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Where Swing should Venture

Posted by eitan on June 29, 2006 at 9:04 AM PDT

An increasing number of frameworks are appearing that I
find particularly interesting. They're web AJAX frameworks
where the details of the HTTP communication and of all
the HTML and JavaScript on the front-end are hidden behind
a Swing-like API.

Here are some of these new frameworks:

It's also worth mentioning that Canoo ULC also provides a
Swing-like API, but they're trying to leap-frog AJAX
altogether: they deploy Swing thin clients.

Even though this model is new and not yet "fully" proven,
I find it very promising. Up until now, web developers
have had to master multiple different technologies including
Java, Servlets, JavaScript, HTML, HTTP, session management
and cookies, and the idiosynchracies of various web
browsers on a multitude of platforms.

These frameworks promise to collapse all of these layers
down to one. That's tremendous.

So I was thinking, if what is essentially a Swing-like
API can be used to build rich web applications, would
it be possible to extend Swing in such a way that a
deployment switch controls whether we produce a
web application or a ... Swing application?

I suppose we could think of this in reverse: can an
HTML look and feel be constructed for Swing?

The end result would be the same: we'd write a single
application, using The Swing API (not a Swing-like
API) and we'd be able to target the web without any
extra effort.

So, my message in this blog is: I think Swing
should venture in that direction.

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