March 18th, 2008

More tricks with translucent Swing windows

The java.net site has just published my article on translucent and shaped windows, and it is one of the reasons why i have been a little quite on this blog. The two previous entries have shown simple usages of the shaped and translucent windows:

While this has a lot of potential, it is not immediately clear how it can be applied to the real-life Swing programs. The java.net article tries to explore this area a little bit further and touches on three examples:

  • Translucent heavyweight tooltips
  • Fading heavyweight tooltips
  • Real time translucent reflection on a top-level window

The fading tooltip is my favorite at the moment. It shows the true potential of this functionality in providing a smooth user experience, especially in the context of modern UIs that use rollover and selection fades. The real time video reflection is also quite interesting, especially for the “coolness” factor.

The full sources can be found in the CVS repository of the companion PushingPixels java.net project.

If you have more ideas for window translucency, let me know in the comments.