Hi guys, i am pretty comfortable with java but i'll like to start developing java desktop application using swing with netbeans, please is this the quickest way to develop java desktop and what books can you recommend in this direction that will make me very through in java desktop using netbeans.If you have some better opinion please let me know, your views will be highly appreciated.
The quickest way? Yes. The best way? Nowhere even near. You'll be able to create both simple and complex user interfaces, yet you will not understand one thing about how they work. And when you need to tweak the code to do things Netbeans can't, you're screwed.
I don't use NetBeans, but I have to believe that one can write Swing code using NetBeans without using the NetBeans GUI Builder (which you didn't even mention). If you know and like NetBeans as a Java IDE and would like to use it to write Swing code, by all means do so. BUT, as others have already recommended, rather than use the NetBeans GUI Builder, learn to code the Swing "by hand."
The reasons for avoiding the GUI Builder are:
1. It generates code that cannot be easily understood,
2. Because of number 1 (and other reasons) GUI Builder code cannot be easily maintained.
As for books, I'm learning Swing through tutorials I find on the web, so I can't recommend a book from personal experience. You might look through the book reviews here.
Learning Java using Eclipse on OpenSUSE 11.2
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Another way to speed up development is to use (or create) better building blocks; see the SwingFaq for references to GridLayout2, SGLayout, and the article Speed up your Swing GUI construction with better building blocks.