Simplifying a Swing Application for Dolphin

You heard about the two new Swing JSRs, each of which aim to make developing Swing applications easier, right ?

The Beans Binding JSR promises to simplify that large chunk of your Swing application concerned with hooking up a GUI component to the data it represents. This code is always concerned with keeping the data and the GUI in sync ("do I really have that little money in my checking account ?"), and usually its doing type conversion ("uh, my paycheck is in dollars, not pennies thankyou very much") and validation ("Error, you have entered an amount exceeding your current balance. Please rethink your plan to chuck it all in and sail round the world") as well. Scott's blog has much more on this new work.

Hans' Swing Application Framework JSR is aiming to provide standard API support for some of those chunks of code that keep popping their heads up in most all Swing applications, you know, the part that manages user preferences, or that remembers application specific state across sessions, or that preps things like databases on startup and cleans such things up on exit.

Ease of development has been a big deal for Java EE. In case you had your head in the sand, Java EE 5 is done, blossoming with a newly revamped programming model which focuses on ease of development. (Check out the before and afters from JavaOne - slides). There are of course as many opinions on ease of development as there are working styles. And working style can be a fraught area for us developers. We have on occasion been known to lose our cool in discussions thereof, particularly when personal styles become a public matter. When engaged (or occasionally enraged) in the activity of developing an application or system, our process is often very interior, solitary and introverted. While what we produce at the end can be a thing of functional or even aesthetic beauty, comparatively little of the process by which we got there remains. Were we sculptors, the floors of our studios would be waist deep with scrapings, chippings and discarded previous efforts. Were we musicians, we might laugh up our sleeves at us developers who think that 'doing our thing' in pairs is an extreme measure, or puzzle at the idea of an orchestra of soloists.

My only point being that ease of development is often an electric issue. However it appears that the main activities of development: learning, prototyping, designing, developing, enhancing and maintaining, benefit a majority of developers when they are kept brief and simple. That happens best when technology takes on some of the load, respectful of our attachment to style, for us.

I have high hopes these new JSRs will take some of the load of developing Swing applications for Java SE 7 'Dolphin', making the applications themselves shorter and simpler. And in a style that I hope will work for most everyone, not least because Scott and Hans will be joined in these efforts by some really expert luminaries of the Swing community.

That should ease development.

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You could honestly have a look at what MS has deseigned for the .Net 2.0 framework. They are 2 years in advance compare to where Java seats. Hopefully you will catch up MS. That is the best i can wish Java platform. Be as easy and developer friendly as MS platform is. Good luck.

Posted by sse on May 29, 2006 at 01:39 AM PDT #

This is pretty funny. MS has a lot of things there to make it easier until you want to see the source code or work with a non MS API.

Case in point... MS had a BOOTH at JavaOne this year. I had a guy tell me about this NEW and cool way to do GUI forms for the Vista and Rich Client platform. Sits directly over DirectX and will allow you to write on the paint thread and do custom components in C#.

I told the guy it sounds just like Swing but had the limitations of only running on a few OS platforms. Swing will run on ALL of MS's platforms but not C#. ;-)

I love C# and the author because I'm an old Borland fan. Great language and he is brilliant. The boat anchor for C# is .Net IMHO. Tons of COM/DCOM and old API code behind the curtain. The .Net download is 21MB which is bigger than the hard drive of my PC in college. ;-)

.Net needs KERNAL access and updates core modules. My JVM can run anywhere unlike the CLR. There is also the annoying SP updates. So like when SP2 changed some items in COM/DCOM and broke folks .Net applications. Not to mention the registry and .DLL items that need to be copied and deployed to EACH PC. WebStart is an awesome thing. ;-)

Posted by guest on June 02, 2006 at 01:57 PM PDT #

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