show() and hide() are deprecated since 1.1. Yes, you can still use them, but it's preferred that you use setVisible() instead. I think that the only reason for this is that Sun wanted method names to be more standardized. setXXX() and getXXX() are the standard names for methods which access a field XXX. This is important particularly if you are making a JavaBean out of the class, which is what Sun was doing when they made the change I think.