Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Review - SWT/JFace in Action

SWT/JFace in ActionSWT/JFace in Action
by Matthew Scarpino, Stephen Holder, Stanford Ng, Laurent Mihalkovic

4 out of 5 stars

SWT and JFace are the graphical libraries developed by IBM as an alternative to Swing to improve performance of GUI applications (specifically Eclipse) written in Java. This book offers a thorough introduction to SWT/JFace. The authors avoid getting into a Swing vs. SWT/JFace debate although they do provide a comparison of the two libraries.

The book starts with a look at writing a program in SWT and then rewriting it using JFace. The authors compare the two approaches and give a good description of why you would want to use one over the other. The next few chapters look at the basic widgets, layout managers, event handling, and graphics contexts. Later chapters cover more advanced widgets such as trees, viewers, tables, menus, dialogs, and wizards. The last chapter looks at GUI development using Eclipse's Rich Client Platform. The appendices cover development within Eclipse and integrating SWT/JFace applications with OLE and ActiveX.

Overall this book does a great job of explaining SWT/JFace at a good level of detail. The book includes a reasonable amount of code samples as well as UML diagrams that help explain how these libraries work. The authors should have chosen a better sample application to demonstrate use of the libraries and there aren't enough screen shots included which may leave you wondering what some of the widgets look like. Other than these two minor complaints, this is an excellent book to learn how to use SWT/JFace and I can strongly recommend it.

This earned 4 stars on Amazon. The book is published by Manning.

The review can be seen on Amazon on My Amazon Reviews page.

No comments: