Deskop Effect on the NetBeans Platform

I recently saw a cool demo of the current state of the Sepix Sales System (which is obviously a NetBeans Platform application, otherwise why would I be blogging about it):

(Read about how the above app was ported to the NetBeans Platform in a very interesting & detailed interview here.)

I especially like the SwingX JXTaskPane in the left sidebar above, i.e., it creates a kind of Windows desktop experience, which is nice & useful for a lot of corporate software out there.

So that inspired me to return to the Pluggable JXTaskPane article I wrote some time ago, especially since Henning from what I consider to be the world's most laudable open source NetBeans Platform project, i.e., OpenLeanMed (to join the project, write to Henning, Constantin, and Igor at info at leanmed dot de), wrote to ask me recently asking how to create a desktop-appearance on the NetBeans Platform.

I've come up with this, i.e., an application that starts up in full screen mode, displays a corporate image in the background (as shown recently in this blog), and has a JPanel drawn on the JLayeredPane of the NetBeans Platform, where a Visual Library scene is contained, so that the menus (i.e., similar purpose to JXTaskPanes) can even be moved around, i.e., if you don't need some of the menus, just move them to the bottom of the screen and work with those that you need:

It's kind of fun and taught me a few things, especially how you don't need to use TopComponents at all, if you don't want them, by painting your user interface directly on the main window of the NetBeans Platform. Not recommended, but possible.


While it is a good example of what is possible with Netbeans I'm very sorry to say that the UI is butt ugly.

I see useless icons in the toolbar, no color scheme (just a bunch of colors randomly distributed) and elements that absolutely don't fit to each other.

This is a perfect example of what happens when a software developer creates the UI instead of a dedicated UI specialist.

Posted by guest on July 22, 2011 at 05:32 PM PDT #

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Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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