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Bug 72438 - Add toggle to allow switching between L&Fs
Summary: Add toggle to allow switching between L&Fs
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: guibuilder
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Code (show other bugs)
Version: 5.x
Hardware: All All
: P3 blocker with 1 vote (vote)
Assignee: issues@guibuilder
Depends on:
Reported: 2006-02-08 22:37 UTC by chrispcampbell
Modified: 2008-04-29 12:23 UTC (History)
0 users

See Also:
Exception Reporter:


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Description chrispcampbell 2006-02-08 22:37:26 UTC
When designing a Swing UI under Matisse, there doesn't seem to be any way (that I've seen) to toggle 
between different look-and-feels at runtime.  It appears that it is only possible to design a UI using the 
L&F that is in use by the NetBeans IDE.  For example on Windows, NB uses the WinXP L&F, so when you 
design a form with Matisse you will see the WinXP L&F.  Likewise, on Mac OS X, NB uses the Aqua L&F, 
so you see Aqua.  But on Solaris and Linux, NB uses the Java (Ocean) L&F by default, so by extension 
Matisse will show the form using the Ocean L&F.

Obviously Matisse was designed so that you can develop a UI and have it look great no matter which 
L&F is used.  But it would be nice if there was a way at design time to see what the form will look like 
on different L&Fs.  At a minimum, there should be a toggle to switch between the Java (cross-platform) 
L&F and the native (GTK, WinXP, Aqua) L&F.  As a bonus, it should be possible to choose a third-party 
L&F (JGoodies, Substance, etc) so that you can see what your UI will look like under those L&Fs.

The original impetus for this request came from a Java-on-Solaris discussion within Sun.  We'd like to 
see more developers using Swing to develop apps on Solaris (and other platforms as well) that look like 
native applications.  But as I mentioned above, NB does not currently use the GTK L&F on Solaris, so 
when you design a UI you will see the Ocean L&F, which will only encourage developers to create apps 
that do not fit in with the native desktop.

Related to this request, there should also be a simple option that will allow developers to target a 
specific L&F in their application at deployment time.  (Not all developers know the magic incantation to 
set the L&F at startup, or they don't know where to place it so that it gets picked up by Swing early 
enough in the startup process.)
Comment 1 Tomas Pavek 2006-06-28 10:45:21 UTC
Most of this was implemented recently - see issue 71989. Now it is possible to
preview the design in different look and feels, you can even install your own.
However it is impossible to support the native look and feels for other
platforms (e.g. you can use WinXP only when running on Windows, Aqua only when
running on Mac, etc).

We'll also consider to change the look and feel directly in the design view
(right now this is possible only for the preview). So far it did not work
reliably enough.

We'll also consider the code generation for setting specific application's look
and feel.