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Pagosoft's Look and Feel for Java Swing

02.02.2008
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I'm not a very big fan of "look and feels". My perspective on them is the same as for butter: "Hey, it's butter, great, but what's the point of all those different brands, don't they all taste basically the same? And isn't any difference they have marginal and irrelevant?" However, I do always try them out. You never know, some butters are better than other butters, one assumes. It would be handy if there were a place somewhere on the web where I would be able to see ALL the look and feels, with ALL the main ad/disadvatanges, accompanied by screenshots.

But, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, especially when it comes to something as subjective as "look and feels". And so when I found out today about Patrick Gotthardt's announcement relating to PgsLookAndFeel 1.1 Beta, I took it for a test drive. (I also explored the related Pagosoft products page, which is pretty interesting.) The stated goal of the PgsLookAndFeel "is to provide a single look and feel for applications on Windows, Gnome and KDE. It is free and OpenSource, licensed under terms of the Apache Software License 2." All of that info is laudable. So, I went further and took it for a spin.

I followed these instructions and then started NetBeans IDE. I was pleasantly surprised. Running on Ubuntu Linux, this was "before", i.e., the way the world normally looks for me:

...and this is "after"...

One cool thing is the sharpness of the text in the menu items (all other text too, inc. code). I also like how the icons look. At least a few of them are changed by the look and feel. But, in general, what seems to be antialiasing has made the entire user experience a lot better. The only thing I don't like is how dark the non-selected tabs are. I'd like for the text to be legible, even though the tab isn't selected. Apart from that, I think I'll stick with this.

And what about you? What look and feel has won you over?

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Geertjan Wielenga.