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A book by Sun Microsystems Inc.

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Expert advice for GUI creation in Java

  • Mar 11, 2002
Creating clean, intuitive interfaces is a complex task using any set of tools. It is further complicated by the significant differences between the tools, both in appearance and performance, where a significant difference can be a rather small thing. The Java Swing toolkit and supporting classes differs from others and if it is your platform, then you should take a look at this book. Written by the interface experts at Sun Microsystems, this is as good as it gets.
At the meta-level, the guidelines are no different from those in any other language. The best designs are patterns that should be followed independent of the platform and some of the book is devoted to following those "universal" designs. From that perspective, the book is just another description of interfaces. However, the real value is at the specific level, where the reader is taken down to the point where Java differs from other platforms. All of the examples are demonstrated using a combination of point-by-point descriptions with supporting color figures.
I teach corporate training courses in Java, including one about designing interfaces and I write my own material for the classes. As I was reading the book, I went back through those lessons and made some alterations based on the guidelines. After following this up with a series of before and after contrast examinations, it was clear that the after was better than the before. I am confident that your experience will be the same.

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Charles Ashbacher ()
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Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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About this book


Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines, from Sun Microsystems, provides programmers with the requirements for creating user interfaces using the Java Foundation Classes (JFC). This handsomely printed book uses rich color on every page while demonstrating how you can create Java programs that will look great on any computer.

The book focuses on the built-in Java look-and-feel (called Metal). Early sections discuss the philosophy of Java user interfaces, which include excellent support for different languages and accessibility, keeping disabled users in mind.

Much of this text covers Java UI elements offering advice on creating more intuitive interfaces. Sections of the book look at the rudimentary, visual sensibilities needed for using colors and text appropriately, including how to design artwork (like icons and graphics) that fits in with the rest of the JFC interface. One example shows the step-by-step creation of a proper Java icon. Other sections propose standards for the number of pixels that should be used to separate onscreen elements. Sections on mouse, keyboard, and drag-and-drop user operations make clear how your Java programs should handle user actions.

Later this text surveys JFC components beginning with basic windows, dialog boxes, menus, and toolbars. Next it's on to individual components from basic controls (like buttons, checkboxes, and text controls) to more advanced components (like tables and tree controls). (This section, which lists the extensive options...

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ISBN-10: 0201775824
ISBN-13: 978-0201775822
Author: Sun Microsystems Inc.
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

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