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Bug 92371 - Use of Themes in Matisse in Netbeans 5.5
Summary: Use of Themes in Matisse in Netbeans 5.5
Alias: None
Product: guibuilder
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Code (show other bugs)
Version: 5.x
Hardware: All Windows XP
: P3 blocker (vote)
Assignee: issues@guibuilder
Depends on:
Reported: 2007-01-11 19:50 UTC by djatcs
Modified: 2008-05-05 08:58 UTC (History)
0 users

See Also:
Exception Reporter:


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Description djatcs 2007-01-11 19:50:08 UTC
I would like to use Themes (unless there is something better) for specifying 
default values for my GUI components. I am running on Windows.
In directory C:\Documents and Settings\dj\.netbeans\5.5\system I have created a 
file called themes.xml. For an initial test, I set some attributes for the 
Button component.

But when I restart and run Netbeans 5.5 and create a new Button in the Matisse 
GUI builder, it is not using the values I provided in the themes.xml file. I 
want the settings in themes.xml to be used both in the GUI designer and also in 
final deployed application.

I'd also like to understand what needs to be done to deploy this application 
with themes, the end user will not have Netbeans installed on their machines, 
so they won't have the above directory. Can I place the themes.xml file 
somewhere else and how to I point to it so it gets used at runtime?
Comment 1 Tomas Pavek 2007-01-12 10:39:31 UTC
Use of themes.xml is specific to NetBeans platform - it is intended only for 
customizing the IDE itself, it does not work for user apps. That's why it is 
not supported by the GUI builder. (BTW it only works with Metal look and feel.)

If you are interested in the code that sets up the theme from the xml file, 
look at the source code of core/swing/plaf.
Comment 2 djatcs 2007-01-12 13:59:06 UTC
Is there a means of setting default values for UI component attributes that 
will work both in a Swing runtime environment and also in Matisse GUI builder? 
I am familiar with the UIDefaults capability, but is there a way this can be 
initialized while running the Matisse GUI builder?

What would make sense is to have a facility within Matisse itself that lets you 
set the default values for the components. Then it could generate the code for 
setting Uidefaults. Then you could have the same default component values in 
Matisse and runtime. This much preferred over having to set the component 
attribute values for every single instance in the GUI design. And for many 
companies that have corporate-wide GUI guidelines, having such information in a 
file form that can be part of the Netbeans configuration will allow developers 
across a corporation have their corporate standards automatically have these 
default values, without any effort on the part of application developers 
starting to develop an application. Entering all these component attribute 
values for each instance is very labor intensive in a large application. It 
looked like Themes solved this problem. And most corporations would probably be 
willing to adopt a single L&F like Metal if it provided this capability. But 
having the same look also in Matisse is crucial.

Comment 3 Tomas Pavek 2007-01-12 14:29:49 UTC
So do you mean that the GUI builder should load the Metal theme you define for 
the application and use it also for designed components?
Comment 4 djatcs 2007-01-12 15:03:59 UTC
Not necessarily. My understanding (I am fairly new to using Swing) is that the 
setting of defaults in javax.swing.UIDefaults is usable across ALL Swing L&Fs. 
Its also my understanding that Themes provide a way to set the values in 
UIDefaults, but by using an XML file that contains the values. This should be 
possible to work completely independent of the particular L&F. It would be nice 
to build up the Themes.xml file through a graphical editor in Matisse, though 
this would take some development work. But if Matisse could simply use the 
Themes.xml file to set the UIDefaults value for use in the GUI designer, and 
then provide the necessary call in the generated code so that the application 
at runtime could also use the same Themes.xml file, then we could have a 
facility for setting UIDefaults and providing a consistent L&F in Matisse and 
the running application. I find it very surprising this is not currently 
Comment 5 djatcs 2007-01-12 15:08:25 UTC
One additional comment/question. Will it work if I write the code to set the 
UIDefaults, specify this in the PreCreation Code for the components, or atleast 
the first component that is initialized in the generated code. In other words, 
does the pre-Creation code actually get executed by Matisse in the GUI builder? 
That is another way this could work.

And if the code for initializing UIDefaults from a Themes.xml file is open-
source, then that could be used directly by applications too.