Swing links of the week: November 4, 2007

November 4th, 2007

Here are some Swing links that you might have missed during this week:

  • Jan Erik Paulsen is working on a new RIA tool named Amanda. Some nice screenshots that use the Titanium look-and-feel that is based on Substance.
  • The release notes for Java 5 on Leopard include a few new client properties that can be used to provide functionality missing from the core Swing components. Examples include indeterminate progress circular indicator, smaller controls and search text fields.
  • Jan Haderka writes about detecting Caps Lock state on the JXLoginPanel SwingX component. This thread on java.net forums has additional comments. The current solution does not sound too robust, and since the correct approach requires using native code (which is currently missing from the JDK), use with care.
  • Eclipse 3.4M3 release notes mention the new API on the Shell component. It allows setting an alpha channel value on supported platforms (see screenshot). While the matching functionality is available in the JNA project for Swing, it’s really time for the core Swing team to provide it in JDK. It’s missing in Tiger, it’s missing in Mustang, and it most probably won’t be in Dolphin (due to major work by the client team on the “Update N” which leaves them with only a few months for Dolphin).
  • Hrish writes about problems with file access in signed applets under IE 7 on Windows Vista. There are some links to MSDN articles, but i think that a more important link would be to Chet’s blog on this subject where he says that “There is an issue worth noting here than cannot be fixed: IE7 on Vista will not let us access the file system outside the IE7 sandbox for applets. This means that even “signed” applets have no permission to write to arbitrary locations on disk. This behavior differs from the old behavior of applets on Windows, but given the restrictions of IE7, there is really no way around the problem.” I’m not sure how this sits along with the user comments on bug 6504236 that say that “there is a well documented design to allow IE add-ins access the file system from the user’s normal (Medium) Integrity level, rather the IE’s Low Integrity level: implement an Internet Explorer Broker Process“.

This week has also seen a few announcements:

  • Mikael Grev has announced release 3.0 of MigLayout project. The main emphasis of this release is on automatic support for resolution independence, which is a very important topic that doesn’t get the attention it deserves (neither in Java world nor elsewhere).
  • David Qiao has announced release 2.2.1 of JIDE component suite. The new components are group list, dual list and aggregate table – all of these are not available in the open-source common layer.
  • Instantiations has announced release 6.5.0 of the WindowBuilder family of products with a few enhancements to the Swing designer.
  • Hans Muller has announced release 1.03 of Swing Application Framework, the reference implementation of JSR 296, while Shannon Hickey has announced release 1.2 and release 1.2.1 of Beans Binding, the reference implementation of JSR 295. There are some breaking changes in the Beans Binding 1.2 (see release notes). While on one hand it is expected from an evolving project which has not been finalized, it brings some interesting questions nonetheless. The first one (this is also relevant for Swing Application Framework) – what exactly do the version numbers signify? Was the release 1.0 just something to “tag” and release so that people will consider it as a production-ready implementation? Or perhaps these are the versions used in NetBeans 6.0 betas – which makes it even worse considering that NetBeans is an IDE and these two projects are JSR reference implementations. And what happens when NetBeans 6.0 is frozen (somewhere this week) and there are still breaking API changes in these two projects?