Posted by editor
on February 5, 2007 at 7:48 AM PST
A jolt of animated orange for launching SE 6 applets... also:
Weblogs: New Java Plugin animation, JSR 295 update, and unhybridizing Java
Forum postings: Feedback on orange plugin logo, more on orange plugin logo, and JAX-WS file upload progress
Spotlight: JSR-296 Swing Application Framework
Java Today: JAX-WS RI 2.1's many features, JSR-277 (Java Module System) presentation, and Java Tools Community newsletter #109
A jolt of animated orange for launching SE 6 applets
Setting aside issues of applet viability and installation hassles, it's all but a given that a proper loading screen will assuage your users that the content is being loaded, with an indication of how the startup is going. Thing is, this wasn't really a consistent part of the applet experience prior to Java SE 5 -- on the Mac, you get a static image of a coffee cup with "reload" arrows, and I think other platforms got some other indicator. In SE 5, Sun's VM finally provided a fairly attractive logo and progress bar. Future versions of SE 6 are going to take this an animated step further, as illustrated in Chris Campbell's blog Orange Box: New Java Plugin Animation . Compare the old startup logo:
to the new one:
The latter doesn't show how the animation works -- the vertical swirl appears down the box and then splits it in two by a couple appropriately beveled pixels. But let's let Chris talk about how this was accomplished:
The old animation was already beginning to look a bit dated, so I think we were happy to give the design (and implementation) a much needed makeover. Coleen's new designs were much more sleek and modern looking than the old gray box. And this time they were predominantly bright orange. (Hooray for Sun branding!) The design we settled on looked fantastic, but it was also a bit of a fun challenge for me trying to convert her Photoshop blueprints into Java 2D-isms. Fortunately around that time I had pushed to get LinearGradientPaint (and RadialGradientPaint) included in the JDK, which turned out to be a lifesaver. I also had to figure out how to achieve cheap, efficient drop shadows, glow effects, and soft clipping in Java 2D.
Chris' blog includes an SE6-based Web Start preview of the applet-loading animation, so check it out.
Also in today's Weblogs , Scott