Professional Java Custom UI Components

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9781861003645: Professional Java Custom UI Components

This book details the design and implementation of professional-grade Java custom user interface components, primarily for use within Internet browsers. Interoperability with the current Internet browsers requires design patterns that provide efficient screen rendering while minimizing the component download time. This book demonstrates proven techniques for developing and deploying client-side Java components and applets that are efficient, and compatible with modern Internet browsers, without the use of external software or plug-ins.

This book introduces custom component development by utilizing a simple example, which has been refined during its use within a college course. It then walks through the design and development of a number of examples derived from actual production code. The book is supported by a download containing thousands of lines of tested code along with comprehensive documentation. Visual design, user interface project management, and code maintenance are also discussed, putting the code details into perspective.

This book covers: Visual design of user interfaces
Using AWT and Swing in custom components
Implementing design patterns
Browser interoperability
Building component frameworks
Detailed examination of tested production quality code
Code maintenance

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Review:

Perfect for the working Java developer who wants to do more with user interfaces, Professional Java Custom UI Components provides some extremely useful sample code and a working guide to developing your own controls. This intelligent and provocatively argued volume shows that you don't have to settle for the built-in Java components to build more usable software whether inside or outside a browser.

The premise of this book is simple. It presents and explains some real-world code for a variety of actual Java-based projects to show how you can do more with custom components. First there's a guide to effective user interface design, including what to avoid. (Here the authors show off ineffective or clumsy interfaces drawn from a variety of real software.)

With these ideas in place, the authors next walk through several of their controls borrowed from their production code, starting with a graphical "toggle switch" that resembles the real thing. Other standout controls here include an image-based movie banner display control, and nicely functional tree and table components. There's a general-purpose sliding control (which can scroll other content). Along the way, there's coverage of the steps required to design and code a control from scratch, with plenty of tips for bringing your designs to life.

Each of these controls uses the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) for greater portability between today's browsers, though Swing versions are also presented, but in less detail. Later, the book presents the authors' custom "framework" for new controls. (Mixed in here is a rather dense introduction to the software process for designing user interface controls.) A final chapter on "refactoring" and software maintainability shows that good software never stands still and is refined.

While most Java developers today do most of their work on the server, this thought-provoking title shows that client-side Java is still an option for doing more for your users. This text shows you how to think "outside the box" when it comes to user interface design in Java. While programmers in other languages (like Visual Basic and C++) have long used custom controls, this intriguing book puts this approach back into play for client-side Java. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Introduction to custom user interface components in the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) and Swing, guidelines for effective user interface design (including transparency, aesthetics and usability, design hints for color and visual elements), sample code for a custom toggle switch (planning and implementation), displaying images and interacting with users (sample case study for a control for online movie banners), developing custom tree controls, adding verification (for "applyable" controls), using and extending tree and table controls, a custom slide panel control, a framework for custom controls, intro to the software development process (from requirements document to testing and maintainability), maintaining components (refactoring, reflection and evolving software), and sample code from real-world custom Java controls.

From the Publisher:

This book is for Java developers seeking a detailed introduction to designing and implementing custom user-interface components and frameworks. This book contains material that will prove useful to both software engineers developing commercial-quality, web-based applications and web developers interested in creating truly unique web content.

The book assumes the reader is familiar with the Java programming language and has had some exposure to the Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT), as well as JFC/Swing.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Kenneth F. Krutsch; David S. Cargo; Virginia Howlett
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Krutsch, Kenneth F.; Cargo, David S.; Howlett, Virginia
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