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Joe Winchester

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Top Stories by Joe Winchester

The Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) is a Java class library that allows you to create native user interfaces. It's designed to provide efficient, portable access to the underlying facilities of the operating system on which it's implemented. SWT uses native widgets wherever possible, giving an SWT program a native look and feel and a high level of integration with the desktop. In addition, SWT includes a rich set of controls such as tree, table, and tab folder. This article introduces SWT by describing some of the basic concepts and classes. Hello World: A Simple SWT Program The easiest way to learn SWT is to study a simple example. The following code shows a complete SWT program that creates and displays a new window on the desktop with "Hello World" in the title bar. Figure 1 shows the result of running this program on Windows XP. --> 1 import org.eclipse.swt.*; 2 i... (more)

Software Engineers Aren't Doing Enough To Really Create Error-Free Software

London, the capital of my home country England, has a beautiful gothic style lifting bridge built by the Victorians in 1894 that magnificently spans the river Thames. It allows tall ships to access the river upstream by lifting its center sections, which for the first 82 years of its life was powered by huge steam engines. Steam has since given way to electricity and in 1998 a $3M overhaul was done to upgrade the kit and make it ready for the 21st century. On June 3, 2005, however, everything did not go according to plan and the bridge was stuck open. For 10 hours it remained ja... (more)

Java Desktop: The Usability Paradox

The world's first office computer, known as LEO, was created in the 1950s by Lyons, the British teashop giant. Its aim was to replace the thousands of clerks who did the billing, invoicing, and stocktaking, and also tracked the supply and demand of sticky buns and cups of tea that the public were consuming. Its success lay not in the technology it employed, but because it made the company more efficient by streamlining what was previously a very labor-intensive business process. It benefited Lyons, which cut costs and had more control of corporate information, and it also benefit... (more)

When Fixing Problems, Look Beyond

One way in which technology is adopted is when an existing process is automated and made more efficient, cheaper, or reliable. Another is when a technique or innovation is applied to an existing process to drastically alter the way it occurs. The disadvantage of the latter is that it requires the idea being sold to someone who has to change to adopt it, and thereby carries a risk of failure. Applying a technology to merely streamline an existing process is a simpler to adopt as the implementation merely involves oiling an existing solution. Given the keystone that communication ... (more)

SWT: A Native Widget Toolkit for Java - Part 2 of 2

The first part of this article (JDJ, Vol. 8, issue 4) introduced the Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT), and showed how graphical user interfaces can be created using some of the basic widgets found in SWT. In addition, layout classes were described that allow widgets to be arbitrarily positioned and sized within their parent. In Part 2, we continue where the previous article left off, describing some of the more advanced controls and concepts, including multithreading in the user interface. We conclude with a brief discussion of SWT graphics. Items Many of the advanced controls in SW... (more)