Re: [Usability] Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines vs the HIG

On 16 Dec 2006, at 17:29, Bill Wohler wrote:

I'm embarking on a new project using Java/Swing which is expected to
run in a GNU/Linux environment. I'm contemplating using the HIG
instead of the JLFDG as I've always done and using the GTK look and
feel rather than the default Swing look and feel. I'd be interested in
hearing your views on the pros and cons of both of these decisions.

Also, does that opinion change if the application is expected to run
on more than one platform (like Windows or Mac).

It won't surprise you to know that we often have the same discussions inside Sun :)

So far, we've always concluded that Java apps should just continue to follow the Java guidelines. At the same time, we've been continually improving the gtk+ L&F for Swing, with the eventual aim that the gtk+ L&F that will do as much of the work of ensuring GNOME HIG compliance as possible, when the Java app is running in a GNOME environment.

We're certainly not there yet (especially wrt button order and file dialogs), but Java 6 is a further improvement over Java 5 in that regard.

One last question: Since the development of the JLFDG seems to be dead
and the HIG community seems quite active and contains Sun members, are
there any thoughts about deprecating the JLFDG in favor of the HIG at
some time in the future?

I don't have any official (or even unofficial) news on the JLFDG, but with the recent open sourcing of Java, I wouldn't be surprised if there are some moves to freshen it up again. (Ideally we'd just open source the existing guidelines, but there may be issues with our publisher there.)


CALUM BENSON, Usability Engineer       Sun Microsystems Ireland
mailto:calum benson sun com            Java Desktop System Team             +353 1 819 9771

Any opinions are personal and not necessarily those of Sun Microsystems

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