Lone Star Software Symposium: Dallas
October 27 - 29, 2006 - Dallas, TX
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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 Scott Delap
Scott Delap is President of Rich Client Solutions, Inc., a software consulting firm focusing on technologies such as Swing, Eclipse RCP, GWT, Flex, and Open Laszlo. He is actively involved in the Java community, speaking at events such as NFJS, QCon and JavaOne. Scott is also the Java Editor of InfoQ.com and runs ClientJava.com, a portal focused on desktop Java development.More About Scott »