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September 18, 1998

O'Reilly's Heaviest Book Ever: Java Swing

SEBASTOPOL, CA--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. It's 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 that-weighing in at 1256 pages and 3 1/3 lbs., Java Swing is the largest book published by O'Reilly to date.

About the Authors
Robert Eckstein holds bachelor's degrees in computer science and communications from Trinity University. In the past, he has worked for the USAA insurance company and more recently spent four years with Motorola's cellular software division. He is currently working on a book about Java Commerce for O'Reilly, and in his spare time he is known to provide online coverage for popular conferences. He also writes articles for JavaWorld Magazine.

Marc Loy is a senior programmer at Galileo Systems, LLC, but his day job seems to be teaching Java and Perl to various companies- including Sun Microsystems. He has played with Java since the alpha days and can't find his way back to C. He is developing an interactive learning application at Galileo written entirely in Java. He received his master's degree in computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and still lives in Madison with his partner, Ron Becker.

Dave Wood is a Java architect with Sun Java Center in Denver, Colorado, where he has helped design and implement Java solutions for customers around the world. His B.S. and M.S. degrees are in computer science from the University of Colorado. He has been involved in object-oriented design and development his entire career, and has been obsessed with Java since its early days.

Java Swing
By Robert Eckstein, Marc Loy & Dave Wood
1st Edition September (US)
1252 pages, 1-56592-455-X, $44.95 (US$)
See an interview with the authors.

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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