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Must have libraries for Swing - Need guidance

 
Ranch Hand
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Hi guys,

I'm looking for some free swing visual components and frameworks not included on default JDK which I can use for creating a real world application.

I mean, I'd like to know which tools I can use for binding, validation, resource loading, etc... as well as a good set of Swing visual components for free.

I've found JGoodies plus Swing Application Framework (JSR 296) a good combination, however, I still have doubts regarding what's the most widely used visual components library when creating a professional Swing application.

As you may know, there's no default swing component on JDK for manipulating dates, or even numbers without have to do some coding, so I think I need a more professional solution for this.

I found SwingX very useful but I'd really like to hear your opinions regarding which tools I could use for a better productivity.

Do you think the following libraries are a good approach ?

JGoodies + Swing Application Framework (JSR 296) + SwingX

Do you think these tools are easily configurable on NetBeans 6 ?
[ February 25, 2008: Message edited by: Edisandro Bessa ]
 
Greenhorn
Posts: 22
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The answer to your question depends on your project. These Swing libraries should be analyzed just like any other third party library to see if they are the right fit for your project. Just because "everyone else" is using it, doesn't mean it is the right fit for your project.

That said...

I think that JGoodies is superior to the layout managers included in the JDK. There is a little learning curve to it, but once you get past it, it becomes pretty easy. Most GUI builders do support JGoodies as well.

I did attend a session on the Swing Application Framework at JavaOne last year but that is the extent of my exposure to it. It does seem promising though.

As for SwingX, I am impressed with many of the components. We are not using it in production yet, but I think that will change in the next year. I would like to start using it, but I am still in process of convincing decision makers here of all the benefits.
 
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