January 6th, 2009

Substance goals for 2009

A clear and well-defined set of goals is crucial for projects of all sizes, and Substance is no exception. The project goal has been refined and refocused to guide the project throughout the year 2009 and is:

To provide a rock solid, fast and extensible library for creating visually appealing and consistent Swing applications

To provide a little bit more details:

  • Rock solid – the goal is to continue providing production-quality collection of skins with foremost focus on handling bug reports and maintaining long term health of the source code base.
  • Fast – the goal is to continue focusing on the performance aspects, making sure that code changes do not introduce any performance regressions and continuously analyzing the existing code paths for additional performance improvements. Project LightBeam is an integral part of the development process, which has already seen an average additional improvement of 3.3% in version 5.1dev as compared to the latest stable 5.0 release.
  • Extensible – the goal is to provide a focused and powerful set of APIs to create and tweak custom visuals as mandated by the design mockups of specific applications. Documentation on Substance skins, painters and the sample blueprints provides detailed information on how to use Substance to implement even the most demanding modern designs.
  • Visually appealing – the goal is to provide a selected collection of core Substance color schemes, painters and skins that can be used without any change in application code. Each core skin pays close attention to visual polish and the current desktop configuration, including font and DPI settings.
  • Consistent – the goal is to enforce visual consistency across different UI areas. The grouping of visual aspects based on component states, decoration areas and the newly added color scheme associations facilitates richness and flexibility between the different UI areas, at the same time enforcing visual consistency and connections across the components in related areas and states.

These five areas will be the main driving factors behind the continuing development of Substance look-and-feel in year 2009.