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responding to questions on Swing, RIA, and JavaFX

Posted by aim on May 19, 2008 at 9:32 AM PDT

To me, one of the most enjoyable parts of JavaOne is hanging out in the audience in Hall E-135 (traditional home of the Desktop track) and chatting face-to-face with developers between presentations. Kirill Grouchnikov (of Substance look-and-feel fame) always asks us insightful and often difficult questions. This year he asked if he could interview me post-JavaOne to address many of the concerns which the conference raised for desktop developers. Read the interview if you're curious, and please post any follow-up questions.

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Hi Amy, Thanks for taking the time to talk about this. Do you know who can I bug for information about JWebPane? I heard some rumors of a "Java WebKit component for Swing" is that right? Collin

Wow, with all of these guarded statements regarding apple and Java from all sorts of people clearly there is something going on... the question is what? Pure speculation follows...

(a) Apple does have a plan to ship it and wants to announce it on it's own time frame, like say MacWorld SF. Including an announcement for Java of some sort for the 3G iPhone? (pre javafx it wasn't pretty enough?)

(b) Apple's license with Sun has some wrinkles that will come to light soon. Either an outright expiration, failure to perform clauses (like shipping Java 6 on all versions of the OS), or a negotiated end.

I don't think it's (a), but if it were that would be the time frame SteveJ would want. Likely (b), and it may be a combo of them, like apple announcing (off stage) that Sun will now support Java for the Mac, but not before they ship 6u10 for it.

But yea, something's definitely up and I'd say it involves legalese of some sort, be it NDAs or tort law.

</speculation scale="total">

Ah yes, Apple. Many of our team members (myself included) develop on Macs, so we understand this pain first hand. What I can say at this point is that we are investigating how we can ensure the new plugin gets to OS X. It also never hurts to express your needs to Apple directly.

We definitely need to pull down some of the key features in SwingX into Swing for JDK7. At a minimum I'd vote for JXPanel (or better yet, real translucency support in JComponent) and a hyperlink component, which is way over due.
thanks for the comments, Carl.

I know this is slightly off topic but since you mentioned the possibility of including some of the SwingX features in Java 7 I thought I'd bring it up.

A while ago (Nov 2006) Scott Violet posted [1] in response to a thread saying that he planned on "adding a handful of things to make it easier to customize painting" in the 7 time frame. The thread is mostly about reflections of components but ends up with an API to provide a generic way to extend component repainting (of which the JXPanel translucency is a sub-set) and was wondering if this functionality was what you had in mind when you said "real translucency support".

[1] -

An interesting interview, indeed. Here's one comment, though: No user cares for different look & feels of Swing applications, what users want is a NATIVE application, not one that only pretends to be native - or worse, something that looks and behaves completely out of place.

I agree completely with tdanecito.

I have options for the user to launch and pass the look and feel setting using the 1.6 feature. All of my business investment banking users preferred the Aqua Apple look and feel on XP.

Amy thanks for your hard work. The Swingset 3 demo looks really nice.


It's a really good interview Amy, thanks to you and to Kirill.

Just a question though since Apple is responsible of the JVM implementation will they also release the Java 6 Update 10 in time which includes the Plugin2 or will it only be for Windows, Linux and Solaris? I find that a disadvantage compared to flash where Adobe is responsible of all the platforms.

SwingSet3 is a very nice demo, it's much better than SwingSet2 thank you for the great work! I was wondering if Swingx will be included in Java 7 as it's not possible to create a cool application without using Swingx, you're even usng it in SwingSet3.


Carl Antaki