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Why do some Swing Components have client properties as opposed to API methods?

From an article from Sun:

"Since early versions of Swing, the JComponent "client properties" mechanism has been used in places where more traditional API additions might be used. The options referred to in this article are examples of that. The main reason this is done is to avoid locking down a specific API which might not be appropriate for all circumstances, or because the criteria for a given release does not include "API changes". As these "client property" style features are fleshed out we will likely replace them with more traditional "beans-style" properties in future releases."

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Author of answer: Joris Van den Bogaert

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