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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Hardcore JFC: Conquering the Swing Architecture
Mitch Goldstein
0 521 66489 6
Cambridge University Press
Alan Barclay
Appeared in:
This book describes itself as a comprehensive guide to the functionality and practical use of the Swing (User Interface) component set. I certainly agree with the former, but not the latter.

I consider it to be the most comprehensive guide that I have come across to a lot of the detail of Swing. The author makes it clear to us that he has a great deal of knowledge of the internals of Swing from studying its source code. Admittedly this stuff is not normally covered in other books but a lot of the information seems to be at a level of detail that I didn't think I wanted to know. If you do then this book is probably for you.

For me - while not a beginner, but an intermediate Swing programmer - it is way too heavy as it launches into a lot of detail quicker than I feel happy with. I found it short on practical real world examples that aided my knowledge of actually using Swing to produce general user interfaces. It seemed to be telling me what you can do, through very detailed feature list descriptions, but not exactly how to do it. Perhaps this is a book for a manager or analyst who wants to know all about what is possible from the component set but not how to code it.

For a regular day-to-day Swing programmer I think a book that focuses on good technique for solving the standard problems would be more useful.

The book does have an associated web site, which contains the code from the book but bizarrely as a long PDF file. What the web site unfortunately doesn't yet contain is an errata for this first edition of the book.

Recommended with reservations.