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Java Swing, Second Edition Paperback – November 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0596004088 ISBN-10: 0596004087 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2nd edition (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596004087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596004088
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Java Swing, long regarded as the authoritative book on using the Swing classes, is available in a new edition that builds on a solid foundation in exploring the Java 2 Swing additions and modifications. This is a big, tremendously detailed, exhaustively researched, and ultimately authoritative reference that pushes the limits of what a book can do toward eliminating the necessity of writing experimental programs to see how Swing classes work in practice. You'll find in these pages bits of software that show how most of Swing works: all of the major features get lavish attention, while most of the minor classes are demonstrated adequately, as well.

You could probably find demonstrations free of charge on the Internet, however. The true value of this work is in the comments its five authors have attached to their copious examples. They can be quite specific: at least one such segment warns that default Swing behavior violates Mac OS X user interface guidelines and explains how to work around the problem. Another section explains how the methods of the UndoableEdit class can be used in various ways, to implement different user interface behavior options. Some readers will head straight to the O'Reilly Web site, where they can grab the code and examine it in an editor rather than in print--code listings take up a lot of space here--but everyone will appreciate the concise hierarchy, method, and property documentation, as well as the wisdom contained in the prose. --David Wall

Topics covered: The Swing classes for creating graphical user interfaces in the Java programming language. It covers all the windowing stuff--dialogs, buttons, containers, layouts, lists, and that kind of thing--as well as tables, trees, text-manipulation classes, formatted text, drag and drop, and accessibility support.

About the Author

Marc Loy is a senior programmer at Galileo Systems, LLC, but his day job seems to be teaching Java and Perl to various companies -- including Sun Microsystems. He has played with Java since the alpha days and can't find his way back to C. He is developing an interactive learning application at Galileo written entirely in Java. He received his master's degree in computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and still lives in Madison with his partner, Ron Becker. He does find time to relax by playing the piano and/or throwing darts, depending on how successful the day of teaching or programming was.

Robert Eckstein, an editor at O'Reilly, works mostly on Java books (notably Java Swing) and is also responsible for the XML Pocket Reference and Webmaster in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition. In his spare time he has been known to provide online coverage for popular conferences. He also writes articles for JavaWorld magazine. Robert holds bachelor's degrees in computer science and communications from Trinity University. In the past, he has worked for the USAA insurance company and more recently spent four years with Motorola's cellular software division. He is the co-author of Using Samba.

David Wood is Technical Director of Plugged In Software in Brisbane, Australia, where he works with a wonderful team producing Java custom software. In his eclectic career he has been a ship's navigator, deep sea salvage engineer, and aerospace project manager for the U.S. Navy, and consulted to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Netscape. David enjoys hiking and sailing with his very patient wife and teaching his son Perl before he goes to kindergarten. David holds degrees in mechanical, electrical, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and the Virginia Military Institute.

a senior software engineer at Berbee, with over ten years professional experience as a systems developer. He started designing with objects well before work environments made it convenient, and has a passion for building high-quality Java tools and frameworks to simplify the tasks of other developers.

has been working with Java since its early days and teaches the language at venues ranging from Sun Microsystems to public high school. He has a BA from Oberlin College and an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Customer Reviews

I regret buying the book.
Rod Smith
Without a doubt, Java Swing is the most informative and rich reference available.
Matthew Robinson (
The writing is easy to follow and the examples are clear to understand.
Steve Spigarelli

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Robinson ( on February 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Pavel Vorobiev and I are currently finishing up an 'advanced' Swing book consisting mainly of examples ("Swing", Manning publications). We have referenced the Swing source code nonstop. Apart from this, we feel that Java Swing is the best Swing reference money can buy. This book is not an API docs dump. It is a high quality reference book for GUI developers who are prepared to do their job professionaly, not blindly. If you are looking for a hand-holding tutorial this book is not for you (for this I would suggest Up to Speed With Swing).
Java Swing is very well organized and full of original explanation. I encourage potential readers to disregard other comments claiming that this book is API repetitive or doesn't explain enough. No book can cover every possible situation that can arise in the creation of a GUI, and no book will fully explain all of the inner workings of each Swing component and UI delegate. Swing is a very complex and extensive library with some very interesting and powerful mechanisms working behind the scenes. Without a doubt, Java Swing is the most informative and rich reference available. I recommend it highly.
Matthew Robinson
"Swing", Manning publications
Swing "Tips and Tricks", The Swing Connection
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By David Cunningham on April 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Java Swing is the definitive reference for the Graphical User Interface (GUI) Swing package that has been included in the standard distribution of the Java SDK since Java 1.2. The book is really more of a tomb, weighing in at 1200 pages, and yet none of it seems irrelevant or overly explained. If anything, one would have to complain that maybe there are details missing, but given the length of the book as is, maybe it's better that some of the details were left out.
Publishers O'Reilly have obviously assembled a group of talented Java GUI designers to write this book, because the commentary is rife with real advice and coherent, practical explanations. The book does take some assumed knowledge for granted, such as basic programming skills, knowledge of Object-Oriented programming practices, and UML-style class and object relationship graphs, but I wouldn't say that this book excludes the beginner programmer in the least. Instead, it walks the fine line of being a useful book for both beginner and expert coders quite well, better than other O'Reilly publications that I've read in the past that I felt were overly explanatory.
The book starts off with a little history on the Swing package, where it came from and what its relationship to the Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT) is, but then almost immediately launches into the format that it uses for the next 900 pages of the book, which is to devote an entire chapter to every major section of swing. Topics covered include: buttons, scrollbar-like components, combo-boxes, containers of every shape and size, dialogs, borders, menus, tables, trees, undo facilities, text (about 220 pages on the major text components alone,) and drag and drop.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jason on April 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Java Swing" is an in-depth look at the features and components of Java's popular Swing API. The much-anticipated second edition of O'Reilly's classic brings the book up-to-date with the changes made in SDKs 1.3 and 1.4. Each Swing component is covered in detail, providing information on constructors, methods, and properties. There is of course a plethora of example code clearly demonstrating how to use the various components and features.
While "Java Swing" is quite a hefty book, it does not cover the Java event model introduced in JDK 1.1, the AWT layout managers, or relevant AWT components such as Component that are subclassed by Swing components. Instead references are given to pdf files containing chapters of O'Reilly's out-of-print AWT book. While this may have been an acceptable omission for the first edition in 1998, where it might be assumed that developers had some experience with AWT, I do not feel this is a valid assumption today.
If you can look past the book's omissions, or if you have a companion reference covering those features, "Java Swing" has much to offer and will serve as a treasured reference. If you are unfamiliar with AWT and looking to learn how to develop user interfaces in Java, you may wish to look elsewhere first.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
There is a lot to know about Swing -- a ton. It's a hazard in writing about it to render so much information in a tedious way, and this book fell victim to it. Every stone of Swing the authors could think to turn is, I am sure, turned. For Pete's sake, this book is longer than Unix Power Tools, and that book represents two decades of Unix experiences!
I've had this book for six months and I'm still trying to pick through all the method, class, and interface descriptions to find the kernels of real insight. The book does have them, but you have to wade in deep to get one. I would rather have a well-organized collection of insights to guide exploration, and a separate reference section; this book mostly lists and explains. I can't stay awake for it.
The concepts are important. Plenty of examples are important. With those things firmly in hand, you can point out exceptions or substantive variations on rules, focussing on major ideas.
I have no doubt this book was an exhausting effort; the style reflects it.
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Java Swing, Second Edition
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