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When We Was Fab

Posted by editor on October 19, 2007 at 8:11 AM PDT

A modern heyday for Swing developers?

I remember when Swing jobs were almost impossible to come by (and I should know, I was desperately trying to find one in 2001 before Worthless Piece Of Crap Wireless Software Company Number 2 pushed the big "mass layoff" button), and they simply weren't out there. At the time, I think I petulantly grumbled something the lines of "apparently, if you're not an EJB jockey, you don't deserve oxygen." And even today, I hadn't thought Swing jobs were particularly plentiful, certainly nothing like the 1999-ish salad days of Swing.

So it was really surprising when I was gently dispatching a random recruiter call yesterday, and the recruiter said that they were combing Atlanta for Java developers, particularly Swing developers, with four positions having just opened up that day. I pinged some former colleagues, and got this very remarkable reply from one (who asked not to be identified):

Most of the resumes I've seen have had the same skill set listed on
them: J2EE, Struts, Spring, JSP. Atlanta programmers who have Swing
experience are few and far between, and those who say they have Swing
experience and actually know what they're talking about when you call
them up for a phone interview (e.g., can tell me when and why you would
use SwingUtilities.invokeLater(), or can give me a reasonable
explanation of deadlock) are nearly impossible to find.

In a follow-up, he elaborated on what the Swing ecosystem needs, at least here in Atlanta:

It's remarkable how many people will list years of Swing development
experience, but give you a blank look when you ask about the event
dispatch thread, or think that deadlock can be avoided by simply adding
"synchronized" to method names. We really need someone to write a "Head
First Swing" book. I'm reading Filthy Rich Clients at the moment (love
it!), but I get the feeling that handing some of those techniques to
some of the programmers in the field would be like giving a machete to a

This really surprised me, because I thought that the announcement of JavaFX might well put rich Java GUIs on hold until that new platform comes out. But then again, JavaFX is still in the works (and Adamson's First Law still applies: "all software is vapor until it ships"), whereas Swing is here today and in fairly widespread use. After all the flamewars over client-side technologies -- Swing vs. SWT vs. Ajax vs. Flash -- it's remarkable to hear that the demand for Swing developers so outstrips the supply.

Oh, and Swing developers? Start your resumes... apparently, you're a hot property once again.

Speaking of Swing, in Java Today,
a tutorial by Nazmul Idris shows How to use the AnimatedTransition API. "I needed to build animations that show a transition from one screen to another. This is slightly different than creating custom, or modified components which perform a function and have a set of graphical effects. I needed animations that would transition my user interface from one "screen" to the next. While I'd been writing much of this code myself, to do these animations, it just got really tedious and frustrating to add this level of complexity to my code, when all I needed were some simple animations. I've been using the SwingX API and the TimingFramework API to perform the animations and leverage the components, however, this last piece was missing. And this last piece just got delivered by Chet Haase, as a part of the binary deliverables with his (and Romain Guy's) great book, Filthy Rich Clients."

We'll hear directly from Chet on the subject of animated transitions next week, so stay tuned...

ME developer Edoardo Schepis relates the gory details of getting his ME app running on real-world devices in Java Verified Program: A Tale of Carriers, Trust and Certification. "This is a long post and a sort of group therapy. I will appreciate any comment, specially those of you with a similar experience." Follow along as he works through getting his app through the Java Verified Program.

Do your provide certificates for the attendants of JUG events? Not yet ? Now you have a tool to generate certificates (signed PDF documents) and to send to your JUG members, courtesy of the Footprint project. The inspirational use-case for the program, as described by the project owners, is that "JUG members include digital certificates in their CVs and these certificates can be verified by human-resource, boss or other professional interested in to evaluate the candidate of a job position or other purpose."

In today's Weblogs, Bruno Ghisi reminds us that the Call for Papers for Java M&E Developer Days is ending!
"Call for Papers for the first Java Mobile & Embedded Developer Days, hosted by Mobile & Embedded Community, will end on October, 31. So, do not miss the time, send your ideas now!"

David Van Couvering says
You can help with NetBeans database tooling.
"I've put together a quick survey so you can tell us which way to go with NetBeans database tooling..."

Finally, in UNESCO > Minister of Education,
Frans Thamura has report on a meeting inolving "UNESCO, Development Country Progress and Indian Minister of Education, and JENI."

The latest Poll asks
"how often do you attend local Java User Group meetings?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.

Today's Forums starts with a message on Session Management in Glassfish Cluster.
"I am migrating a clustered application from Tomcat 5.5.x to Glassfish v2, using HttpSession in memory replication. The application must be able to work with devices not supporting cookies (e.g. some mobile devices), and even further that URL re-writing capabilities (get sessions by IP address, assuming that each mobile device has only a concurrent session)."

irond13 wants to know
How to determine where JRootPane paints the title bar?
"I'm playing with some glasspane effects and have noticed that when you set JFrame.setDefaultLookAndFeelDecorated(true), the title bar is actually inside the bounds of the JRootPane. This also means that the glasspane also paints over the title bar. This is bad for two reasons; firstly, the title bar can become visually obscured, & secondly, if you set your glasspane to consume all events, it becomes impossible to close the JFrame by clicking on the close cross. I have a feeling the solution to this will be quite messy. This is in part due to the fact that the size of title bar is LAF-dependant."

linuxhippy gives a thumbs up to Linux-related comments in the thread
Re: Please remove the 64mb heap maximum.
"Glad to hear that the Applet-Plugin will be rewritten, I always felt it was one of those problematic points. Thats almost as good news as all the other points, I am quite excited about 6uN."

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A modern heyday for Swing developers?