June 26th, 2010

Improving the integration between Substance and Flamingo

When two products are developed by the same company / team / a lonely guy in his mom’s basement, you expect them to work well together. In my case, i develop Flamingo component suite and Substance look-and-feel – both targeting modern Swing-based UI applications. To achieve better integration between the two products, i provide three main features:

  • Hosting some of the ribbon content (application menu button, taskbar panel and contextual ribbon task group headers) in the title pane of a decorated ribbon frame
  • Office Blue 2007 and Office Silver 2007 skins that specifically target Flamingo ribbon component. When you use these skins in your ribbon-based applications, the visuals should be pretty close to the look of the matching MS Office 2007 skins.
  • Substance Flamingo plugin that provides consistent appearance and animation effects found in the base Substance library.

While the main focus of Substance Flamingo plugin was on hosting content in the title pane, the two Office skins and consistent animation effects, the latest development drops of all three libraries provide much better visuals for the ribbon component under other core Substance skins, especially those that mix dark and light color schemes in different areas of your UI.

Here is the ribbon under Business Black Steel skin:

https://substance.dev.java.net/release-info/6.1/ribbon-business-black-steel.png

And the same ribbon under Dust skin:

https://substance.dev.java.net/release-info/6.1/ribbon-dust.png

And the same ribbon under Dust Coffee skin:

https://substance.dev.java.net/release-info/6.1/ribbon-dust-coffee.png

And the same ribbon under Gemini skin:

https://substance.dev.java.net/release-info/6.1/ribbon-gemini.png

And the same ribbon under Twilight skin:

https://substance.dev.java.net/release-info/6.1/ribbon-twilight.png

The ribbon also looks much better under other Substance skins such as Autumn:

https://substance.dev.java.net/release-info/6.1/ribbon-autumn.png

and Business:

https://substance.dev.java.net/release-info/6.1/ribbon-business.png

I plan to release Substance 6.1 and Flamingo 5.0 at the same time around end of July / beginning of August. You should expect even closer integration between these two projects to be provided by the Substance Flamingo plugin as the projects get nearer the code freeze state.

If you want to test the improved visuals in ribbon-based applications, you will need the following: