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Can Java do fancy GUIs?

 
 
Ramon F Herrera
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      04-16-2005
> You give the impression of having the same disease as many in the
> games industry, where the looks are more important than the function.
> You will find that users prefer simple software that WORKS instead of
> over-designed bells and whistles GUIs which confuse.


The only Java utility that I have seen out there that "rocks" is
JDiskReport by a company:

http://www.jgoodies.com

whose motto is: "We make Java look good and work well".

Why do you figure JDiskReport is their most popular product?

It seems to me that if one wants to impress a potential customer with a
prototype, the very first thing you have to do is to disguise the
visual part, so they don't know that it is written in Java.

Oh, speaking of the game industry. Did you know that they are bigger
than Hollywood (not that I care much for games)?

-Ramon

 
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kjc
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      04-16-2005
Ramon F Herrera wrote:
> It's quite simple, really.
> My standards are higher than yours.
> I aspire to have the same quality as the very best graphical designers
> on the planet (Adobe, the creators of the electronic font, press,
> logos, etc.) while you are satisfied with whatever Swing provides.
>
> -Ramon
>

Wow, i'm impressed. NOT.

How many business types give a damn about flashing widgets, and mini
movies playing on their desktops while they are manipulating
equities,commodities and deniro.
let me answer that question for ya. NONE.

And, yes, I am satisfied with what Swing and its architecture provides,
as I'M creative enough to use the myriad of graphic design knowledge I
have at my disposal.


If you're too lazy to do the work required, then step off and use VB or
something.


 
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kjc
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      04-16-2005
Ramon F Herrera wrote:
>>In other words you intend to go through life dissatisfied.

>
>
> That's my curse.
>
> If people were satisfied with what is out there, we wouldn't have Java
> or the Macintosh.
>
> I just want software which is designed to satisfy both sides of the
> brain. Have you heard of "form follows function"?
>
> Do you know what percentage of the brain is exclusively dedicated to
> visual processing? I don't remember the figure, but it is a huge
> percentage.
>
> -Ramon
>

You're stuck in your head dude.
Get out and do some work.

Sounds like you just don't know what you're doing in the Java Swing world.
 
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Karsten Lentzsch
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      04-16-2005
Ramon F Herrera wrote:

> [...] I have always noticed that the standard
> (compiled, non-Java) Windows programs tend to have a more professional
> look than their Java counterparts.


That's true for many Java apps. But as you've seen with JDiskReport,
Java applications can compete with or even outperform native apps.

> [...] Is it possible to write an exact (or close) replica of that
> zoom toolbar in Java? [...]


Yes. Java, Java2D and Swing make up a very powerful toolkit
for many kinds of well designed UIs, visual appealing stuff,
and even advanced presentations that most native apps can't
offer easily.

However, the quality comes at a price. If you master Swing,
or more generally the Java Foundation Classes, and have learned
about the many Don't and Do's, then you can build elegant apps.
If you want to go further and want to impress your users with
fancy visuals and cool stuff, the price gets even higher.

Anyway, I provide a set of free libraries and articles
that are intended to help Java developers design better
applications faster and at reasonable development costs.
See the JGoodies download section and my article page at:
http://www.jgoodies.com/articles/

Best regards,
Karsten Lentzsch
 
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Paul Tomblin
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      04-16-2005
In a previous article, "Ramon F Herrera" <(E-Mail Removed)> said:
>So far, I have been programming my interfaces by picking the available
>Swing components in my IDE. Sometimes, however, a programmer needs a
>richer visual interface. I have always noticed that the standard
>(compiled, non-Java) Windows programs tend to have a more professional
>look than their Java counterparts.


If you want an example of what can be done with a few custom widgets and
some gratuitous hacking on a custom Look and Feel, have a look at
http://xcski.com/gallery/screenshots/sched_collapse and
http://xcski.com/gallery/screenshots/playlist_main which are screen shots
of an application I helped write. It wasn't quite complete there, so
there are a few things that are square boring standard Swing components,
but the tabs, the rounded corners, the "rivets" in the corners, and the
time line are all my attempts to implement something that looked like what
the graphics designer wanted. Originally we used a textured brushed metal
look, but it made the display too slow when running on an LTSP X terminal.
Now that we're not LTSPs any more, I might put the brushed metal back in.

--
Paul Tomblin <(E-Mail Removed)> http://xcski.com/blogs/pt/
I trust the cut & paste under Win2k's telnet about as far as I can
comfortably spit a rat.
-- John Burnham
 
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Edwin Martin
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      04-16-2005
Ramon F Herrera wrote:

> Do you know what percentage of the brain is exclusively dedicated to
> visual processing? I don't remember the figure, but it is a huge
> percentage.


