The Plastic look and feel family is very well known and widely used among Java community. That said I am often disappointed to see some programmers plug it into their UI without taking a look at the available options. Let's take a look at a sample, rather bad looking Swing application:
"Yiech!" And you're right. One way to fix this UI is to change the look and feel. Now, it has many other issues...
on Jul 24, 2005
In one of my previous entries i've shown how to use Java2D to create layered icons for your application. Unfortunately, most of the time we think about icons in pixel-precision format, instead of thinking of them as vector graphics. Let's see an example first:
The icons are shown starting from 10*10 to 36*36 size. As you can see, the icon components are nicely scaled (including inner graphics...
on Jul 23, 2005
This has to be one of the coolest frame hacks I've run across. I also think this is a great use of a gestural interface techniques. The idea is that you can fold windows down to access what is behind them. They have a small java application (54k) that does everything.
on Jul 19, 2005
JavaOne 2005, Moscone Hall in San Francisco, Thursday at 2:30.
It was the very end of a very long week. A week that ended on June
29th and began in March.
and I had just debuted the GUI Puzzlers technical session and despite
some lunch and wandering around, we were both exhausted. We took our
seats for the last desktop session on the last day of the conference.
Weaker men would...
on Jul 15, 2005
Java One Lessons
The highlights for me were our session for Swing Hacks and meeting with customers at the JDIC and JDNC booths (more on that in my next blog). It's great to interact with developers (my "customers" essentially) and get some real feedback.
The session for Swing Hacks went quite well. I was incredibly nervous (I've never spoken in front of more than 50 people before), but calmed...
on Jul 15, 2005
As I reported a few months back in my STR-Crazy entry, Mustang b27 included an improved, single-threaded implementation of the OpenGL-based Java2D pipeline. With those changes came improved stability and performance (surprisingly). But that work also opened the door for even more performance improvements, mainly because the code was much more centralized and easier to build on.
So with that...
on Jul 14, 2005
Versioning, which I'm defining for this entry as how a Java application manages its external library dependencies, has been a tough issue ever since Java first released. Back when Java was born, the vision was that each machine would have a single Java runtime and standard libraries which would always be fully backwards-compatible. The reality has been that for most apps, the only reasonable...
on Jul 13, 2005
It's been a long, fun, and exhausting week. I'm going to get some sleep and vainly try to take a flight home tomorrow. Since I'll be there for hours, most likely, this will give me time to write proper entries about the second half of the week and how the conference went overall. In the mean time, our book Swing Hacks is finally shipping on Amazon and we've hit almost #3000. (as of this evening...
on Jun 30, 2005
It's JavaOne 2005, Monday afternoon, and I'm drifting around Sun's
booths on the tradeshow floor. Moscone's meeting halls are two
stories tall and underground; it's a basement palace. The cavernous
space used by the tradeshow Pavillion must be a quarter of a mile long
and a hundred feet high and it's abundantly and artificially lit.
It's like being in an aircraft hanger that's inexplicably...
on Jun 29, 2005
i've been enjoying some of the desktop talks at javaone
this week. with swing, a common theme for a talk is: tips
and tricks to make swing run faster. so some of these
talks got me thinking..
so here's a problem:
the construction of swing components is an expensive operation.
if you're building a fairly dynamic ui in swing, one where you
create views on the fly, as a response to...
on Jun 29, 2005
I promise I won't shill too much, but Chris just told me that our book was the number 2 seller yesterday according to the list posted by the book store! To our readers we send a heartfelt thanks!
on Jun 28, 2005
After almost exactly one year of waiting, it's finally here. Version 0.2 of the Saverbeans SDK and Saverbeans Screensaver Pack have just been released!
You can download the latest SDK from the JDIC project on
And of course you can download the latest screensavers from
on Jun 25, 2005
I don't know about you, but I find conference program guides and websites somewhat difficult to use. There are just so many sessions in so many different areas that it's tough to wade through the universe of possibilities and figure out where I'm actually supposed to be at any given time (besides looking for a good cup o' coffee, of course).
To that end, we wanted to give you a condensed...
on Jun 23, 2005
I was in a technical meeting recently, with about a dozen developers,
and the discussion topic turned to AJAX. We were seated at tables in
the usual presenter-in-the-center horsehoe configuration. Each
participant was ensconced in a defensive posture, behind a big laptop.
The tenor of technical meetings has changed over the years, thanks to
technology. Complex adjustable office chairs...
on Jun 17, 2005
If you haven't already taken a look at Greasemonkey, you really ought to. Maybe even right now (note: Firefox required).
Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that enables folks to modify the contents of a website in realtime. For example, if your favorite blog's comment textarea is too small, make it larger yourself. Forced to manually click a bunch of checkboxes? Automate it. A bunch of...
on Jun 14, 2005
Before we start, please check out
Grzegorz Czajkowski's blog. Greg talks a bit about the technology and has links
to related sites (including, of course, the
project page for MVM.
Note, however that you will need the
JDK Researcher role in order to view the project). I'll wait here;
you go ahead and check it out now.
All done? You read the blog, saw the project, formed some opinions?
on Jun 14, 2005
Over at my other home, I've been talking a little about SVG's role in this new Ajax re-labeling of good ol'e DHTML techniques. I find a future where manipulating vector graphics and HTML constructs through the same API (and hint hint, it ain't DOM) all in a browser very interesting.
But Java desktop developers don't have to wait until the future to start incorporating SVG into their applications...
on Jun 14, 2005
In Mustang (JavaSE 6), there are many security and networking enhancements in Java Web Start and Java Plug-in that make your deployment more secure and simple. Let's have a quick look!New security warning dialog box and more information dialog boxThey are the most visible security related changes in Java Web Start and Java Plug-in. Check out Goodbye scary security dialog box! and New user...
on Jun 13, 2005
As I mentioned in my earlier blog, we have decided to revamp the user experience in Java Web Start in Mustang, and the scary security dialog was the first to go. Here is more exciting news! I am very glad to announce that Andy Herrick and Margarita Fisher have completed the initial implementation of the new user experience for Java Web Start, and it is available in the promoted Mustang snapshot (...
on Jun 7, 2005
Yesterday, Steve Jobs proudly announced the 3rd major transition in Apple's history. After the move from the 68000 family to the PowerPC and after the move from MacOS 9 to beloved MacOS X, Apple will move from PowerPC to Intel x86 family. And Steve Jobs confirmed the rumors: Apple compiled and built all its applications and releases of MacOS X for x86. "Just in case" said Jobs.
Why does it has to...
on Jun 7, 2005