Before you start
This tutorial is for Swing beginners. Perhaps you know others who use it, or you've seen it in an application you use. Maybe you've even dabbled in it yourself. Whatever the case, this tutorial walks you through a basic Swing application, starting with the ubiquitous HelloWorld application. After you get that running on your machine, we'll build your Swing knowledge by creating a flight reservation system, adding to it until you have a basic but fully functional application.
During the course of this tutorial, you will learn all the beginner components in Swing; by beginner components, I mean the ones you would use to build simple user interfaces (UIs). You will learn how to use basic methods to set their properties and how these Swing components interact with other components. You will also read about other UI concepts you'll need to complete your Swing knowledge, including layouts, event/listeners, and data models. By the end of the tutorial, you should be able to build a simple Swing application.
Please note though that this tutorial is not intended to serve as an all-encompassing beginner's guide to Swing. There are entire books dedicated to learning Swing, and I cannot possibly duplicate that effort here. This tutorial instead focuses on the most commonly used components and functions that you as a beginner will most likely run across in your work.
If, after completing this tutorial, you are interested in furthering your knowledge of Swing programming, you should read the companion tutorial called "Intermediate Swing," which will build on the concepts and the sample application developed in this tutorial.
To complete this tutorial, you'll need the following:
- JDK 5.0.
- An IDE or text editor. I recommend Eclipse (see Resources for more information on Eclipse).
- The swing1.jar for the flight reservation system.