Crazy Idea

Java Swing Vs VB 4.0
July 17, 2007, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Java’s weak point has been its Rich client programming capabilities . Especially, the ease of use for building applications.

I used to develop for the Windows environment before doing Java. I used Borland C++, VC++ and VB. Whenever, people boasted about Java GUI apps, I always felt nostalgic about my windows IDEs and how easy it was to build a GUI.

I saw this link from
talking about an IDE shootout. He talks about Netbeans Matisse Swing GUI toolkit/framework/wizard that helps people build GUIs in Java and how he feels “Hey, we’ve reached parity with VB at a last! That’s great.” Followed
immediately by the thought “Wow, that only took a decade. Meh.”

Although he did not mention VB 4.0 in the above quote, it’s kinda assumed. So, when will a Java IDE going to be at parity or better than the current VB as far as GUI development capabilities go ?

Process Perfection

I still haven’t seen a single Java IDE have packaging tools like VB (Installshield lite/express). Granted Java has been better in terms of unit testing/coverage, etc but the (till now) missing “GUI building” functionality was costing it much. The fact that AJAX is making desktop apps envious and ruby/php/.NET/FLASH improving on Rich-Client functionality, there is little time to be lost if Java has to be contender for building Rich Client apps.

Europa from Eclipse is a good step in the direction. Idea is trying to keep everyone happy : it appears that they don’t share sun’s enthusiasm as far as Swing is concerned 🙂

Nice Interesting times…

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33 Comments so far
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I would have to disagree entirely with your opening line (“Java’s weak point has been its Rich client programming capabilities”)! Check out Kerika (, which is written entirely in Java and provides a very rich client indeed. And check out on why we chose to build Kerika in Java.

Comment by Arun Kumar

Hi Arun,

Thanks for stopping by.

After posting it, I briefly thought that someone could misunderstand where I was coming from.

Let me clarify. What I mean is this “Although Java and Swing have improved a lot in the last few years to be compelling considerations for desktop apps, developer support for building such GUIs was not quite there. With Netbeans/Matisse and a few open source libraries/toolkits/frameworks, Java can be a good tool to develop such apps. I know that Sun employees recently came out with a new book called “Filthy Rich Java apps” or something like that.

So, I know that one can build such apps TODAY, thousands of VB developers have been able to do that since the last 10 years. I emphasis was ON developer tools NOT the runtime capabilities of the platform.


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les étapes de faire un application à l’aide Visual basic

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