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Java Desktop

The problem In my day job at Yahoo!, I face a frustrating problem: Java is the most powerful browser-based technology available, easily besting competitors like Ajax and Flex, and yet I can't use it. These are the main reasons: It's too big - Sun is (rightfully) proud of the fact that 90% of computers already have Java installed, but that still means that 10% of my users are stuck having to...
on Apr 4, 2006
Toolkit java.awt.Toolkit is an abstract superclass of all actual implementations of the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT). Subclasses of java.awt.Toolkit are used to bind various components to particular native resources. You may have noticed that many of the methods in java.awt.Toolkit, java.awt.GraphicsEnvironment and other classes require the availability of display, keyboard and mouse. You may...
on Apr 4, 2006
BeanNetter - the NetBeans Module Generator So NetBeans has this cool component palette from which you can drag and drop components onto Swing forms. But where are all the cool components? NetBeans just shows the default JDK Swing components - but there are lots of components out there. Wouldn't it be nicer if you could make them just appear in your IDE? And there are sites such as nbextras....
on Apr 3, 2006
The previous entry on LAF support for RTL components compared various core (Metal / Windows) and third-party look-and-feels for RTL-oriented menus. Due to a bug in core Swing classes, all LAFs suffered from accelerator alignment problem (has been since partially fixed in Looks). I have filed a bug (internal number 653437) on this issue on February 19th with the proposed fix, but five weeks later...
on Mar 28, 2006
Swing does a great job of separating data (the models) and controls (the components themselves), but it really doesn't do a good job of separating controls from presentation (the visual appearance of the controls). Pluggable looks-and-feels help to a degree, but they are complicated to write and maintain, and on top of that they affect the appearance of every component of a particular type....
on Mar 24, 2006
I'm just relaying the information from JavaLobby but GroupLayout has been integrated into Mustang b76. GroupLayout is the layout manager that makes NetBeans' Matisse GUI builder shine. So, go grab Mustang, download NetBeans 5.0 and enjoy! Please note that this new features still required the approval from the JSR 270 EG. You can find more information about Java SE 6 JSR on the JCP web site: http...
on Mar 18, 2006
Just a quick blog note (blote? bloat?) to deref to the article and code that I just posted. About a year ago, I posted the article Timing is Everything that discussed timing, Java timers, and my new simple Timing Framework project on java.net. I've been working on the project occasionally in the meantime, and have just finished implementing a host of new, interesting features like property-...
on Mar 16, 2006
This is the third part of the series that describes the additional capabilities that you can get on your tabbed panes once you start using the Substance look-and-feel. The first part described close buttons and animation on modified tabs, while the second part described vetoable close buttons and vertical tabs. This entry describes new features available in the next version of Substance (code-...
on Mar 14, 2006
I would just like to say that I'm more and more impressed with Matisse. It does it's absolute best to provide a realistic preview of running components at design time. Today I was building some component tests and was amazed to see that indeterminate progress bars are animated while in the designer! Have a look!
on Mar 9, 2006
Note: Since Java 6 release, an updated version of this text, including the code samples, is available as part of the Swing trail of Java Tutorial: How to Use GroupLayout, GroupLayout example The first part of this article provided the theory behind GroupLayout. Now it's time to try it on a real example. So let's create a layout for this dialog: A good way to analyze the layout is to use a...
on Mar 1, 2006
Every now and then someone drops by to ask about the slick chat/IM demo components that were shown in the Extreme GUI Makeover JavaOne session last year. The Swing components created for those demos where hacked together in order to show what's possible and sadly, they're not available as production quality components just yet. I certainly like the idea of resuable, configurable/extensible,...
on Feb 27, 2006
Substance look-and-feel has reached the 2.2 release, with a lot of new features and a lot of bugs fixed. The list of new features includes: Zero memory leaks on switching themes / watermarks / ... and switching between Substance and core LAFs Full interoperability with core LAFs Animation on rollover (fade-in / fade-out). Localization and internationalization. Vertical tabs in tabbed panes....
on Feb 27, 2006
Often times when you are building an application you need to hook multiple components together in such a way that when one component changes others must do something. When you are building custom components there is often the temptation to build a custom set of listeners to go along with it. This seems like good component etiquette; after all this is how most of the javax.swing.* components are...
on Feb 26, 2006
With the release of version 2.2 of Substance look-and-feel scheduled for this Monday, i have started to work on the next version (2.3 code-named Firenze). One of the things i wanted to improve are color themes, and a lot of work has already been done in this area. For now, i want to introduce the concept of "mixed" themes. Substance comes with eighteen core and twenty one plugin themes. The total...
on Feb 22, 2006
Note: Since Java 6 release, an updated version of this text, including the code samples, is available as part of the Swing trail of Java Tutorial: How to Use GroupLayout, GroupLayout example GroupLayout is a new layout manager that was developed as a Swing Labs project in conjunction with Matisse, the new GUI builder in NetBeans 5.0. There is a chance that GroupLayout will become a part of JDK...
on Feb 22, 2006
This article is Part One of a 2-part series. In Part One, I look at some of the problems contributing to choppy animations. In Part Two, Smooth Moves, I look at some of the possible solutions and offer a demo application for trying out some of the results. The Problem I was working on some animation code the other day and ran...
on Feb 21, 2006
When i have written the previous entry on aligning menu items in Swing applications, i was blissfully ignorant and thought that the life was good. Thankfully, one of the users of Substance has opened this defect with the following summary - "Menu texts are invisible in RTL orientation". Why, say you. What's that RTL has to do with my application? Turns out that there are four locales that define...
on Feb 18, 2006
I'm an engineer, and if there's one thing that engineers suck at, it's taking stock of recent accomplishments. As soon as one project is "completed" (no matter how significant or gratifying), we're already looking forward to the next big task into which to sink our collective teeth. Who has time to sit around chatting about that old project when there's something new and shiny to tinker with...
on Feb 15, 2006
What I Like About Mustang I've written about Mustang a few times already, but I thought I'd take the opportunity of the Mustang Beta Release to wax poetic about some of my favorite features in the release. This view is most certainly skewed, biased, and even subjective; there are a lot of cool things in the platform, but I specifically wanted to talk...
on Feb 15, 2006
Winners of NetBeans look-and-feel competition have been announced. Needless to say that I have been pleasantly surprised to see that 31 out of 33 winners have used the Substance module for NetBeans to create their entries (I really liked the entry of Cicero Zandona that used the same watermark as the desktop): All of these have used image-based watermark despite the fact that quite a few other...
on Feb 14, 2006