UIKit is written entirely in Java. It should work under any virtual machine which supports
JDK 1.1 or later. This makes it perfect for applets as well as applications.
Can I include my own custom components in UIKit layouts?
Yes. Almost any Object can be defined in an interface definition file. The only requirement
(and there are exceptions even to this) is that it must have a constructor which takes no
arguments. In addition, if you want to specify a property value in the file, the object
must have an appropriate setXXX() method.
Can I use UIKit in commercial programs?
Yes. UIKit is completely free, and distributed under a very liberal license. You can do
almost anything with it so long as you give due credit for it.
Does UIKit work with Swing?
UIKit can create Swing components just like any other Java objects, but it is not specifically
designed for creating Swing layouts. For example, it does not know how to added JMenus to
a JFrame, or how to make full use of some of the Swing layout managers. It would be quite
simple to modify it to correct these problems, and you are certainly welcome to do so. I
have no plans to do so myself, however. I regard Swing as an abomination, and don't want to
do anything that could possibly encourage anyone to use it. (Ok, it's not that bad if you
ignore the painfully slow performance, the ludicrous memory requirements, the depressingly
badly implemented text editing, the "imitation" components that behave almost-but-not-quite
like real native components...except for a few particularly egregious cases that don't even
come up to the level of "almost"...perhaps I had better stop now. :)
What XML parser does UIKit use?
UIKit was written to use Sun's JAXP XML parser. It would be quite simple, however, to modify
it to use any other parser which conforms to the World Wide Web Consortium's Document Object
How does UIKit compare to Sun's Archiver package and IBM's Bean Markup Language?
and IBM's Bean Markup Language (BML) are
both technologies which allow sets of objects to be reconstructed from XML files. In this
sense, they are quite similar to UIKit. Both of them were designed to address much larger
and more general sets of problems than UIKit, however. Archiver is intended to be a
general purpose object serialization mechanism. BML is designed to be a complete programming
environment, in which you create entire programs (or large sections of programs) by connecting
between the beans.
In contrast, UIKit is intended to do one specific thing very, very well: creating user
interfaces for Java programs. As a result, it is faster, simpler, and easier to use than
either of the other packages.
For example, suppose that you want to create a Label which says "Hello!" in bright red,
18 point, bold, serif text. Here is the necessary XML for Sun's Archiver.
Now here is the necessary XML for UIKit to create the same component:
In spite of its greater simplicity, UIKit is still extremely flexible. There is nothing
special about Label objects. When UIKit parses the above XML, it uses reflection to look
up the Label class, create an instance of it, find the setText() method, determine what
type of argument it takes, etc. Including your own custom objects is every bit as simple.