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Official: Swing is the Dominant GUI Toolkit

Posted by hansmuller on October 18, 2005 at 12:31 PM PDT

I've been trying to think of a way to humbly announce that
no lesser authority than Evans Data Corporation has reported
that Swing is the dominant GUI Toolkit for Northern American
developers. It's difficult to present this new statistic with
the grace and humility of good sportsmanship because, after
nearly 8 years of steady growth:

"Java Swing with 47% use, has surpassed WinForms as the dominant GUI
development toolkit, an increase of 27% since fall 2004."

That's a direct quote from the Spring 2005 report. You may want to
read it again (I have). There are more developers building
applications using Swing and Java SE than WinForms and .NET. Despite
the titanic resources marshalled by Microsoft to assert dominance over
their own desktop platform, the Swing community has grown into an
unstoppable force. Microsoft has often been referred to as an "eight
hundred pound gorilla". Thanks to the persistence and enthusiasm of
Swing developers everywhere, we've thrown the gorilla and the cage off
the island. We're the new alpha male, we're the King Kong of GUI
toolkits. We are the force to be reckoned with. We are number one!.

I realize that was a little over the top. I'm supposed to be humble
and quietly confident about our success and not indulge in all of this
vulgar gloating and boasting and jumping up and down on the desk
shouting, we're number one, we're number one, we're number ...

Sorry about that.

I'll just remain calm from here on in. You'll have to trust me when I
say that I'm reporting the following from a peaceful and serene
perspective. The use of both Swing and AWT have grown dramatically in
the last year and, quoting from the report, "Java GUI development is
clearly experiencing substantial growth". So it is. I would guess
that there are at least two trends at work here. People are writing
Swing clients to augment or replace browser clients for network
services, and developers really do care about platform portability.
Sometimes portability is just about spanning different versions of
Windows but more often than not, it's about covering the growing
"alternative" desktop market. Users want applications that provide
entertainment or communication or educational experiences that are
worthy of the fine computer hardware they're seated in front of,
and the zippy internet service they're connected to. Developers are
choosing Swing to deliver those experiences and here, at camp
Swing headquarters, we couldn't be happier.

It's good to be king and it's hard to be humble. I feel a T-shirt coming.


Thanks to Jeff Dinkins for another bit of just-in-time artwork!

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