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Geertjan's Blog

  • May 25, 2010

blue Look and Feel for NetBeans Platform Applications

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
I reported on the OfficeLAF for the NetBeans Platform sometime ago, so I'm happy to again have the opportunity of announcing a new NetBeans Platform LAF... the blue Look and Feel, which can have this impact on your application:

Why was the above LAF created? It comes from the blue music composer (that's a link to an interview published today), where you'll find this explanation, by the LAF's author, Steven Yi:

"blue's custom look and feel started off one day when I was using my Palm PDA. I remember thinking that I enjoyed the look of the device with the backlight on, and so I wanted to recreate that kind of look for my program. Later, I modified the color scheme to tone it down in some ways, but I also introduced more colors than white and cyan to highlight secondary and tertiary features. Maybe now it is now more like Tron than it is like Palm. :)

Overall, I enjoy the darker look of the application when I'm working on music. I tend to work on music when I have free time, and that is usually only late at night—I've found having a darker screen has been easier on my eyes. Also, if anyone was wondering, yes, blue is my favorite color."

If you want to use this LAF in your NetBeans Platform application, take the following steps:

  1. hg clone http://bluemusic.hg.sourceforge.net/hgweb/bluemusic/blue

  2. Open your NetBeans Platform application in the IDE, right-click the "Modules" node, and choose "Add Existing". The "Open Project" dialog appears.

  3. Now browse to the folder where you called the "hg clone" command and find the "blue-plaf" folder, which is the folder of the NetBeans module that defines the blue LAF. Click OK.

  4. Now the module is in your application. The module contains an installer class that sets the LAF of the module, which will then be applied to the whole application.

Note: If you encounter problems with the above instructions, i.e., after the above instructions you run the application and see no new LAF, create a new installer in one of your own modules and then copy the content of the installer in the blue LAF module into your own installer. Then set a dependency in your own module on the blue LAF module, as well as the NetBeans Tab Control module, and you're good to go.

Another approach to the above steps is to go to the Libraries tab of your application's Project Properties dialog and add "Add Project" or "Add Cluster", then either browse to the specific module or the whole application, and the selected modules will be added to your application, i.e., you can share modules between applications, there's actually no need to remove a module from an existing application in order to use it in a new application. And lots of configuration work in setting up suite chaining is not needed either.

The coolest thing about this whole LAF story is the power of NetBeans modularity. As with the Office LAF, you are able to reuse a single module and gain a whole bunch of functionality from it.

Congratulations Steven Yi for this great new LAF for NetBeans Platform developers.

In other news. As pointed out above, read the brand new interview/article about a music composing NetBeans Platform application I'd never heard of before until a few days ago: Interview: Music Composer on the NetBeans Platform.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 5 )
  • mario Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    mmm yeww too ugly :D

    i would like to see substance for netbeans alive again


  • Behrang Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Well, to be honest, that LnF looks very ugly, at least in the provided screenshot. The buttons on the top-right of the frame overlap the white line below them. Also the close button (x) is very hard to see on that dark blue background.


  • Ahmed Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    To be honest, I like it. I work in the evenings and at night too, like the creator of the LAF, and can imagine using this LAF as well.


  • joseph Monday, June 28, 2010

    To be honest, I like this look and feel. I have a linux machine and my netbeans platform application looks like my gtk applications. I want a traditional Ocean Metal look and feel. How do I configure my platform application to look like dat.


  • Geertjan Wielenga Monday, June 28, 2010

    If you want to use this LAF in your NetBeans Platform application, take the following steps:

    1. hg clone http://bluemusic.hg.sourceforge.net/hgweb/bluemusic/blue

    2. Open your NetBeans Platform application in the IDE, right-click the "Modules" node, and choose "Add Existing". The "Open Project" dialog appears.

    3. Now browse to the folder where you called the "hg clone" command and find the "blue-plaf" folder, which is the folder of the NetBeans module that defines the blue LAF. Click OK.

    4. Now the module is in your application. The module contains an installer class that sets the LAF of the module, which will then be applied to the whole application.


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