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Windows XP L&F

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Joined: 2003-06-16

Hey all,

First, I love the new XP look and feel in 1.4.2. It's a huge improvement over the 1.4.1 Windows L&F. There are a few bugs, though, such as the Menubar being white. Since 1.4.2 is just about to be released, that likely means we'll have to wait until Tiger to get an updated version? Anyone have inside info? :)


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Joined: 2003-06-10

I'm curious about the context popup in Windows L&Fs that is missing from text fields. This bug - says that it is application specific behavior, but really it isn't. Those context menus show up in everything from code from Petzel's book to a short AWT probably that has a text field and nothing else. The bug includes a workaround, though, which is nice, thanks.

I posted this bug frustrated users of a Swing-based IDE cursing Swing because this popup was missing. :(

Joined: 2006-02-17

I know that we find ourselves noticing this kind of thing a lot in the development of one particular Swing-based IDE. We're often having to implement PLAF workarounds to make the Windows look and feel actually look and behave like Windows - I'm certain we're not the only ones.

A lot of the Windows Look and Feel in Swing does fairly faithfully reproduce the OS controls, but there are numerous minor issues like that which aren't implemented, or don't quite work properly (another example is that tabbing into text fields via the keyboard ought to select all the text in the text field). Often, when such issues are reported as bugs, they either get changed to RFEs, or closed as "Not a Bug", because it's possible for the behavior to be manually implemented.

IMHO, users do notice all these minor things, because they kind of get used to using them in "real" OS applications. It can be annoying (and immediately apparent) that they're in a "different world" altogether when using a Java application just because of an apparently minor thing like the popup menu in a text component.

Even with the new Windows XP look and feel (which is a great improvement, so many thanks Swing team if you're reading this :) ), widgets are noticably different in many, many minor ways from their native counterparts. One example that springs to mind is the amount of internal spacing in JTextField. I feel insufferably picky sometimes logging bugs against Sun because JTextField in the XP look and feel should have 2 more pixels (or whatever) vertical space, but to my eye the components sometimes just simply don't resemble the things they're trying to. Even if it's only a matter of 2 pixels.

I'm sure it's a tiny part of it, but this is probably at least one of the reasons why SWT is becoming more popular - it actually really does look and feel like the native platform in every single way.

I frequently meant to get round to setting up some kind of project or website where these issues could be tracked - where we can sort of come together as a community of Swing developers and track these issues actively, maybe share workarounds for them, and feed back to Sun. My opinion is that the solution to this problem isn't to "jump ship" to SWT, but rather to help Swing as much as possible to solve the problems itself...

Anyway, maybe is just the place for this kind of project now :)


Message was edited by: Brian.Duff

Joined: 2003-06-11

Hi Brian,

I should be glad if we could join our efforts in getting a precise Windows emulation. It seems to me that you are a pixel geek too. I've noticed that you've started the winlaf project and I've just requested an observer role.

My JGoodies Windows L&f already incorporates several corrections to Sun's Windows emulation. You can find comments regarding fixed issues in class ExtWindowsLookAndFeel. See the [i]looks[/i] subproject under my jgoodies project here at

I look forward to a productive collaboration.

Leif Samuelsson
Joined: 2006-02-17

Hi Matt,

I'm happy to report that the menubar color problem will be
fixed in the final version of 1.4.2.



Joined: 2003-06-16


That's excellent! We were getting ready to start trying to hack around the issue, but this is a much better solution. :)