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Chapter 1. Getting Started

Chapter 1. Getting Started

One of the most exciting trends in software development is the move toward the use of open source tools and components to assist developers in quickly and easily completing assigned programming tasks. One of the most successful of the open source platforms is Eclipse, an open source Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which is designed to enable developers to write code in any language, for any platform, using a standardized IDE. Eclipse has been downloaded by more than 18 million developers worldwide and forms the basis for IBM's WebSphere Application Developer, perhaps the most popular Java development environment in the corporate world.

One aspect of Eclipse is the Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT), a set of components that enable the developer to easily build GUIs. Although Java itself has built-in capability to develop graphical applications using the Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT) and the Java Foundation Classes (Swing) components, these toolkits have been tarred with the brush of sluggish performance and an inability to deliver user interfaces that appear to seamlessly integrate with the operating system platform for which the GUI was developed. Such is the price we pay for the promise of Java—write once, run anywhere.


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