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GUI Changes: The AWT Grows Up

After releasing 1.0 version of the Java platform, JavaSoft started working on ways to enable programmers to create better graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in less time.

In 1.1, the architecture of the AWT was improved to make large-scale GUI development more feasible and to add basic functionality that was missing. The most significant of the improvements were a new event model and the capability to create lightweight components.

Just after finishing 1.1, JavaSoft announced the Java Foundation Classes (JFC). The JFC includes the 1.1 AWT plus additional functionality, such as an infrastructure for creating lightweight components, a bunch of ready-to-use lightweight components, and full-featured drawing functionality. To get feedback and testing on this additional JFC functionality, JavaSoft is providing early access releases of the Java 2D (drawing) and Swing (lightweight component) projects.

This is a work in progress! See our disclaimer. Expect mistakes, missing text, bad links, etc.

GUI Changes in 1.1 and Beyond

This section will discuss the JFC -- the 1.1 AWT changes, the Swing project, and a bit about Java 2D.

The New AWT Event Model

This section describes the 1.1 AWT event model, giving you plenty of examples to follow.

Using the JFC "Swing" Release

The Swing release is an early release of part of the JFC. This section tells you how to download the Swing release and build applications that use its ready-made lightweight components.

Writing Lightweight Components

This section isn't written yet. See the example page Lightweight Components on the JavaSoft website for draft documentation and examples. When the Swing release is incorporated into the JDK, writing lightweight components -- and custom components in general -- will be much easier.

How to Convert Programs to the 1.1 AWT API

For this information, go to How to Convert Programs to the 1.1 AWT API, which is part of the 1.1 documentation package. The contents of that document will be added to the tutorial soon.

About the Examples: Many of the examples in this section use heavyweight components. However, we encourage you to use lightweight components wherever possible!

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