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Swing: A fast-paced guide with production-quality code examples Paperback – December 1, 1999

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Written for the experienced Java developer, Swing provides an in-depth guide to getting the most out of Sun's Swing/JFC user interface classes. Mixing real-world code examples and expert advice on advanced features, this book shows how to make use of this powerful library effectively within your own projects.

The best thing about this text has to be its sample programs, many of which incorporate other Java APIs to do "real" work. For example, a demo of the scroll pane Swing component uses other JFC classes to display JPG images. For working with lists, the authors show how to process .ZIP files in Java. For demonstrating table programming, there's coverage of JDBC to connect to databases. Other standout code samples include a working FTP client and a fully functional .RTF word processor. (Many of these examples are enhanced in separate steps, showing off new Swing classes and features along the way.) The authors do a particularly good job of annotating code with clear explanations referenced with numbered bullets that point out important lines of code.

The other noteworthy feature here is the material on extending basic Swing functionality through custom code. (To use Swing effectively, you definitely need to be able to customize its classes. The authors show you how.) There are examples for enhancing Swing with custom layout managers and numerous samples that extend trees and tables, and even a section on the basics of creating new pluggable look and feel (PLAF) modules for Swing.

With material here on virtually every component and API, plus advanced coverage on using and extending Swing, this in-depth tutorial will prove to be an indispensable resource. It's ideal for any Java developer who wants to create powerful Swing interfaces for real-world projects. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Overview of Swing and JFC, lightweight and heavyweight controls, Model View Controller (MVC) architecture, Swing pluggable look and feel (PLAF), sizing components, event handing and multithreading issues, timers, graphics debugging, painting and validation, focus management, SwingUtilities methods, frames, panels and borders, built-in and custom layout managers, labels and buttons, tabbed panels, scrolling and split panes, comboboxes and listboxes, text components, Swing undo support, menus and toolbars, progress bars and sliders, JPEG editing, custom and standard dialog boxes, layered panes, custom and built-in MDI support, trees, tables (basic and advanced features), advanced text component programming, sample .RTF word processor, printing, and Java2D API fundamentals.


"How many times have you opened a book in search of a solution and found not only an answer, but also an elegant enhancement to your application? How many times have you ignored an O'Reilly book on the same subject lying on your table? The answer is Manning's new book Swing authored by Matthew Robinson and Pavel Vorobiev. And that is my final answer." -- Jayakrishnan,

"UI development is a very time consuming business. Even with such a powerful next generation API at your fingertips it can be still overwhelming. Swing is a wonderful book that lightens the burden. It presents a complex subject in smaller manageable portions for the programmer who has learned the basics and wants to go much further. This excellent book is impossible to take in the first time, because of the scope and breadth of its subject matter. I think you will find that it hits and hits its target audience and goals again and again. It does not fail to satisfy. A massive quality and quantity win-win for Manning. Trust me. You will love it.

Swing continues where Manning's own Up To Speed with Swing and O'Reilly's Java Swing stops. Throughout the book there are helpful bugs to avoid and developer notes...No other book on the same topics reaches the quality and quantity of this book. Presentation, content, overall developer satisfaction make this book a best of bread winner." -- Peter Pilgrim, Association of C/C++ Users

An EXCEPTIONAL 10 out of 10 horseshoes. --

examples are more varied ... the manner in which the code is commented on ... is superior to many other methods I've seen -- Ed's Internet Book Reviews


