Chapter 11. Java Tools and Technologies

This chapter discusses an aspect that is critical for Java application development, and one that is often overlooked – the right mix of ingredient tools and technologies for a project. It focuses mostly on GUI development and is slightly biased towards open source software (OSS) over commercial products. It deals with Java GUI development tools and technologies only.

After introducing the practice of tool selection for Java technology and covering some aspect of OSS, we will focus on perhaps the most crucial, and often irreversible, choice in Java GUI tool selection: whether to opt for Swing or SWT. After discussing the various issues related to these two toolkits in detail, other tools and technologies available to Java GUI developers are outlined.

This chapter is structured as follows:

11.1, Introduction to tool selection discusses the general issues involved in selecting ingredient technologies and tools for building a Java GUI.

11.2, Evaluating open source software illustrates various aspects of OSS technology evaluation in more detail, introducing the OSS maturity model.

11.3, SWT or Swing? is dedicated to the differences in the two foundational technologies for Java desktop GUIs.

11.4, Other GUI technologies discusses some alternative technologies to SWT and Swing for Java GUIs.

11.5, Utility libraries lists various (mostly OSS) GUI utility libraries, including development, security and deployment tools, sets of specialized components, and ...

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