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<article link="SWT-Design-1.html">
SWT: The Standard Widget Toolkit PART 1: Implementation Strategy
for Java&trade; Natives
<date>March 22, 2001</date>
<category>User interface</category>
<name>Steve Northover</name>
The first in a series of articles about the design ideas behind
SWT. SWT is the software component that delivers native widget
functionality for the Eclipse platform in an operating system
independent manner. It is analogous to AWT/Swing in Java with a
difference - SWT uses a rich set of native widgets. Even in an
ideal situation, industrial strength cross platform widget
libraries are very difficult to write and maintain. This is due
to the inherent complexity of widget systems and the many subtle
differences between platforms. There are several basic
approaches that have helped significantly to reduce the
complexity of the problem and deliver high quality libraries.
This article discusses one of them, the low level implementation
techniques used to implement SWT on different platforms.
Examples are drawn from the Windows&reg; and Motif implementations.