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Practical Swing Applications

krishna anand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2001
Posts: 61
No doubt Swing is a powerful tool for creating rich GUI but I do not see much of it being put to use for practical real word applications .Does anyone here have real world experience in using Swing for their projects .If so kindly illustrate the extent to which use used Swing for your projects .
------------------
Krishna


Krishna
Wirianto Djunaidi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 20, 2001
Posts: 210

Are you kidding? There are tons of examples of Swing
application out there.
Some of the stuff I did use Swing, and to develop
my application I use: Netbeans( aka Forte for Java )
as IDE and ArgoUML for Modeling. Both use Swing.
Go over to http://sourceforge.net
and check out all the Java stuff there, granted that
not all of them GUI/Client type application. But when they
do, they usually use Swing.
What else do you want to use? (beside AWT that is)
I know there are a lot of commercial and non-commercial
Graphics Library out there, but most of them are specialized
GUI component that is not in Swing. And most of them
use Swing/AWT framework.
-Ryo
krishna anand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2001
Posts: 61
Dear RYO
Many thanks for your prompt reply and also for mentioning the site for Swing Applications .Well my question was purely a generic one because these days Java is getting more focussed on the Server side and generally among developers people discuss more about Servlets/JSP/EJBs rather than Swing /AWT/JFC etc .I am highly passionate about Java but my concern is basically how the future of Client Side Java will be .If you can share your insights on this then please do so .
------------------
Krishna
Nathan Pruett
Bartender

Joined: Oct 18, 2000
Posts: 4121

Krishna,
Java is focused more on the server side now because of the JVM incompatibilties between Netscape and IE. This is not a problem on server-side Java, so Java is used more for "professional" web development on the server side.
Since most browsers are still in the dark ages in relation to JVMs, most applet work that is done is still in AWT, since that is all that most browsers currently support. However, with Netscape 6 ( I think ) coming with Java 1.2 support, and IE coming with no Java support ( reportedly ) and forcing users to download the plugin, I think more Swing-based applets will be appearing. However, the problem is with backward compatibility. All those AOL users out there that don't even know what version of browser they are running ( let alone what a browser is! ) will probably be running browsers that only support AWT applets for awhile. And "professional" sites certainly wouldn't like to alienate this customer base! So AWT applets will probably be the norm for quite some time... but with Swing applets getting more and more popular over time until they become the standard.
But Java is not all about the internet. Almost any stand-alone application being developed in Java is using a Swing GUI. This is because Swing has so much added functionality over the old AWT. The company I work for is currently developing a stand-alone Java application and they are using Swing for the GUI. (Well, a wrapped version of Swing... for faster development supposedly... )
-Nate


-Nate
Write once, run anywhere, because there's nowhere to hide! - /. A.C.
krishna anand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2001
Posts: 61
Dear Nathan
Many thanks for your detailed reply .I do understand the problem in using Swing Applets currently and I also feel that for some more time we will not be seeing any Swing Applets .
My Main interest is knowing how much of Swing is being used for developing Stand Alone GUI Applications in the Industry currently and whether it will "replace" Visual Basic /Visual C++ for developing stand alone GUI Applications in the future .Can you please share more views on this .
------------------
Krishna
Aleksey Matiychenko
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 178
As a VB as well as Java programmer I can say that VB is a great language. Yeah,Yeah I know this is a java site so any mention of Microsoft is probably not allowed. Anyway there is still a big reason to use Swing. I personally think that swing is more powerful then VB built in functions. Besides there is always LINUX and UNIX workstations. So developing in swing would allow you to run on all three platforms. At some point even for windows development that becomes really a religious question of Java vs Microsoft. I am certified in both VB and Java but now don't even have VB installed on my machine.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Just to add on, if you DO have an Applet in Swing, there is a plug-in available (for free) from Sun that points the browser at the 1.3 version of java allowing all the new functionality. However it requires the users participation in allowing the download to their hard drives.
http://java.sun.com/products/plugin/1.3/docs/quick_start.html