This is an excuse for bad GUI's.

A good GUI keeps the brain processing of users to a minimum.

This means presenting a user interface the user already knows.

This also means keeping the self-made widgets to a minimum (only use
them when the OS-provided widgets can't give the usability you need).

Personally, I always have the most trouble with self-made GUI's like
Winamp, Windows Media Player, Software DVD-players etc. They're a disease.

Edwin Martin

--
http://www.bitstorm.org/edwin/en/
 
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willykk@my-deja.com
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      04-17-2005
Ramon,

Take a look at Photomesa, a 100% pure java, swing-based desktop
application that will simply blow you away.

http://www.windsorinterfaces.com/photomesa.shtml

While it's currently a shareware application, at some point it was a
work-in-progress, with source code avaialble...

http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/photomesa...gorithms.shtml
http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/jazz/

I don't know if this helps, hope so...

 
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Dag Sunde
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      04-17-2005
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> Ramon,
>
> Take a look at Photomesa, a 100% pure java, swing-based desktop
> application that will simply blow you away.
>
> http://www.windsorinterfaces.com/photomesa.shtml
>
> While it's currently a shareware application, at some point it was a
> work-in-progress, with source code avaialble...
>
> http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/photomesa...gorithms.shtml
> http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/jazz/
>
> I don't know if this helps, hope so...


While that is probably a very powerful application that fullfill
your needs, it was a very bad argument in a discussion concerning
swing vs. elegant and "sexy" GUI...

That is propably the most horrible UI I've seen in a long time.
It breaks almost every rule from the "divine proportion" and
balance, to simple common sense...

just my 2 cents worth...

--
Dag.


 
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Thomas G. Marshall
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      04-17-2005
Edwin Martin coughed up:
> Ramon F Herrera wrote:
>
>> Do you know what percentage of the brain is exclusively dedicated to
>> visual processing? I don't remember the figure, but it is a huge
>> percentage.

>
> This is an excuse for bad GUI's.
>
> A good GUI keeps the brain processing of users to a minimum.
>
> This means presenting a user interface the user already knows.
>
> This also means keeping the self-made widgets to a minimum (only use
> them when the OS-provided widgets can't give the usability you need).


The goal of a good GUI is to facilitate use and also to limit the questions
that form in the user's head during the interaction session. This often
means graying out buttons, instead of removing them, and not having certain
interfaces visible at all (not even grayed) when they might form the
question: "do I need to do to un-gray these?". Dependent, of course, on the
context and details of the issue at hand.

This is potentially a very long topic.

The problem is that often self-made widgets do the best job at limiting the
questions and facilitating use.


> Personally, I always have the most trouble with self-made GUI's like
> Winamp, Windows Media Player, Software DVD-players etc. They're a
> disease.


Those are usually examples of skinning gone awry. For example, Nero does a
great job at confusing the crap out of me. They make the hideous mistake,
which is a very common one, of providing an interface that looks fully
raytraced without thought as to which button gives me options, which part
can I drag the GUI with, etc., etc.


--
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"


 
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David Segall
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      04-17-2005
"Ramon F Herrera" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>So far, I have been programming my interfaces by picking the available
>Swing components in my IDE. Sometimes, however, a programmer needs a
>richer visual interface. I have always noticed that the standard
>(compiled, non-Java) Windows programs tend to have a more professional
>look than their Java counterparts.
>
>Let me give an example: I have a program that displays and manipulates
>images and I am really jalous of the way the "Zoom Toolbar" looks in
>Adobe Acrobat. That's the kind of visual quality that I am trying to
>achieve. Is it possible to write an exact (or close) replica of that
>zoom toolbar in Java? With the "floating" toolbars that somehow deck
>next to each other?
>
>I have read a little about JavaBeans. Is this what JavaBeans is for?
>To achieve very nice and professional looking widgets? How hard (and
>expensive) is it to have a high quality JavaBean custom written for
>you?
>
>TIA,
>
>-Ramon F Herrera

I don't have access to Acrobat but if you are only talking about the
zoom toolbar in the Acrobat Reader I am sure that you can reproduce
this using Swing. Netbeans, which is written in Java, has similar
tools. Unfortunately my Swing talents are not up to the task and you
seem to have upset the contributors in these groups who could have
given you the answer. I can only suggest you post again describing
exactly what you want to do and omitting the "more professional" and
"richer visual interface" bits.

To be truthful, I am impressed with the Acrobat Reader splash screen.
How do they do those swirly bits in Java or any other language?
 
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