Desktop Java – not perfect but doing well. Thanks for asking.

Just thought I’d quickly comment on this blog I just read.

Calling Swing a toy is just not serious. You should see business-critical applications built using Swing. I meet customers that are building on a daily basis… and even in the military just this morning. Oh, and Swing was built to go way beyond AWT and IBM helped a lot in that process, so having SWT (which IBM acquired vs. built) today is a bit ironic. More generally on Swing (history present, and future, you should read this recent article.

Swing may be too low level or too hard to learn for some developers, but it’s highly flexible and this is what makes it a great choice for many non trivial UIs.

– Java Web Start is was applets should have been and is being improved in every Java release

– Desktop java in Java 6 is BIG – no more gray-rect, anti-aliased fonts, desktop integration, performance, group-layout, etc… is a Sun sponsored Open Source project and it is an ever lasting innovation engine (some parts have made it into Java 6)

Matisse (the NetBeans Swing builder) has proven to be a game changer and brought a number of people back from web apps.

– The NetBeans Platform is the higher level framework you want on top of Swing to build modular enterprise applications. It’s already quite broadly used.

– Sun has invested in Apache Derby (aka JavaDB) a lot and one clear use-case is to have this RDBMS embedded in a Swing app.

Looking at this, I really have a hard time believing Sun has abandonned Desktop Java!

Oh, and I almost forgot about JSR 295, “Java Beans Binding,” and JSR 296, “Swing Application Framework,” coming soon to an IDE near you…

Sun seriously believes in AJAX (jMaki, Phobos, Java Studio Creator, DynaFaces, …), but that’s really not the only way to go for clients as people often need fast client-side data manipulation, keyboard/focus driven applications, offline use, etc… So Swing is a nice fit and it now even has AJAX support !

Your post says something about Sun’s messaging though…

Author: alexismp

Google Developer Relations in Paris.

One thought on “Desktop Java – not perfect but doing well. Thanks for asking.”

  1. “SWT (which IBM acquired vs. built)”
    I read this as IBM bought a company that wrote SWT instead of building it itself. First, who cares whether it was bought vs. built. Second, it wasn’t bought, unless you are thinking about IBM’s purchase of OTI, which predates the development of SWT.
    Or I’m misunderstanding you.

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