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What is the latest/best way to do UIs in Java?

 
Peter Chase
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Hi,

We have a soon-to-start project here that may use Java, and will have a user interface. It won't be a Web user interface.

It is some time since any of us did a Java user interface, so we may be out-of-date with respect to the latest innovations.

What are the latest and best ways to create attractive and responsive UIs in Java?
 
Joe Ess
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I do mostly web apps myself, but I recently heard of appframework, which made it sound like desktop apps are finally getting the kind of standard framework building blocks us web folks have enjoyed for years. Then I read the following on that page:
The intended audience for this snapshot is experienced Swing developers with a moderately high tolerance for pain.

Maybe I'll just file that under "check back later".
 
colton peterson
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I use javax.swing for all my gui purposes, but I have only ever made simple a simple gui. I know that if you spend enough time on it you could make a very nice gui, I just have not got there yet.
 
Steven Wall
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We are using Swing for a complex application. In hindsight we wish we would have identified more people to focus just on Swing (become experts) instead of having our entire development team knowing just a little Swing.

I would also consider using a GUI Builder tool (NetBeans has one, JFormDesigner, etc) as they are pretty good now and can help speed development drastically.
 
Nathan Pruett
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Up until a few years ago, I would have discouraged using a GUI builder to do Swing - none really produced good/resizable/reusable Swing code. NetBeans GUI designer and JFormDesigner have really changed that - they are easy to use and produce good Swing code. However, just use the GUI builder for what it's made for (designing GUIs) and not for designing your entire application. Ben Galbraith's presentation on Being Productive With Swing and 8 Ways to be More Productive Developing Swing Applications touches on what I would consider "best practices" Swing development.
 
Jorge Bendahan
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I was stuck with the gui subsystem as well, then i started using a gui builder(JFormsDesigner), wich allows me to design the forms easily and fast, i dump this design into code, and finally retouching it by hand(events, db conectivity, etc) . works pretty good for me.
 
Tim Holloway
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The Pentaho BI suite has an extensive set of GUI apps. They used the SWT toolkit from the Eclipse project. SWT has a fairly broad fan base, although personally, I have no problems with Swing.

After the demise of Visual Caf´┐Ż, there weren't any decent IDE GUI app designers to speak of for a long dry spell. Fortunately, this ended with the introduction of IntelliJ version 6. One thing that I liked particularly about it was that - unlike earlier tools, it didn't require that the finished product include proprietary code - the created output was 100% pure generic Java. Which is important when you're creating an open-source project.
 
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