy, one of five authors who
contributed to "Java Swing," now available in a new edition. "One place
where Java has really become popular is in the development of intranet
applications. Swing is still the easiest cross-platform environment
with which to build the client-side. If you need cross platform GUIs,
Swing is definitely the way to go."
Loy and his cohorts have completely revised their comprehensive book
not only to cover features available in Java 2 SDK 1.3 and 1.4, but
also to include extensive coverage of Java on the new Mac OS X
environment. More than a reference, the new edition of "Java Swing" has
hundreds of useful examples and detailed explanations to help
programmers of all skill levels create code quickly and effectively. "I
think our book is unique in its depth and breadth of coverage," Loy
says. "We have every class in the Swing packages and try to show more
complex examples than the average Swing book."
"Java Swing" offers a complete introduction to the entire Swing
component set--tables, trees, sliders, spinners, progress bars,
internal frames, text components, and more--with discussions on how to
use them, display them on the screen, register for events, get
information from them, extend them, and even create new ones. The book
also goes into detail about the model-delegate architecture behind the
components and discusses the data models. As the book explains,
"Understanding the models is essential when you're working on an
application that requires something significantly different from the
component's default behavior."
The new edition also examines an exciting aspect of Swing known as
"Pluggable Look-and-Feel." With this feature, developers can choose
among several pre-built L&Fs, including Windows, Unix Motif (common in
Windows 3.1), Java Metal, and the stunning new Mac OS X L&F based on
Apple's Aqua user interface. Or, they can change the L&F of each
individual component, something that game developers might appreciate.
While the Swing API is the primary focus of the book, "Java Swing" now
has chapters on other libraries in the Java Foundation Classes. That
includes Java's Drag and Drop package and the Accessibility features
for assisting users who have trouble with traditional user interfaces.
The book also explores layout managers, such as the SpringLayout Class,
and formatted text fields.
"Reasonably experienced Java programmers who need to develop graphical
applications will appreciate this new edition," Loy comments. "And
experienced graphical user interface programmers will find several new
topics and nuances to explore. Programmers new to the GUI world will
find a wealth of examples on the broad range of graphical components in
the Swing packages. Developers should have a book that covers the vast
topics related to Swing application design and our book tackles that
Java Swing, 2nd Edition
By Marc Loy, Robert Eckstein, David Wood, James Elliott, Brian Cole
0-596-00408-7, Order Number: 4087
1278 pages, $54.95 US, $85.95 CA, 38.95 UK
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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