"Java Swing" from O'Reilly and Associates (in-depth coverage of Java Swing classes)
Platforms: none
Price: $44.95
URL: http://java.oreilly.com
Swing, the centerpiece of the JFC (Java Foundation Classes), eliminates Java's biggest weakness: its relatively primitive user interface toolkit. Swing provides many new components and containers that allow you to build sophisticated user interfaces easily. Old components have been improved, and components such as internal frames, trees, tables, and text editors have been added. This all adds up to a more uniform cross-platform behavior bringing the goal of "write once, run anywhere" closer to reality.

The downside: there is a lot to learn. Swing is undoubtedly way ahead of AWT, but it's also much more complicated. Its still easy to do simple things, but once you've seen what's possible, you won't want to restrict yourself to doing the simple things. O'Reilly's newest release, "Java Swing", gives you in-depth coverage of everything you need to know to take full advantage of the Swing classes. "With the flexibility of the MVC architecture and the pluggable look and feel, you can build highly customized versions of these things without a lot of programming effort," says co-author Marc Loy, "That's one of the things we emphasize in the book--getting the most bang for your programming buck. With a bit of customization, you can turn out a professional looking application in an incredibly short amount of time."

According to co-author Dave Wood, Swing "represents a whole new way of looking at Java UI development. In the past, developers had to operate with one hand tied behind their backs; a result of Java's least-common-denominator UI toolkit, AWT."

"Perhaps the most important thing Swing gives you is a well-known, ubiquitous platform. In the very near future, anywhere Java is found, Swing will be found as well. This is not true of any other UI development tools, because no other toolset is part of Java core. To fully answer the question 'What is Swing?'", says Wood, "you'd have to write a book. We've done just that." And a hefty book at thatweighing in at 1256 pages and 3 1/3 lbs., "Java Swing" is the largest book published by O'Reilly to date.

"The Swing components are more than twice the size of the older AWT component library, so it was a continuous challenge to try to squeeze this much material into a book while holding true to the level detail that O'Reilly readers have come to expect." said co-author Bob Eckstein, "But we think that the result was worth it". This new release is clearly the most comprehensive resource to date on the Swing component library.

For an interview with the authors see: http://java.oreilly.com/news/swing_0998.html

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