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Java Desktop

Many Swing components can be oriented according to your needs. Scrollbars are among the most common oriented components. Despite some support in Synth for oriented components, it is far from being exhaustive in Tiger. While some left aside components can be easily forgotten, for instance the window of a floatable toolbar being dragged, Synth lacked support for important oriented components, like...
on Sep 23, 2005
Every Swing look and feel relies on properties to customize the rendering. One of these properties allows you, With BasicLookAndFeel and therefore Metal and Ocean, to change JTree's lines style from solid to dashed: UIManager.put("Tree.lineTypeDashed", Boolean.TRUE); The following screenshot shows the difference between dashed tree lines on the left and regular solid tree lines on the...
on Sep 21, 2005
Chase Away Those Fierce Nightmares In Tiger and early Mustang builds, Synth falls short providing a versatile, efficient and easy to use way to load a theme. Only one method is offered to load a Synth theme, the mischievous SynthLookAndFeel.load(). Albeit easy to use, this method suffers from critical limitations. When your program invokes it, two parameters must be specified: an input stream...
on Sep 21, 2005
Painters Aggregation Synth lets you define a painter for each region of a component. A painter can be used, for instance, to draw a button's border or a tabbed pane's tabs. Here is a short example: <style id="buttonStyle">    <state>        <imagePainter method="buttonBackground"  ...
on Sep 16, 2005
This week Microsoft unveiled the new UI approach in its upcoming Office 12 suite. The best starting point would be reading this blog and downloading the interview with the UI design lead of Office here. It's 618 MB (41 minutes long) and worth every minute of it. I'm not going to go into the details (see the above two links), but the impact on the corporate-oriented applications in the next few...
on Sep 16, 2005

NetBeans

As promised, here's a recap of a simple module I built to help me test a bugfix. There is a feature in NetBeans which allows any FileObject (including files in your project) to be served up by an embedded HTTP server. It is exposed by the API method URLMapper.findURL(FileObject, URL_TYPE). URL_TYPE may be one of three values: INTERNAL: results in nbres://foo EXTERNAL: results in file:/foo...
on Sep 22, 2005
Last month at LinuxWorld San Francisco I had the good fortune to meet Leigh Jin - Assistant Professor of Information Systems at San Francisco State University. I say good fortune because I got to do something I love to do, which is speak to university students. You see, I hope my last job title in life is also "Professor". Anyhow, I believe Professor Jin's opening line to me was: "...
on Sep 20, 2005
I've been playing with creating "follow-mode" for NetBeans - essentially the ability to have a multi-column editor, emacs-style. Is that a thing anybody wants? I've written some (admittedly crude) patches that do the very basics; doing it right would be considerably more work (lots of little things like making sure you can't have two selections, eliminating duplicated decorations, etc.)....
on Sep 20, 2005
A few people have mentioned that they would like to see better support for managing import statements in NetBeans. Having the flu gave me plenty of time to code this weekend...so, here is a module that does that. There are some bells and whistles still to be added - like using wildcard imports if the number of imports from a single package exceeds some threshold number. But still, right now...
on Sep 20, 2005
Okay, the first half of that title is from a package of cashews I bought in a supermarket in Beijing. I had dinner in a restaurant the other night, where, on the menu was a dish called "The Tile Pot Loves the Fatty Intestine" (I'm afraid I didn't order it). Nothing like a good mistranslation. As I mentioned above, I've been feverishly growing the NetBeans Developer FAQ for plugin authors -...
on Sep 17, 2005

Java Enterprise

At this point, I would like to show you some of the JSP pages we have in our application, but I'm sure there's a clause somewhere in my contract that says otherwise. Over the long term maintenance and feature-adds on large web applications, your JSP pages can start to look like variable soup. You have 10 to 15 variables being accessed that may have come from any scope, set by any action,...
on Sep 22, 2005
This is part 5 of a blog series on the superb capabilities new in Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8 EA. As indicated in part 1, I can't thank Nathan Fiedler of the IDE's development team enough for the input for this series. Developer Collaboration: More Sharing, More Transparency The developer collaboration capabilities in Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8 deliver significant enhancements, to wit:...
on Sep 20, 2005
A couple of weeks ago, Rick Hightower asked some pointed questions and made some interesting assertions about JSF 1.2, JSF 1.1 and MyFaces in his blog . This blog entry is a response to that blog. I'd like to address some of these questions and assertions in light of Rick's blog. What's deal with JSF and Open Source? Exactly what was open sourced on 24 August 2005? Why was this done? I...
on Sep 19, 2005
In my last blog entry, I 'kind of' complained about how JSF's component model was maintained and all the overhead involved. Really, I can't think of it as overhead, because it is tremendously richer in what it can do than other component frameworks. With JSF, each component has control over each step in the request cycle. But this is only half true. When I started to look at ways to...
on Sep 18, 2005

Java Web Services and XML

On a recent trip to Blogger, I noticed a new tool: a blog toolbar for Word. How convenient! You can review, edit, and even post new blogs to Blogger from Word...nice. There's only one problem...what if I can't use Word? What if I don't want to use Word? What if I want to use OpenOffice instead? What if I want to blog to java.net instead? I've been hunting the internet for an OpenOffice plugin...
on Sep 21, 2005
Surprise, surprise! L&Fs today don't just look nice. Some add new features to the GUI: When I started the daily build of NetBeans with my preferred configuration I noticed a small new button in the menubar. I tried it out. It allows to find and activate any menu item that contains a certain text. For each menuitem a small button with a descriptive tooltip is added. Pushing it drops down the...
on Sep 16, 2005

Java Tools

One big reason Jackpot hasn't released yet is because it is tightly bound to javac's private modeling API for abstract syntax trees (parse trees), types and symbols. The two teams have been working together on how such an API can be exposed without locking down javac and preventing future innovation. The solution the javac team designed is an interface-based AST abstraction, which javac will...
on Sep 20, 2005
I have a lot of projects on java.net, so I needed a way to simplify the project management. That's why I came up with maven java.net plugin. The idea is simple. Maven provides an excellent framework for managing a large number of small projects. So I wrote a plugin to perform java.net specific tasks. One of them is the javanet:site task, which takes the result of maven site and bring them to...
on Sep 18, 2005

Global Education and Learning

Having just come back from holiday, I fired up iTunes hoping to get a new JavaCast that I could listen to on the way to work. If you've not heard of it before, the JavaCast was a podcast dedicated to news and views within the Java industry. I say "was" because after only a few episodes, the JavaCast has been discontinued. On the whole the JavaCast was pretty good. Released on a weekly basis, it...
on Sep 19, 2005

Open JDK

In a comment on my last entry, rgreig asks: One thing that struck me about MXBeans is that they are really fusion of standard MBeans and OpenMBeans, since they only use standard types. However they don't actually conform to OpenMBean conventions. Why was the decision taken not to make MXBeans OpenMBeans? (i.e. return an OpenMBeanInfo from getMBeanInfo()) Therein lies a tale! MXBeans...
on Sep 16, 2005