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05 February 2009, 09:36

Sun promises continued Swinging

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Sun have laid out a roadmap for future development of the Java Swing GUI framework. Worries had been expressed in the Java community that Sun were focussing too much on JavaFX to the detriment of the Swing tool kit. Danny Coward, Chief Architect of Sun's client software, has responded specifically to a call for a version 2.0 of Swing which would modernise the API to match current features of the Java language.

In Coward's response, he says Sun is not ready to create an incompatible version of Swing, but points to JDK 7 (Java Development Kit) and its modular architecture. This architecture would allow for an API incompatible Swing 2 to live alongside the current Swing implementation. Despite this, he does point to a number of new features, such as JXLayer, DatePicker and CSS styling which Sun hopes to incorporate in JDK 7.

Coward says that Sun's current focus is on improving deployment and runtime performance and making Swing application development simpler by incorporating the Swing Application Framework in JDK7 "reducing the amount of boiler plate code and conceptual complexity". He also pointed out that if someone wanted to make more radical changes to Swing to "please consider that you have all the source code for Swing, together with the supporting infrastructure, to create a project and broadcast its existence at".


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