Netscape IFC in a Nutshell
By Dean Petrich
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 1997
Pages: 370

Inspired by the bestselling Java in a Nutshell, Netscape IFC in a Nutshell is a quick reference and programmer's guide to the Internet Foundation Classes (Version 1.1) from Netscape. This book contains all the documentation Java programmers need to start creating highly customizable, great looking graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for their Java applets and applications. In addition to the complete and thorough quick reference, Netscape IFC in a Nutshell also contains more than 20 tutorial-style, example-based chapters that introduce each of the features and GUI components of the IFC. These features include:

  • A "Pure Java" platform-independent, customizable look-and-feel, with a complete suite of GUI components
  • Intra-application drag-and-drop
  • Multi-font formatted text display, with a built-in HTML parser
  • Pre-defined color, font, and file-selection dialog boxes
  • Timer objects that simplify animation by replacing threads
  • Constructor, an interface builder application freely available from Netscape

The IFC 1.1 library is freely available on the Internet, for use in any Java application or with any Java-capable Web browser, and is bundled with Netscape's Navigator 4.0 Web browser, making it the ideal, and preferred, development library for that platform.

The Netscape IFC classes documented in this book will strongly influence the development of the Java Foundation Classes (JFC), under development by Sun, Netscape, IBM, and others. The JFC will reportedly merge IFC technology with Sun's AWT GUI toolkit. Although the JFC will eventually supersede the IFC, the IFC is a powerful class library, is available now, and is a very useful and stable predecessor to the JFC. Developers, particularly those targeting the Navigator 4.0 platform, should begin right away to take advantage of the advanced GUI features of the IFC, secure in the knowledge that Netscape will provide a migration path to the JFC, when it eventually becomes available. Experience now with the IFC will give programmers a head-start on the JFC.

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