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Application customization

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m_r_atkinson
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Joined: 2003-08-29
Points: 0

There are several levels of customization for applications:

(1) to the operating system
(2) for the application
(3) sitewide
(4) user specific
(5) projects

Java tries to reduce (1) as much as possible, on the whole successfully by abstracting out features. It does however not easily allow applications to optionally support features which are specific to particular operating systems.

Customization at the application level (whatever makes this application seem different from another application on the same platform) is a wide topic and perhaps a subject for another post.

Many applications have need of sitewide customization for logos, standard settings, etc.

Individual users may have the ability to alter UI layouts, change settings and properties.

Many applications allow different settings for different projects (single user, across a workgroup or company).

As there is no standard way of performing these customizations each application has its own implementation, with varying standards of usability, completeness and reusability. It would be nice to have one method that could be learnt and reused across projects and transferable when moving jobs.

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zander
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Joined: 2003-06-13
Points: 0

> As there is no standard way of performing these
> customizations each application has its own
> implementation, with varying standards of usability,
> completeness and reusability. It would be nice to
> have one method that could be learnt and reused
> across projects and transferable when moving jobs.

Hehe; thats one of the great things of working on an open source project inside working hours :)
I have implemented several levels of these in the L&F of UICompiler. You can ship settings/preferences with the application and the user can config some of them using a nice dialog.

Since you are not really making any suggestions, just pointing out the problem, I think you might want to look at the project I mentioned and follow up with missing options, functions and suggestions.
It would be a good idea to gather the functions you and probably others have laying around into one project, and I believe UICompiler (for Gui elements anyway) is the right way to go.

That is; unless you want others to do the work for you..