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Lesson 11 - Timer and SwingWorker in Java Swing

In the previous lesson, Handling Click on Coordinates in Java Swing, we completed an application that drew geometric shapes on an inherited JPanel. In today's Java turtorial, we're going to learn to use Timer and SwingWorker. We'll try both components on illustrative examples.

The Form Application Loop

Do you remember our console tutorials? If we wanted to repeat something, we simply put the code in a loop. If we wanted to create a 10-second countdown, the code would look like this:

for (int i = 10; i > 0; i--)
    try {
    } catch (InterruptedException ex) {
        Logger.getLogger(CountdownConsole.class.getName()).log(Level.SEVERE, null, ex);

The result:

Java Console Countdown

We can't do it like this in Swing. The above operation takes 10 seconds. If we ran a similar long-running operation, the form thread would be executing it and the entire form would freez. The application would then stop responding. After a few seconds, Windows would even offer us to quit the app as it's not answering. The reason behind this is that we'd have stopped the


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In the Java Swing tutorial, we'll introduce Timer that allows us to run an event over a period of time, and SwingWorker that runs a background operation.

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Article has been written for you by David Capka
The author is a programmer, who likes web technologies and being the lead/chief article writer at He shares his knowledge with the community and is always looking to improve. He believes that anyone can do what they set their mind to.
Unicorn university The author learned IT at the Unicorn University - a prestigious college providing education on IT and economics.
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