What's the deal with Swing?

Bryan Sant bryan.sant at gmail.com
Wed Mar 29 11:37:24 MST 2006

On 3/29/06, Michael L Torrie <torriem at chem.byu.edu> wrote:
> > <snip>
> > 16MB.  I'm not saying that it's small, but the .NET 1.1 runtime is
> > 22MB -- .NET 2.0 will be even bigger.  It would take your averge user
> > less time to download the JRE than it would for them to do their
> > monthly Windows update...  Or daily virus scan...  You choose.
> > Downloading Firefox and Thunderbird takes 10MB.  So I disagree that it
> > is big by "today's standards".
> While this may be, the fact that under service pack 2 and automatic
> updates most people have the .NET runtime whether they want it or not
> makes this comparison kind of moot.

Most computers ship with a modern JRE (which updates itself similar to
Windows update).  So your consumers many not need to download the JRE
at all.  However, if they do have to download the JRE, I don't think a
16 MB download (only 15.5 MB on Linux!!! :-)) would prevent them from
using your product.  Say your program is a huge 5MB monster + a 16MB
JRE = 21MB.  No big deal (everyone has broadband right :-)).

> > <snip>
> > Java's new default ugly theme is less ugly that the old default ugly
> > theme :-).  With Java 5 and better the default theme is "Ocean".  See
> > here:
> It is indeed better but I still find it looks bad.  It's probably not
> because it actually is bad but because it still bears enough resemblance
> to the original metal look and feel (and Swing crappiness from the era)

I'd agree.  I won't use it for that reason.  I don't want anyone to
know my app is a Java app.  They just use it and say, "wow, this is a
cool program".  That's it.  Not, this is a cool program for a *Java*
app.  They should never know.

> to give many folks including myself a bad feeling in the pit of my
> stomach.  Sun should ditch this default look and feel all-together and
> always go with native UI integration.  I tried the Java 1.6 betas and
> was disappointed that I had to enable the GTK integration, rather than
> have it on by default.  For 99% of the deployment platforms out there,
> swing has no need or reason to default to anything other than native.

I agree.

> perception is everything. GTK+ had a similar image problem back in the
> 1.2 days.  The entire linux desktop still has to escape this perception.
> I don't think Dave is talking about blocking code.  He's talking more
> about how Swing (even still) just feels perceptibly slower to react to
> the user.  Drawing menus, etc.  Glad this will be addressed in 1.6 and
> above.

Ya.  I think 1.6 is critical for a good desktop experience.  Running a
swing app with 1.5 and then 1.6 makes a big difference.  It feels so
much faster.


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