SwingX date pickers in Substance 6.0

January 27th, 2010

The core Substance look-and-feel library is in the feature freeze state, and it’s time to tie the loose ends. Over the next couple of weeks i will be updating documentation, fixing bugs and perhaps adding a few new skins. Along with that, i will polish the visuals of third-party components covered by the Substance plugins that i maintain, and today it’s time to talk about the date picker component from SwingX.

The ever-changing plans for Swing in JDK 7 (which went from grandiose to acceptable to almost non-existent) at one time included a new date picker component available in the core Swing library. While the fate of such a component has not been addressed in the five-hour press conference today, there are a number of open-source and commercial date picker components available for use in Swing applications. One of them comes from SwingX – a library that is supported by the matching Substance SwingX plugin.

The latest 6.0dev drop of Substance SwingX plugin aligns the visuals of the JXDatePicker component with those of editable comboboxes. The inset look, double border and flat button that responds to the mouse rollover – all of these add up to a consistent and polished appearance of your UI running under Substance 6.0. Let’s see a few screenshots.

Here is the date picker component under the Business skin in the latest 6.0dev drop:


Here, you can see four date pickers in different areas of the application – toolbar, sidebar, status bar and the general area. While under the Business sin there is not much visual difference, it becomes more evident under the Business Blue Steel skin:


Here, the toolbar has a darker shade of blue used on its controls, and sidebar / status bar use a lighter shade of blue. Notice how the component automatically picks up the colors for the background and the border based on the decoration area that hosts it.

Next up the Gemini skin:


Here, note how the date picker in the toolbar has picked up not only the lighter color for the border, but also the correct light color for the foreground and the arrow icon. The same can be seen under the Magellan skin:


with date pickers in different decoration areas picking the matching foreground / background colors. Finally, the date pickers under the Dust skin:


You are more than welcome to take the latest 6.0dev drops of Substance and its plugins for a spin and report bugs / visual artifacts to the project mailing lists or forums: