Re: Are there any good Java XML UI toolkits

Dale King <>
Wed, 29 Nov 2006 01:07:03 -0500
Chris Uppal wrote:

Dale King wrote:

Is there any really good XML API for creating Swing UI's?

I can't help with suggestions for what already exists, but the thought strikes
me: how hard would it be to do yourself ? Since (as I understand it) you are
not looking for any kind of abstraction away from Swing, but rather the ability
to specify Swing GUIs in XML instead of boilerplate Java code, it seems that a
table-driven approach would be quite powerful. Your hand-written Java code
(for interpreting the XML) would be table driven, mapping XML tags/attributes
into Swing constructions via either reflection or some sort of factory; and the
tables would be generated (off-line) by reflection on the Swing classes.

YAGNI, of course, is your friend in any such project ;-)

Oh, this is definitely not driven by real need. I already have the UI
specified mostly in code.

I am kind of using this particular project as an experiment in terms of
investigating the best ways of doing things both for my learning and to
serve as example code. So I am very much over-engineering this. For
example, in one part of the code I am taking the MVC notion to the
extreme as learning exercise in what code should look like. I am also
being very emphatic that the code supports localization even though the
code will likely never be localized.

So YAGNI is not an issue for me here. I am not trying to do the simplest
thing that works. I am trying to investigate the most elegant, best
design that works.

I had rolled my own scheme for creating and localizing menus and
toolbars specifying the structure using Properties files. But that's all
that it supported and was not very satisfying. I've read about using XML
for specifying GUIs and there was a lot of buzz about it, but it seems
to me to mostly be hype and in the end they all seem to fall short. I
was hoping that I was just missing something.

  Dale King

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