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SWT/JFace in Action by Matthew Scarpino et al

 
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<pre>Author/s : Matthew Scarpino, Stephen Holder, Stanford Ng, Laurent Mihalkovic
Publisher : Manning
Category : Swing, AWT, and Graphics
Review by : Thomas Paul
Rating : 8 horseshoes
</pre>
SWT and JFace are the graphical libraries developed by IBM as an alternative to Swing to improve performance of GUI applications written in Java. This book offers a thorough introduction to SWT/JFace. The authors avoid getting into a Swing vs. SWT/JFace debate although they do provide a comparison of the two libraries.

The book starts with a look at writing a program in SWT and then rewriting it using JFace. The authors compare the two approaches and give a good description of why you would want to use one over the other. The next few chapters look at the basic widgets, layout managers, event handling, and graphics contexts. Later chapters cover more advanced widgets such as trees, viewers, tables, menus, dialogs, and wizards. The last chapter looks at GUI development using Eclipse's Rich Client Platform. The appendices cover development within Eclipse and integrating SWT/JFace applications with OLE and ActiveX.

Overall this book does a great job of explaining SWT/JFace at a good level of detail. The book includes a reasonable amount of code samples as well as UML diagrams that help explain how these libraries work. The authors should have chosen a better sample application to demonstrate use of the libraries and there aren't enough screen shots included which may leave you wondering what some of the widgets look like. Other than these two minor complaints, this is an excellent book to learn how to use SWT/JFace and I can strongly recommend it.


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<pre>Author/s : Matthew Scarpino, Steven Holder, Stanford Ng, Laurent Mihalkovic
Publisher : Manning
Category : Swing, AWT, and Graphics
Review by : Ernest Friedman-Hill
Rating : 8 horseshoes
</pre>
As many people know by now, SWT and JFace are the GUI libraries used to create Eclipse, the popular open-source Java IDE. As fewer people know, these libraries can be used to build other applications as well. This book will teach you how. Its 13 chapters and four fat appendices give you all the information you'll need to create your own GUIs using this exciting new technology.

JFace is built on top of SWT just as Swing is built on AWT. Most books, quite naturally, discuss these layers separately. This book is unusual because it discusses SWT and JFace simultaneously. This is more useful for the reader as she gains an appreciation for all her options at once.

At barely over 450 pages, this is a comparatively small book on this large topic. It doesn't feel like anything is missing, though, although sometimes it feels a little cramped. The book is jam-packed with useful information and lots of code. For a book on graphics, however, there are curiously few screen shots. This, and some odd organizational choices (especially the relegation of GEF to an appendix,) are my only complaints about this otherwise serviceable work.


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