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From "Pilgrim, Peter" <>
Subject RE: Nice try (was Java code generator including Struts 1.2)
Date Thu, 11 Aug 2005 10:02:20 GMT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: 11 August 2005 06:39
> To: Struts Users Mailing List
> Subject: Re: Nice try (was Java code generator including Struts 1.2)
> OK, my post did look kind of ugly. It really wasn't directed 
> at any person, just at the words.
> I've been programming with Swing since 1.1.8 and finally I am 
> able to do it for a living. I've heard all the Swing stinks 
> arguments just like I've heard all the EJB stinks arguments. 
> But I've built applications using each that don't stink. It 
> took me a long time to get good at AWT/Swing/Graphics in 
> Java. Years. The applications that people commonly use for a 
> point of reference, such as Limewire, just don't illustrate 
> what these APIs can do. You haven't seen what's behind 
> corporate firewalls. JFC exposes much, graphically, that the 
> underlying windowing toolkit has to offer. There is nothing 
> stopping you from taking a blank panel, a Graphics2D and 
> implementing your own layout managers and all your own 
> controls. And they won't be slow unless you write code that 
> doesn't take a Thread from point A to point B on the shortest 
> route possible. In fact, they have a good chance of being 
> awesome. But, you can get tangled up in large method stacks 
> if you don't scour the source and examine a lot of stack 
> traces, if you just blindly use the APIs and "recommended" 
> coding styles.
> I've criticized Swing too. The main problem with it is that 
> the authors used private and package-private fields and 
> methods everywhere, making subclassing difficult and in some 
> places nearly impossible. Library designers should use 
> protected unless told otherwise. There are other criticisms 
> but that's my main one.
> But, it made me mad when I started reading all these articles 
> about SWT and Eclipse and how Swing "sucked". I didn't want 
> Sun/JCP to ever buy that. People parrot that stuff. I want 
> Sun/JCP to keep on working on it and keep on making it 
> better. It has come a long way and you can do ANYTHING with 
> it if you invest the time instead of looking for some 
> framework or plugin to do everything for you.
> Anyway, I know, I'm on the wrong list. All I should have said 
> is: Good Swing code is anything but "crap code".
> Erik

Before getting into Servlets I did a hell of a lot Swing development. 
Investment banks in the UK were using Swing and the Java Plug-in 
way back in 1999, before uptake of Servlets and JSP.

In fact I reviewed the first edition of Manning's book "Swing" by 
Vorobev et al for the Association of C/C++ Users in the UK 
( The my review quote is printed on the 
subsequent editions of the book. This was and still is great book 
that clearly demonstrate what you can achieved with the Swing API 
circa 2000. 

I have left Swing / Java2D behind both professionally and leisurely
to concentrate on J2EE architecture, but I have fond members of 
tinkering with the Swing. For one thing it was god-send back then
when all you had was AWT. I bet things have improved immensely
with JNDC and what the Sun Swing team have done since I turned J2EE.

If you were at JavaONE you cant failed to be impressed with the Joplin
MP3 player demonstation. If you were at the pavillion and talked to
Sun JFC guys they are pressing ahead with more innovations
and are seriously reviewing and acting the look and feel criticism

One thing that is always levered at Swing constantly is it is graphic emulation
of the native platform's look and feel. For this is one of Swing 
core strength, nowhere have I seen a toolkit with a pluggable 
look and feel architecture. A fantastic example of applying desing
pattern. Because of that you should really learn Swing to see 
how a very complex but very useful API can be designed. 

People get itchy, however, about PLAF: Meaning that Java is slow. 
At this year's JavaONE, the idea that Java is slow is completely
nonsense. I was blown away by Java 3D demonstration. Admittedly 
the demo I saw was one 3D POV and speeding over an intense detailed
mountainous display. For a gaming you 'd need artifical combatants 
and intelligence and lots of collision detection etc etc but 
man it was amazing to see Java doing the business. The future is bright.

Peter Pilgrim :: J2EE Software Development
Operations/IT - Credit Suisse First Boston, 
Floor 15, 5 Canada Square, London E14 4QJ, United Kingdom
Tel: +44-(0)207-883-4497

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