Scala and Swing

Scala works with Java Swing classes like JFrame, JTextArea, etc., very easily. Here’s an example of a Scala application that opens a JFrame, adds a few components to it, and then displays it:

import java.awt.BorderLayout
import java.awt.Dimension
import javax.swing.JFrame
import javax.swing.JScrollPane
import javax.swing.JTextArea

object SwingExample extends App {

    val textArea = new JTextArea
    textArea.setText("Hello, Swing world")
    val scrollPane = new JScrollPane(textArea)

    val frame = new JFrame("Hello, Swing")
    frame.getContentPane.add(scrollPane, BorderLayout.CENTER)
    frame.setSize(new Dimension(600, 400))


To see how that code works, save it to a file named SwingExample.scala, then compile it:

$ scalac SwingExample.scala

and then run it:

$ scala SwingExample

I’ve written a few Swing applications with Scala totaling thousands of lines of code, and I haven’t had any problems with it.

Please note that there’s also a Scala project known as Scala Swing, which is something different. That project is an effort to make Swing GUI code look more like it would have looked if someone knew Scala and then wrote a GUI framework on top of it.

Experiment with the code yourself

To experiment with this on your own, please see the SwingExample project in this book’s GitHub repository, which you can find at this URL:

If you know how to use the Scala Build Tool you can use it, otherwise you can compile and run the source code file that’s in the project’s root directory using scalac and scala, as shown above.

For information on getting started with SBT, see my tutorial, How to compile, run, and package a Scala project with SBT.

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