For more details on this topic, see the item headed "If it looks like a Mac and feels like a Mac" in the column.
Early indications indicate that the new Mac look and feel is smaller, faster, and more robust than its predecessor, he added. You can obtain the new Swing look and feel by downloading it from the Java Software Developer Connection Web site, which is at http: Also, you must add mac. Then add the following lines of code to your Swing-based application:. MRJ, implemented as a set of shared libraries and other system software files, lets users run Java applets and applications on PowerPC and computers running Mac OS 8.
MRJ supports all the new Java features introduced in version 1. Your feedback.
4. GUI Applications - Mac OS X for Java Geeks [Book]
Page One. Page Two. The Databank.
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Swing and the Web. In addition, the graphics-intensive nature of the Aqua platform tends to push the limits of a graphics card; if your application responds well under Aqua, less sophisticated user interfaces should be at least as responsive, if not more so.
When Sun developed the original version of Java, it introduced the Abstract Windowing Toolkit AWT , which drew user interfaces based on an abstract layer that sat on top of the native windowing toolkit. This caused many problems, as the abstraction tended to blur when faced with the peculiarities of many windowing platforms. To resolve these issues, JFC and Swing were introduced as a more sophisticated toolkit with much better cross-platform support. The entire Unix world has a high degree of customizability, at the cost of a staggering variety of different approaches to user interface design.
Quaqua Look and Feel
At first, these custom behaviors and functionality seem ideal, but they soon become a headache for developers and users. Metal looks the same, more or less pixel-for-pixel, on all supported platforms. However, it is still possible to override Metal and use a custom look and feel instead. Windows users may choose to add a Windows-specific look and feel to their application instead of going with the standard Metal. Apple has done an excellent job with their implementation of the Java-based Aqua look and feel, with many graphical operations featuring native hardware acceleration.
Therefore, when developing applications in Java, it is useful to determine what your supported look and feel options are going to be. This is largely a matter of budget and resources, but in this section we will focus on comparisons between the standard Metal look and feel and the Mac OS X Aqua look and feel. You can specify the default look and feel for a specific application in several different ways. Looking at the scripts, you can learn how to set the JDK and the default look and feel.
While this may work for some applications, scripts like this are poor form and should be avoided for commercial or even in-house deployment. Instead, use global properties files as Mac OS X does or some other static method. The best way to get a sense of the Aqua look and feel is to examine the SwingSet2 demo application. If you view the application with the Terminal, you will notice that SwingSet2 actually appears as SwingSet2. Chapter 10 will explore this topic more thoroughly. For now, double-click the SwingSet2 icon in the Finder.
The application may take some time to launch, but when it does, you should see the sample output shown in Figure There is also a src folder in the SwingSet2 directory, which includes the source for the application. As you can see by comparing Figure and Figure , the Aqua version of these buttons requires almost 50 percent more horizontal screen space than does the Metal version.
This can reduce a nicely laid out Metal interface to a jumble of clipped text and ugly ellipses when converted to Aqua. In Aqua, buttons by default have a gap of 12 pixels between them and are based on a point font. This font can be a bit large when compared with other platform defaults.
These smaller controls are closer to the control sizes of other platforms, and look good on Metal as well as Aqua. To support this smaller utility user interface, use controls based on an point font and use a default control spacing of 8 pixels.
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Another interesting contrast between Aqua and Metal can be found when comparing JList implementations the seventh button from the left in the SwingSet2 mini-dock. If you compare the user interface components in Figure with those in Figure , you can see that while elements in the Aqua implementation are generally wider than those in Metal, they are often vertically shorter.
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So although Aqua interface widgets generally require more space than their Metal counterparts, this is not always the case. The moral here is to be extremely careful when designing user interfaces for multiple look and feel motifs. The next section shows how you can minimize these problems. Unfortunately, many developers test their applications with the Metal look and feel, ignoring other platforms and look and feel packages.
While that may be acceptable for Windows or Motif users, the Aqua look and feel implementation is excellent, and there is no reason not to test for and support it. As pointed out so glaringly in the last section, the biggest issue you need to deal with is sizing elements.