Java Swing, re-implemented on Wayland
58b25eec — Phil Ashby 22 days ago
support applicaation outputs from Logger
2db3c699 — Phil Ashby 27 days ago
map logical fonts to only actual physical font
93c7caf3 — Phil Ashby 27 days ago
add draw/fillArc methods


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#Java Swing re-implemented for Wayland

Duke sporting a Wayland logo

Yes, I'm completely mad.

Yes, I know about Wakefield, and Caciocavallo, both have been in progress(ish) for years... nothing has arrived in mainline JDK to fix the internal JDK bugs that prevent a proper Wayland AWT Toolkit. There is a horrid fix in Caciocavallo which uses reflection to monkey about inside the JDK, and needs many command line switches to circumvent security controls...

Yes, I know about XWayland - it's horribly broken for Swing applications (try one!) and is intended as a stop gap, not a long term solution.

#OK.. how?

By re-using the interfaces of Swing, and providing completely new implementations that lean on Wayland and maybe a component toolkit..

Presently, we build a new module / package com.ashbysoft.swingland, so client code will have to adjust imports to use us - this is by design and also avoids horrible pain in replacing a system module (java.desktop) which is apparantly impossible without rebuilding the whole JDK..

#Build and test

I've chosen to use Ant as it provides just enough build tooling, is self contained, plus I know how to drive it.


% ant [clean|compile|package (default)] [...]


% ant [test-wayland|test-swingland|test]

where the test-wayland target directly creates a Wayland window on screen, fills it with random dots for a few seconds and terminates. The test-swingland target runs a Swing GUI application that extends a JComponent and draws stuff in the paintComponent() method. It has a working menu bar that demonstrates the popup windows and menuing logic, you can exit via it! test-swingland also demonstrates a couple of pop up JDialogs (Swing flavour), one with some JLabels and JButtons in a JSplitPane, one with a JTabbedPane... more to come as I write it! The test target runs both tests. All tests save an INFO level log to the bin folder.

#Other apps

#Swing demos (in test.jar)

I have started importing some of the standard Swing demos as additional test applications, they should work largely unaltered apart from import statements..

Run one:

% java -cp bin/test.jar com.ashbysoft.test.[TopLevelDemo|ButtonDemo]

#Font Editor (in fed.jar)

Font EDitor is a dogfooding application written with swingland to edit bitmap font files (res/fonts and res/cursors) used by swingland..

Run it:

% java -jar bin/fed.jar -f <font file> [--help]

#Font Display (in test.jar)

FontTest was written to test both the PCF font support and font transformations (ie: rotation), run it:

% java -cp bin/test.jar [--help] [-r] <font name> [...]

where -r rotates the specified fonts instead of simply printing a line of each, font name can be one of: a logical name eg: MONOSPACED; a resource path in the swingland.jar file for built-in bitmap fonts eg: /cursors/CURLY; a file path for PCF fonts, either absolute or relative to paths in XDG_DATA_DIRS (by default: /usr/local/share:/usr/share), eg: /path/to/font.pcf, X11/fonts/misc/10x20.pcf.gz.

#More Dogfood..

I've ported my own applications to Swingland, noteably:

  • java-sdr My pure Java software defined radio toy..
  • powermonitor The two data display apps for my home electricity monitoring setup




I wrote up my development experience