Make Your Swing App Go Native, Part 1

Making your swing app go native part 1: "Java applications, in particular those written with the Swing toolkit, have a reputation for feeling clunky and out of place, as if they don't belong on your computer. Often your users can't put their finger on what it is that doesn't feel quite right. It is often the look of the buttons, subtle menu bar differences, and a lack of a good launching mechanism. Swing applications often look and feel different than native applications.

This is the first of a three part article series in which we will build a simple application from the ground up and make it look and feel native. This article will cover designing the menus and adding visual alerts. The second article will focus on building native executables and adding file type associations. The third part will complete the series with icons, dialog boxes, splashscreens, and a checklist of finishing touches. Throughout the series, we will make use of several libraries and techniques that automate the process and make building high-quality Swing applications as easy as possible."