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 917 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884777848
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884777844
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,616,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book while buying O'Reilly's "Java Swing," mainly because I noticed that one of the authors of this book gave a glowing review of the O'Reilly book. Wonderful thing to occur, since I found this book very useful and unique.
True to the cover, it has "production quality" examples written in Swing, including an entire word processor in the section about JEditorPane. I am downloading the code at this moment to test it out. The presentation in this book for each chapter is roughly: Show a class' place in the Swing hierarchy, explain the concepts and useful methods, then iteratively develop an interesting application. These applications start out with simple features, then the next revision has another new feature.. and so forth.
Bugs encountered ARE REPORTED. That, along with the O'Reilly review I mentioned earlier, points to a good honesty. I have no problem commending them by paying for their book.
For beginners to Swing, I would recommend Sun's tutorial book on Swing (by Mary Campione). You can check it out for free and then perhaps buy it. You could also learn Swing from this book, but perhaps you would have more of a cut&paste understanding. Depends.
For those used to Swing, this book really files in the big gaping hole in Java's documentation: Good examples of little things being used. Cuts down on experimentation. I know from personal experience that Sun's jdk HTML renderer blows, but this book tells you that it does, and where to go to find out when it stops blowing so badly.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Paul VINE VOICE on March 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Two years ago, the JavaRanch reviewer, Anmarie Ziegler, wrote this about the first edition: "Overall this is an excellent book, and I would recommend it for the intermediate to advanced Swing developer." The same can be said of the second edition of "Swing". This edition has been updated to bring it up to Java 1.4 with new examples, new components, and three new chapters. You should note that this book is not for beginners. If "threads", "anonymous classes", or "event handling" are foreign words to you then you should go over the basic Swing chapters in a Java intro book such as "Beginning Java 2" by Ivor Horton. If you consider yourself at least an intermediate Java programmer and are comfortable with the basics of the AWT and you want to learn Swing very well then you are ready for this book. The authors have written the Bible of Swing. This book covers not just the basics of Swing but goes beyond that to teach you how to build your own Swing components. The cover states that the book contains, "production quality code" and this is exactly what it contains. You will find no simple "Hello World" examples but instead demonstrations of how to make use of the real power of Swing. The coding samples you will find in this book are extremely detailed and well commented. If you want to learn how to be a competent Swing developer then you should get this book.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Vadim Shun on January 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book the best for intermediate to seasoned Swing developer. Excellent coverage on some Swing topics not covered in sufficient depth elsewhere - such as tables, trees and GridBagLayout. The book is considered a classic in Java Swing developers community and is highly recommended to anyone with some basic Swing understanding who wants to know it real well and use it. The code examples are quite practical, I used the concepts from the book several times in my projects.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Excellent treatment of this flexible GUI API presenting both basic and advanced usage of JFC Swing with great care. I especially like the way all examples are annotated and fully explained. I hope this book's source code style will be emulated in other publications! The book can also be regarded as an easy-to-follow reference for JFC Swing techniques. Every example is a complete application; this allows any snippet of code you pull out to be derived in context. I find this format ideal and it provides the convenient ability to skip around in any chapter to exactly what might be needed for a given task.
From my initial comments, you can tell I truly like and recommend this book. The only negatives I see right now are those last four chapters not being printed but only available on-line (I dislike this trend). Also, the book stressed Java 2 but it would have been nice to see them mention that 95% of the book applies to the JDK1.1.x with the JFC Swing extension (e.g. simply reference the single file swingall.jar); those examples will run with Java 1.1 unchanged.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By L. Mihalkovic on June 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Before the first edition came out, I was very frustrated with the books available on the topic. The first edition was already the best book on Swing. While reviewing the manuscript for the second edition, I made up my mind to purchase the book as soon as it would be available. In a forward that he wrote for the book, James Gosling -creator of Java- gives credit to the authors for their excellent work.
Swing is a difficult topic, with many concepts that are a departure from more traditional Window MFC or Visual Basic GUI programming. This book does an excellent job at covering those concepts in simple terms, so that by the time the reader hits the first examples, he/she is already familiar with the general principles. I would have no problem recommending this book for people of all levels, as I believe they will all find some serious material to further their comprehension of Swing.
But do not think this book is a dry text book either, or a mere reprint of the voluminous Swing documentation. Once equiped with the general concepts of Swing (including an excellent coverage of thread safety in GUI applications), the authors embark on a methodical review of the Swing components, illustrating each with some real production grade code. No 10-line hello world in this book... but no verbose samples that have you wonder why the authors took an approach that you know would not survive the test of a production environment. No. The source code is excellent, documented, and accompanied with some detailed specific explainations when necessary (too many books have a long wordy reprint of the sample code in plain english that simply detracts from the essentials).
Everyone has a different style of learning. I find this book to be a good balance between the dry concepts and the concrete tips.
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