"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
eric moon
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 26, 2000
Posts: 133
A my company, we have several major tools written in Swing, which see a lot of use. One is a replacement for the same app in VB. Our biggest problem has been inferior scrolling performance in JTable. Other than that, Swing seems to work very well. There are still some bugs in the corners--it doesn't seem quite as "solid" as a VB app, but it's very effective. The app could have been written in C++, but the company considered that cross platform functionality and development ease offset the speed gains of C++. Except for the repainting, the java runs very fast. And we're able to leverage our work in ways I don't think we could in VB.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the<BR>votes decide<BR>everything." <BR> -Joseph Stalin<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
krishna anand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2001
Posts: 61
Dear Eric
Thanks for your message .I am glad that Swing is being used in place of V.B in your company.But kindly tell me how much does the speed play a role in the difference between V.B and Swing based applications .I have a Swing application which is a "Test Simulator" and it does not have a rich GUI interface ,yet it runs slowly and you are right , the scrolling facility is also not that much good .Anyhow I feel that in days to come we will see all these issues being resolved by Sun .What do you feel ? Are you optimistic about Swing being used widely for Stand alone GUI Applications in place of V.B.
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Krishna
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

Krishna,
We are currently re-writing all of our applications. They have been in Foxpro 2.6 and also Cobol. We are currently creating a 3-tier architecture with Oracle on the back-end, Weblogic App Server with EJBs on the middle tier, and Swing on the front-end. We do nothing on the web. It is all stand-alone, with a WAN for the three major region offices. In Seattle, SF area, and LA Area. We are in the midst of the first application and have no problems with Swing's speed for the application. the only problem we have is in reporting. All the tools out there are new, and need a lot of work. Since we aren't using the web makes it more difficult, because all the report writers assume Web, that you will serve the reports to the client, and are too expensive.
In reports, the client is what determines the report, in our case, with the report writers assumption that the reports are created overnight, and served to the user's makes it difficult for us. And the report writer's are really slow. It takes our report 2 minutes to show in Swing, whereas the foxpro program that we are replacing takes .05 seconds.
I still like Swing to build a gui. It has a couple of quirks, but it also has some huge flexibilty that other GUI building tools/languages don't have. Ie, multiple ActionListeners to one component.
ramble, ramble, ramble, ok I'm done rambling
Mark Spritzler


Perfect World Programming, LLC - Two Laptop Bag - Tube Organizer
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way FAQ
krishna anand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2001
Posts: 61
Dear Mark
Many thanks for your message .I am very glad that Swing is being put to use in Enterprise level applications .But does your compnay use any IDE for developing GUI front ends in Swing or do you use only the JDK .If so which is the best IDE for developing Swing Based applications according to you .Kindly share your insights in this .

------------------
Krishna
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

Hi, I have an update.
We are scrapping our Java Swing Front-end. because it is just not quite there. It has some quirkiness that makes it not usable by end-users. If you ahve ever seen a Swing front-end, you will notice how easily you can make it mess up, through hitting the Enter Key, Mouse Clicks, and Tabs. You can make more than one component have Focus at the same time.
That along with no good Reporting Tools using Swing and having any speed, makes Swing just a slight bit short on the practical Business Application.
So what is? who knows? I am trying to use JIntegra with VB, so the front-end can be VB, but I am not sure if it will be a ble to do everything.
So I take back all my other posts. Someday soon, Swing will be ready, but until they get the little bugs out, we are stricken to look for another alternative.
We still are using EJBs to access the Oracle Database, and to store the Business Logic.
I hope Swing is there soon, because for the most part, I had fun programming with it.
Mark Spritzler
Harry Pfohl
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 21, 2001
Posts: 17
Hi to all swing users,
Swing is the best api for me to write GUI applications. I have never found anything else so good as the Layout Managers of Swing.
During the last years we wrote a tool called JEasy (www.jeasy.de) and had some big projects with it.
We define all Swing components in a repository, check it in a preview and then they are stored in XML.
At runtime the XML is read and the GUI is build out of it. All the placements are done by the Layout Managers.
In our projects we didn't have to change our source, because the GUI is not part of it.
Now we are testing a http-Connector to build Swing applications working in the internet.
The same code works as an applet and as an application.
We had a lot of projects in Cobol, C++, VB and Access before, but the best combination is Java, Swing and JEasy.
Please have a look to it and give me a request.
Harry Pfohl
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 21, 2001
Posts: 17
Hi Mr. Mark Spritzler,
I'm working with SWING from the beginning. For our company it was
the right way going with SWING in some projects's.
try http://www.jeasy.de before checking for other kinds of
GUI programming.
Harry Pfohl
Originally posted by Mark Spritzler:
Hi, I have an update.
We are scrapping our Java Swing Front-end. because it is just not quite there. It has some quirkiness that makes it not usable by end-users. If you ahve ever seen a Swing front-end, you will notice how easily you can make it mess up, through hitting the Enter Key, Mouse Clicks, and Tabs. You can make more than one component have Focus at the same time.
That along with no good Reporting Tools using Swing and having any speed, makes Swing just a slight bit short on the practical Business Application.
So what is? who knows? I am trying to use JIntegra with VB, so the front-end can be VB, but I am not sure if it will be a ble to do everything.
So I take back all my other posts. Someday soon, Swing will be ready, but until they get the little bugs out, we are stricken to look for another alternative.
We still are using EJBs to access the Oracle Database, and to store the Business Logic.
I hope Swing is there soon, because for the most part, I had fun programming with it.
Mark Spritzler

Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

Thanks, but the other problem is printing. All the Java based printing products are too slow. The fastest one we found took a minute to produce and display the report. Whereas this same report in Foxpro takes .05 seconds.
I will still look at it though for my curiosity sake, however my boss has already canned Swing for our projects
Thanks
Mark
Aaron Winkler
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 30, 2001
Posts: 8
Our company is using Swing to build a client-server application, but the most interesting swing application that I've played with (besides examples at sourceforge), is OpenMap. OpenMap is an open-source swing mapping application built by bbn.
Check it out. http://www.openmap.org
Excellent for any application requiring a map from the simplest to the most complex
mick barry
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 30, 2001
Posts: 16
We're developing a Swing scanner frontend.
Have a look at http://www.objects.com.au/products/josi/scanlite.

-------------------------<BR>http://www.objects.com.au
mick barry
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 30, 2001
Posts: 16
Also have a look at www.solforum.com.
This is a Swing group communication tool we're also currently working on.
Prashanth menon
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 65
Hi
Heres an update. FOr those who wanted to know about an IDE for java I think Visual Cafe 4.0 is a good tool. If you think that java applications on JVM are too slow you may also create win32 executables using this IDE( if you are using windows). Some bugs are yet to be fixed. The patches should be out very soon.
John Wetherbie
Rancher

Joined: Apr 05, 2000
Posts: 1441
Hi, folks!
Sorry for getting here so late. Just one comment on browsers, specifically Netscape 6.0. Unless they have made massive changes from the Beta version I doubt many people will use it. It was that bad. Most people I know using Netscape are still using 4.7X. So we may be stuck with AWT for awhile.
John


The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen all at once.
- Buckaroo Banzai
Bill Prentice
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 26
Originally posted by Prashanth menon:
Hi
Heres an update. FOr those who wanted to know about an IDE for java I think Visual Cafe 4.0 is a good tool. If you think that java applications on JVM are too slow you may also create win32 executables using this IDE( if you are using windows). Some bugs are yet to be fixed. The patches should be out very soon.

We beta tested v4 expert edition for Webgain, over 6 months ago when they first acquired the product from Symantec and we are still waiting for bug fixes and source cds. Our current version 4.1 does not appear to want to work well with JDK1.3 tools.
Adrian Yan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 02, 2000
Posts: 688
I love to use Swing for client gui development, the problem is that Swing software and hardware requirement is too much. For those who use pure java app, like JBuilder, VisualAge, NetBean know that they are slow and such memeory hog. I understand most of the pc out there are relatively new, but still, as a developer, you got to consider this fact. I don't recall the exact requirement, I think it's something like 64 mb ram, 300mgh cpu or above, this is too much. I think if Sun can somehow reduced Swing requirement, like J2ME, I think, then you will see alot of apps using Swing.
 
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subject: Practical Swing Applications
 
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