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Swing Hacks: Tips and Tools for Killer GUIs Paperback – Bargain Price, June 1, 2005
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About the Author
Joshua Marinacci is the author of "The Java Sketchbook" column for java.net, covering topics in Java client-side and web development. A Java programmer since 1995, he's currently working on enterprise document management software. Joshua earned his BS from Georgia Tech in 1997, and has been a professional programmer for over a decade.
Chris Adamson is the Associate Online Editor for the O'Reilly web sites ONJava.com and java.net, and is the author of O'Reilly's QuickTime for Java: A Developer's Notebook. His consulting company, Subsequently & Furthermore, Inc., specializes in Java media development. Chris has a BA and BS from Stanford University and an MA from Michigan State University.
Top Customer Reviews
It essentially consists of 99 power 'tricks' for creating WOW effects in your user interfaces. Some are eye candy that you'd probably never put in a production application, but I'd say 80%+ could be applied to every day app's. I'll be spending many hours pouring over the details of each hack to gain the deep insight offered by this book.
This book is going to allow me to reach the next level of Swing polish. I find it hard to believe that most people that consider themselves Swing developers wouldn't gain a lot from reading this book. Run, don't walk, and get this book.
There are a few minor disappointments, but I emphasis minor. The production quality seems a bit rushed as there was quite a few obvious errors in the preface alone, although not of a technical nature. Perhaps only the preface escaped any editing oversight, since the remainder of the book had nothing that jumped out at me.
As usual today, the examples are all available for download from OReilly's website. But I wonder why they didn't take the extra step of providing runnable versions of each hack. You have to compile each one - a minor annoyance. When browsing the book it would have been cool to be able to just double-click an associated jar file to see the effect in action.
The author clearly uses a Macintosh, since all (perhaps I missed one or two) the screen shots are from a Mac, and some of the Hacks relate to duplicating Mac OS features.Read more ›
Chapter 6, "Transparent and Animated Windows," is one of my favorites because it helps my Swing components look a little more Mac-like. Creating transparent windows, creating frame-anchored sheets for dialogs, animating the sheet dialog, and sliding notes out from the taskbar are some of the hacks in that chapter. All it takes is a little knowledge of the Swing heavyweight component glass pane, and you're up and running. Buried in Hack 54 is an invaluable gem: Want to antialias all the text on your Swing application without touching any code? No problem, just add the following definition to the command line when you invoke your application:
java -Dswing.aatext=true MyStartClass
Chapter 10, "Audio," is also a good chapter to look at, because many Swing programmers tend to overlook sound as an important part of their application, plus since I am a multimedia programmer it is the kind of topic I would enjoy anyways. Maybe you want the swishing sound of a folder closing or of a clanging trash can when you throw away something in your Swing application. Hacks 70 through 73 discuss playing sounds with applets, JavaSound, the Java Media Framework, and Quicktime for Java technologies. Hack 74 shows you how to add MP3 support to the Java Media Framework API as well. This is not really a Swing hack, but it is simple to do and interesting.
Chapter 12, "Miscellany," presents us with some obvious tricks and some very important tips.Read more ›
All of which is really a shame. Swing is like that cliched iceberg: just the spare top of it floats above the surface, with the vast bulk of possibility submerged and lurking in the depths. In this clever book, Marinacci and Adamson show you how to mine those depths and come up with GUIs that don't look like Java applications at all.
The book is a collection of recipes for achieving some really spectacular effects. I appreciated that lot of thought seems to have been put into making the examples small enough for a book. There are only a few multi-page listings among the 100 recipes between these covers.
If I have a complaint, it's that the book has a fairly obvious slant toward the Mac OS X platform. Many of the hacks are devoted to making your application emulate some OS X feature or another. In a way, this is justifiable -- after all, OS X's GUI includes many innovations not included in Swing by default -- but it's likely to leave those folks primarily interested in making Swing fit in better on Windows a little jealous.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Relatively new to Java. I've been studying the SE classes and just want to know more. It's a good source for input and examples on how to use Swing.Published on January 22, 2013 by Rory Derrick
This is a book withmany hacks. However, I will use very few of them. I mainly purchased the book to improve my knowledge of Swing.Published on October 26, 2012 by M L Rogers
This is a good reference book. It goes into the different types of GUI's you can have in SWING. I don't think the examples are elaborate enough, and the examples seem to be... Read morePublished on October 11, 2012 by Rob
Bought this book on the off chance that it would give some interesting ideas. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised. Read morePublished on March 26, 2011 by Paul M. Jarosch
I don't usually write ranty negative reviews, but this book is horrible. I know because I'm an advanced swing developer working with a new swing developer who's been pulling code... Read morePublished on February 25, 2010 by Bjorn Dittmer-roche
You will learn a lot about the deeper layers of Swing. You will learn a lot, why all those nice ideas in Swing - you already tried - did not work. Read morePublished on December 23, 2009 by ws__
Despite some grumbling to the contrary, these are useful hacks. Many can be mixed and matched to great effect. Read morePublished on August 19, 2009 by Rusty Shackleford
Despite the fact majority of described hacks are on the edge of their usefulness, the book is very useful. Read morePublished on February 26, 2009 by P. Kleja