What's the deal with Swing?

ross at indessed.com ross at indessed.com
Tue Mar 28 21:56:29 MST 2006

On Tue, 28 Mar 2006, Dave Smith wrote:
> The following opinions are highly personal. All my evidence is anecdotal. 
> Please enjoy my comments and rebut where you'd like.

Just wanted to let you know that although I've never used Qt, I've heard 
nothing but good things about it and I am prepared to endorse nearly 
everything you've said, except the part about Swing being the worst out of 
AWT, Delphi, and Visual Basic. Are you serious or just exaggerating? 
Compared to Qt, Swing may look like crap--but compared to the others??

Anywho, I also wanted to point out that several of your points are more 
Java-ish in nature than Swing-ish (verbosity, layout managers, 
deployment), and some of the others (ugliness, slowness) are certainly 
getting better. But in the ugliness department, native widgets are always 
going to win, and in the speed department, compiled binaries will always 
beat virtual machined bytecode. If you're comparing Java/Swing to C++/Qt, 
it's pretty obvious who's going to end up on top in that battle.

> It takes too many lines of code to create and place a widget. SWT got it 
> slightly better by giving each widget its parent in the widget's 
> constructor.

I find this *really* odd, because that's one of the things I hate the most 
about SWT (the backwards way of making every widget have to know about its 
parent instead of simply 'component.add(new JButton("Hello!"))' ... you 
really find that too verbose? The layout manager issue I can certainly 
understand (although SWT is no better, most likely a good deal worse). 
What on earth are you comparing Swing with?

> Qt got it just right by providing an excellent graphical GUI builder 
> that actually works!

Aha! Coding Swing by hand is tedious and annoying compared to an excellent 
graphical GUI builder! That makes perfect sense. :)

I fully agree, of course. But just wanted to make it explicit that with an 
excellent graphical GUI builder, this problem of yours goes away.

At any rate, thanks for providing a good counterpoint!

 	~ Ross

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