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BISS AWT is an open source extensible Java framework of about 150 Java classes mainly intended for building graphical applications with. The original idea for the library was to help in aiding the BISS company to move the programming tools the company had developed in C++ for OS/2 to the more multi-platform friendly Java. The problem was that the java.awt classes relied on native widgets for the look-and-feel meaning that user interface portion of the software had to be adapted to each end user platform, the BISS-AWT package is mostly compatible with the standard AWT library but implements its own look-and-feel that relies only on Java structures, making it behave and look identically across platforms.

There are a few small application programs included with the library as a proof-of-concept, including a Java specific IDE that includes a ClassBrowser and a graphical layout generator that cuts down the work needed to create complex dialogs.

While the package generated a lot of interest when it was initially shown in 1996, and indeed it spurred Sun Microsystems to write the SWING libraries that have a similar aim of platform independence BISS-AWT is for the most part seriously outdated as the program stopped being updated when main developers Peter and Jörg Mehlitz left in BISS in 1998 to work for Transvirtual Technologies, a few developers are still to this day using it, mostly using their own updated versions.

BISS-AWT did have the advantage of only needing Java v1.0.2 while newer widget libraries needed Java v1.1 or later and coped better with some open source, third party and minimalist JAva implementations intended for embedded computing than the official Sun libraries did, that including the Microsoft Java virtual machine but it is doubtful if that is an issue in this day and age.


  • Last known version: BISS-AWT 0.94
Note that there was no documentation released for any version later than 0.87

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