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I want to develop a Desktop Application using Java. I want to know which are the best technologies to develop User Interface like (swing, swt, etc.)?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

SWT is just a wrapper around the native UI objects: It does not do as much drawing as Swing. Otherwise the programming model as commonalities.

On top of SWT, you will need to use JFace, which will make your life a lot easier.

Please also note that Google has acquired Instantiation and open sourced (given to the Eclipse foundation) its flagship product windowbuilder so that now, developing SWT based GUIs is easier than ever. WindowBuilder also supports Swing but I'm not sure how this fits with Eclipse's long term strategy.

If you plan to do a lot of development and want to invest in the newest technology then you should also investigate SWT's successor: XWT - also supported by WindowBuilder. Note that all decent GUI platforms of the industry (XAML, Anfroid, XWT) now support an XML representation so that GUI builders IDE can perform bidirectional round-trip code generation.

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Yeah, and there is a plenty of SWT component suites over the internet –  Dmitry Negoda Jun 4 '11 at 10:22

We have used Swing in a large Java 1.4 project and were not happy with the quality of the UI: it was slow and glitchy. I then used SWT in another small project and was satisfied with both performance and quality. For my account SWT is better.

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Did you find out why it was slow and glitchy? –  user1249 Jun 4 '11 at 8:33
+1 for SWT. I started commenting but turned the rest into a full fledged answer actually. –  Alain Pannetier Jun 4 '11 at 8:39
> Did you find out why it was slow and glitchy apparently, there were a lot of problems with Swing in Java 1.4. For example, popup menus were slow, and sometimes the UI didn't redraw properly, HTML component was throwing exceptions on a valid HTML code. Using SWT at those times was a big gain. I am not sure about java 6 though... –  Dmitry Negoda Jun 4 '11 at 10:21
To my understanding Java 6 has a much better Swing implementation. –  user1249 Jun 4 '11 at 11:33
Have I missed so much that Java went from 1.4 to 6? –  Jon Jun 4 '11 at 14:23

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