Southern Ohio Software Symposium
August 26 - 28, 2005 - Cincinnati, OH
Creating Polished Swing Applications
Too often, Swing applications are slow, ugly, and hard-to-maintain. It turns out that it doesn't have to be this way. Swing can be used to create highly-responsive, beautiful applications that are very maintainable. If this isn't consistent with your own experience, don't feel bad; its not very obvious how to make Swing sing.
In this session, I explore three topics that lead to much better Swing applications:
- Proper Swing threading
- High-quality third-party Swing look-and-feels
- Good practices for coding Swing applications
In the threading portion of the session, I explain Swing's event handling architecture and its implications for Swing applications. Understanding this topic is crucial to creating highly-responsive Swing apps. I demonstrate how to use this knowledge in the form of many live-coded examples, and I show how frameworks like SwingWorker and FoxTrot can make this easier. Java's default look-and-feel, Metal, is awful (and in my opinion, the "Ocean" theme in JDK 5.0 doesn't do enough to improve it); you should stop using it immediately. But creating good-looking applications is sadly more than slapping in a look-and-feel; you must also take care to understand the principles behind attractive layouts. I spend the second part of this session exploring how to make your Swing applications look great through a combination of third-party look-and-feels and layout techniques.
About Ben Galbraith
Ben Galbraith is a frequent technical speaker, occasional consultant, and author of several Java-related books. He is a co-founder of Ajaxian.com, an experienced CTO and Java Architect, and is presently a consultant specializing in Java Swing and Ajax development. Ben wrote his first computer program when he was six years old, started his first business at ten, and entered the IT workforce just after turning twelve. For the past few years, he’s been professionally coding in Java. Ben has delivered hundreds of technical presentations world-wide at venues including JavaOne, The Ajax Experience, JavaPolis, and the No Fluff Just Stuff Java Symposium series; he was the top-rated speaker at JavaOne 2006.More About Ben »