Tag Archives: Swing

JavaFX Script in Ann Arbor next week!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 at 6:30 pm (note new time and location)

I'm really excited!  The AAJUG meeting topic was announced today (for the meeting next week), and it's JavaFX Script, being presented by Raghavan "Rags" Srinivas, CTO of Technology Evangelism at Sun Microsystems.  Announced at JavaOne, JavaFX is a HOT topic in Java GUI building.  It's being discussed as a challenge to Flash.  Personally, I don't see that, but anything that helps build momentum in Java on the desktop (and simplify Swing development) is good, IMO.

The meeting announcement is at the Ann Arbor Java User Group website at http://www.aajug.org/.  Please RSVP so that there's enough pasta bar!

If you're a regular AAJUG attendee, Please note, we are meeting in a different room (changed again MONDAY)!


JavaFX Script

Ann Arbor Java User Group

Eclipse for SWT Development

Review/notes from May 1 meeting

On Tuesday, May 1, Carlus Henry from the Grand Rapids Java User Group, presented "Eclipse for SWT Development" at the Ann Arbor Java User Group.  He declared himself an Eclipse Enthusiast.  He drew a distinction between an evangelist and an enthusiast and declared that evangelists get paid for their admiration and enthusiasm!

In any case, he was definitely enthusiastic about both SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit) and Eclipse.  Since I use Eclipse, but all of my GUI building has been in Swing, so I was really interested to hear more about SWT.

SWT is pretty famous for its ability to maintain the native look and feel, and performance, by harnessing the JNI (Java Native Interface).  I recently met Josh Marinacci, of the Swing team, and I've seen what really cool things can be developed with Swing, so I definitely think that Sun is not sitting on their hands in this regard.  Over at SwingLabs, there's some very cool stuff to look at, including the Nimbus Look and Feel. 

SWT is used for Eclipse plugins and RCP (Rich Client Platform, for which SWT is the widget toolkit).  Eclipse itself is written using RCP.  One disadvantage of SWT over Eclipse is in terms of Resource Management.  Native calls mean that managing resources become the programmer's responsibility, specifically.  The parent-child relationship (tree structure of widgets) does make this easy, but you have to know to manage it.

From Carlus' demo, I didn't feel that the layout was any less cumbersome in SWT than in Swing, just different, and so an additional learning curve is required on top of Swing layout management, if you already understand that.

I didn't leave the meeting hot to try SWT any time soon.  Honestly, with what I've seen Josh and SwingLabs doing, I'm really pleased with the new things that you can accomplish in Swing, and I'm looking forward to seeing the screencast from his "just 1 line of new code" at JavaOne this week.

It took me a while to get this review out, and in the meantime, IBM pulled its support for the Visual Editor in Eclipse (GUI builder for SWT applications).  I'm left wondering what that means, especially considering Matisse is such a full featured editor for Swing development (see *** Wall (of the Java Posse)'s article on using Matisse)

I really enjoy meeting Carlus.  He's an excellent speaker and I look forward to hearing him speak again sometime soon.  He's also heavily involved in the software community in Grand Rapids and he and I have promised to share resources to do what we can to promote software development, share JUG speakers, etc. in Michigan.  And I sure hope that Carlus sends an abstract for CodeMash 2008!



SWT Visual Editor: Dead?

Swing Labs

NetBeans 5.5

NetBeans Milestones downloads

Web Frameworks Jam, Day 1

Greetings from Crested Butte!

I’m here, at Bruce Eckel’s Web Framework Jam, and (as expected) learning a lot already. We’ve broken up into 3 groups, each working on a different framework. Initial task is to become familiar with the framework. My group is working on TurboGears (the preview version, 0.9), and we’re not just working through the tutorial but also inspecting a lot of code along the way. A second group is working with Hibernate/Swing, and the third is using the Google Web Toolkit.

Each day, there’s time set aside for recreation (hey, if you’re in a beautiful place like this, you really SHOULD get out and do something!). Yesterday, we went on a nice, flat hike at Lake Irwin (flat is good, since we’re all still acclimating to the altitude, 9300 ft). Later in the week, I’m hoping to do some mountain biking. But … as we saw with the Programming the New Web conference here last March, the “breaks” really serve as a way for the groups to interact about what they’re learning as well. A lot (most) of the conversation centers around what we’re doing, something that most people who hang around with computer geeks probably don’t find surprising.

Wildflowers at Lake Irwin