L&F improvements: native fidelity with native controls
I absolutely love the API for Swing. I've been working with GUIs for more than a decade and find the Swing API to be the most intuitive thus far. That said, the fidelity of the L&F has always been lacking.
In Tiger, the "look" has actually gotten closer to native Windows fidelity. It still isn't perfect though, although it is debatable if the remaining 20% of problems (ie drop shadows for menus) is worth the 80% of the time. GTK is a harder target to hit since it is moving every 6 months. The current Swing GTK file selection dialog doesn't look anything like that in GTK 2.8 for instance (and even 2.6 is a stretch).
The "feel" is hard to pin down, but I'll define it as how users expect the UI to behave as they use it (ie a button action isn't executed unless the mouse is still over the button while it is released). This lags in Swing, not because these things aren't possible, but because they take a lot of work investigating. What are the deficiencies? I'm thinking of watching Windows users try to copy-n-paste by right clicking in a text field. Or watching them scroll by right clicking on a scroll bar. Or watching them use some seemingly improbable, but native key sequence to operate on the GUI.
So this long buildup boils down to this question: Can Swing take a page from SWT's book and use native widgets? That seems like it'd give everyone best of both worlds.
Message was edited by: jtr