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Swing vs AWT

amit sanghai
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Joined: Dec 05, 2000
Posts: 231

Hi everybody,
Q1) What is the difference between Swing and AWT ? What exactly are lightweight components--- because some Swing components are also heavyweight like JFrame?
Q2) What are the advantages of Swing over AWT?
Manfred Leonhardt
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Joined: Jan 09, 2001
Posts: 1492
Heavyweight Component (AWT) - Uses native peers to supply graphical representation (Heavy). For example on Windows button looks like Windows button but on Unix the button looks like a Motif button.
Lightweight Component (Swing) - Doesn't use native peers to supply graphical representation (Light). Component itself handles all graphics; therefore a button will have the same look and feel running on any system (Mac, Unix, or Windows).
Heavy and light doesn't refer to the amount of work a component does just how it gets it done (Heavy - includes peer, Light - no peer needed).
Swing provides following advantages over AWT:
1. More dynamic components
2. More complex components (i.e., JTable)
3. New layout manager (Box)
4. Pluggable look and feel
NOTE: Since swing sits below AWT container you can mix AWT and Swing in any java program!
amit sanghai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2000
Posts: 231
Thanks Manfred.

What does the NOTE statement mean???
Manfred Leonhardt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 09, 2001
Posts: 1492
The NOTE statement means that you can use both AWT and swing elements in any java GUI. For example, lets suppose you have an AWT Panel that contains an AWT List. If you want to use a JPanel to get a border around the AWT List you just replace the AWT Panel with the JPanel.
I was just letting you know that if you decide to use Swing you are not stuck using all Swing components if you like the AWT alternative.
Good Luck,
Manfred.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Swing vs AWT