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JavaFX or Swing (for GUI)

21. JavaFX or Swing (for GUI)

JavaFX and Swing are two popular frameworks for creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in Java. Both provide a rich set of components and tools for building desktop applications with interactive graphical interfaces. In this Core Java tutorial, we'll explore JavaFX and Swing, providing explanations and examples for each.


JavaFX is a modern, platform-independent GUI framework introduced as part of the Java Standard Library. It offers a highly customizable and rich set of UI components, making it suitable for building visually appealing and responsive desktop applications.

Key Features of JavaFX:

  • Rich UI Components: JavaFX provides a wide range of UI components, including buttons, labels, text fields, tables, and charts, to create interactive user interfaces.

  • FXML: JavaFX supports a markup language called FXML, which allows you to design your UI layout declaratively, separating the UI design from application logic.

  • CSS Styling: You can apply CSS styles to JavaFX UI components to achieve a consistent and visually pleasing appearance.

  • Animation: JavaFX offers built-in support for animations and transitions, allowing you to create visually appealing effects.

  • Scene Builder: Scene Builder is a visual layout tool for designing JavaFX applications, making it easier to create complex UIs.
Example of a Simple JavaFX Application:
import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.Button;
import javafx.scene.layout.StackPane;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

public class JavaFXHelloWorld extends Application {

    public void start(Stage primaryStage) {
        Button btn = new Button("Hello, JavaFX!");
        btn.setOnAction(e -> System.out.println("Hello, JavaFX Button Clicked!"));

        StackPane root = new StackPane();

        Scene scene = new Scene(root, 300, 250);

        primaryStage.setTitle("JavaFX Hello World");

    public static void main(String[] args) {


In this example, we create a simple JavaFX application with a button that prints a message when clicked. JavaFX applications are typically started by extending the 'Application' class and overriding the 'start' method.


Swing is an older GUI framework for Java that has been around since Java 1.2. It provides a robust set of UI components and is known for its platform independence. Swing applications run on a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and have a consistent look and feel across different operating systems.

Key Features of Swing:

  • Mature and Stable: Swing has been part of the Java platform for a long time and is well-tested and stable.

  • Pluggable Look and Feel (PLAF): Swing allows you to change the appearance of your application by switching between different look and feel (L&F) themes.

  • Rich Component Library: Swing offers a comprehensive set of UI components, including buttons, menus, dialogs, and tables.

  • Customization: You can create custom Swing components and UI themes to match your application's specific requirements.

  • Layout Managers: Swing provides layout managers that help you design flexible and responsive user interfaces.
Example of a Simple Swing Application:
import javax.swing.JButton;
import javax.swing.JFrame;
import javax.swing.JOptionPane;
import javax.swing.JPanel;

public class SwingHelloWorld {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        JFrame frame = new JFrame("Swing Hello World");

        JPanel panel = new JPanel();
        JButton button = new JButton("Hello, Swing!");

        button.addActionListener(e -> JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(frame, "Hello, Swing Button Clicked!"));


        frame.setSize(300, 200);

In this example, we create a simple Swing application with a button that displays a dialog when clicked. Swing applications typically extend  'JFrame' and use various Swing components for building the GUI.

Choosing Between JavaFX and Swing:

The choice between JavaFX and Swing depends on your project's requirements and personal preferences. Some factors to consider when making the decision include:

  • Platform: If cross-platform compatibility is crucial, both JavaFX and Swing are good choices. However, JavaFX may be a better option for newer projects.

  • UI Complexity: If you need to create complex and visually appealing user interfaces, JavaFX offers more modern design capabilities, including CSS styling and animations.

  • Legacy Code: If you have existing Swing-based applications, it may be more straightforward to continue using Swing for consistency.

  • Ecosystem: JavaFX has a more active community and is the recommended choice for newer Java desktop applications.

  • Development Tools: JavaFX's Scene Builder provides a visual tool for designing UIs, while Swing relies more on code-based UI design.

In summary, both JavaFX and Swing have their strengths and are capable of building robust desktop applications. Your choice should align with your specific project needs and development preferences.