If you're developing software that will be used by a large group of people, you need to give it a good-looking front-end--in Java 2, that means you have to use Swing. An excellent resource, Graphic Java 2: Mastering the JFC, Third Edition (Volume 2: Swing) takes on the Swing components one at a time and shows you how to incorporate them into attractive, efficient programs.
In many ways, Graphic Java 2 is a cookbook. You search the table of contents or index for a reference to the kind of problem you want to solve, then examine the author's examples for the solution (or at least some clues to it). This is the book to turn to if you're wondering how to implement the JComboBox.KeySelectionManager interface (which enables users to select items in a combo box) or compare the various ways of making the JTree component into a file browser. Those are just two of hundreds of examples in David Geary's book.
While most examples don't serve any practical purpose by themselves, they do clearly illustrate how a specific aspect of Swing works. It's easy to adapt the details presented here into your own programs. Geary shows consideration for the reader by presenting all his examples as programs that can be compiled and including them on the enclosed CD-ROM. --David Wall
"At over 1500 pages, Graphic Java 2 is a monolith, heavy with details and weighted with valuable information for all Java UI developers. The coverage is meticulous and fluid, instructive in countless ways, unveiling things you won't find anywhere else. Yet it remains accessible to even a novice Swing developer. The net effect is that the price tag seems trivial given the value you can get from this book...
The coverage is not just impressive in its sheer volume; it's also an easy read with clear, concise explanations and useful examples...
All the fundamentals--in eloquent prose and incredible detail--are laid out before the reader in logical chapters that build on each other to unveil the most complete picture I've seen in print. I can hardly wait to read Volume III." -- DevX Book Reviews, July 29, 1999
"Thinking about making that jump from the AWT to Swing? Not sure where to start or how to go about it? Your search stops with David Geary's Graphic Java 2: Mastering the JFC...
Part 2 covers all the Swing components and their properties in detail; each component allocated a chapter. Two of the most complex components--Table and Tree--are covered in great detail and Chapters 19 and 20, respectively. These two chapters alone are worth the price of the book for serious Swing developers...
All in all, Geary has done such a thorough job in Graphic Java 2 that it can truly be considered the Swing bible. Don't let the size of the book intimidate you, it provides a top-level view as well as microscopic details on all Swing components. It will definitely prove to be an asset in the Swing developer's arsenal." -- Dr. Dobbs Journal, September, 1999
Pretty much any java book these days will have a chapter on swing. To get you started it's often enough but there simply so much that can be said about swing that you'll soon find you need something meatier, and this is it. Its sixteen hundred pages including a thirtyfive page index (some reviews below say it has no index) cover, as far as I can see, every little thing you could possibly want to know about swing components. There more information, more examples and more explanations than you'll ever need, and none of it flab. Before purchasing this book I had written a small application with a fairly simple drop down menu. It worked fine but the code to set up and implement the menu looked ugly. Reading through and following the advice of this book I rewrote the code. I works just the same but was half the size of the original; it was also cleaner and in a fit state to had over to someone else to maintain, so that exercise alone may have paid for the book in the long run. It is already my most used reference after the companion Core Java series.
For a book that is dedicated to Swing, I found the book uninsightful. The organization of the book is confusing and thus difficult to use. The table of contents are a somewhat helpful in this area, but since there is no index, it is not very useful as a reference text. Unfortunately it not particularly good as an introduction to the Swing interface either, so I am not quite sure who is the best audience. But there is a lot of raw data, so some should find some value from it, particularly if this is the only information available on Swing.
Others have waxed eloquent about the merits of this book. I have owned it for 2 years and I am still amazed at the depth, clarity, and scope of the information inside. Swing can be confusing, and there are frequently many ways to accomplish a task. Geary takes you through from the ground up and shows how to harness this powerful API. Long as it is, the book builds on the foundation of the AWT 1.1 coverage in volume 1. Swing is heavily dependent on the revised AWT architecture, so volume 1 is a must-own for anyone serious in leveraging the full Java GUI API. I had been a Swing programmer for almost a year before buying this book, and it completely redefined how I thought about the API, as well as the results I have obtained. My hat is off to Mr. Geary, as well as the designers of this surprisingly powerful and complete API!
This is, no doubt about it, the top swing book around. Almost all questions you might have about a swing component are answered and if you fell like the java docs don't do a good job at explaining them, this book is for you. All components (i belive) are explained to the extreme (the author even explain the design of it) and there is a usefull table per component explaining which methods in Swing correspond to the ones in AWT, and that is particulary usefull if you need to convert AWT to Swing. There is also a good explanation of the model-view design of the components, which does a good job at explaining the JTree and JTable, the newest and most complex (as an other reviewer mentioned) components of Swing. One thing this book doesn't cover is the Graphic 2D library, but a new book is suppose to come about it. Oh yeah, one of the downsides is that this book is VERY heavy and big, but i guess that's the price...
If you use Swing to develop your Java UI's, and who doesn't, unless maybe you're developing an applet, you must get this book. I have several books dedicated to using JFC and none compare to this one. When you need detailed answers as to how or why Swing controls behave as they do you can rely on getting the correct answer from this book. You may read the first couple of chapters then I recommend using the book as a reference. Read what you need as you need it. This is a huge book, 1600+ pages, dense with information and code samples. I refer to this book often. I give this one a strongly recommended. I hope this helps :)
Mr. Geary has produced a wonderfully comprehensive guide to Java Swing, patiently explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each component, along with the theory behind Swing's framework. Every piece of software was written to solve a problem. If a programmer really wants to understand the limitations (i.e. how to use it effectively) of software, he/she must understand the problem it was developed to solve. Mr. Geary goes the extra step in his book to give the theory/history/reasoning behind Swing, as well as, providing examples you can actually use in your code. Congratulations on an outstanding job!!
This book is good. It comes with a lot good example code demostrate how to use the swing components. But the author does not talk about more in depth in theory aspect. The book listed constants and methods in a class or a interface. But it does not tell you how to use some of those method. In the book, some of the code just use those method and it doesn't tell why, and those things under. Such as the AbstractAction class.When a user extends a class from this class, the constructor calls super("exit"), but why? The book is really good if you want to find some swing examples or to have a feel of swing. I would like to give it five stars if it could talk more in theory.
I find this book too hard for beginner + intermediate level. I saw the earlier comments on Amazon & bought the book. But I have not been able to use even one section comfortably. The book is full of details & not very approachable. I would advise any programmer to work with Core Java 2, v1 and complete atleast upto chapter 9 or 10 before attempting to read this book. It is probably not worth the price if you just want to get a feel for some of the components & work them around in your programs. But I suppose java gurus will find it helpful for it introduces them to all the relevant classes & interfaces with respect to particular components.