Swing links of the week: August 31, 2008

September 1st, 2008

Here are some Swing links that you might have missed during the last week:

  • Jacek Furmankiewicz writes about release 0.2 of SwingBuilder project that allows declarative UI binding via a YAML file. The project aims to address many of Swing’s pain points, such as verbosity, event listeners, layout management, data binding, background long running tasks, internationalization and more.
  • Looks like the Eclipse Albireo project that promised easy embedding of Swing components in SWT applications is losing some steam. According to Gordon Hirsch‘s post on the dev mailing list, both active developers (Gordon himself and Bruno Haible) are being reassigned a th their jobs, making it problematic to devote much time to bringing Albireo to beta and release status. With no community participation in development, looks like the project is heading towards stagnation.
  • Geertjan Wielenga overviews four of the available Java desktop frameworks (missing a couple of others in the process), giving some general advice on choosing the right framework for your project. A sound collection of tips which can be extended to pretty much any other programming field.
  • Geertjan is playing with the Swing Explorer project (by Maxim Zakharenkov) and explores its NetBeans integration. A noteable feature is jumping from the painting stack trace back into the NB source editor for the matching method.
  • Jasper Potts continues his series on customizing Nimbus appearance. He has posted a useful program that lists all Nimbus-specific UIManager entries, along with the graphics representation of the matching values (painters, borders, insets, colors, fonts). It gives a great visual overview of the entries that can be customized, even if a few rows show weird visuals (such as RadioButtonMenuItem[Disabled+Selected].checkIconPainter).
  • Christopher Deckers has announced release 0.9.6 of DJ Native Swing project that aims to bring native components, such as web browser, Flash player, video player or HTML editor into Swing applications. This release provides better integration logic with foreign native components.
  • Having problems skinning custom Swing components under the Swing system look-and-feel? SWT 3.5 might have an answer for you. One of the items for SWT 3.5 is to “provide an API to draw operating system themed controls and parts of controls”. As i have shown with native text rasterization, you don’t need to wait for Swing to provide the missing functionality (although it is most certainly nice when they do so).
  • And finally, Christophe Le Besnerais has the second part of his quest to create a modern-looking UI application in Swing, talking about breadcrumb bar, glowing icons and custom-shaped frames.