Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

looking for a new look and feel, cont.

A couple of comments on my previous entry about my search for a new look and feel. Matt commented that the Alloy L&F is quite good (also a comment here. I agree (I had mentioned it in passing in my entry), but as I said I find it slightly outdated in some sense I can't quite describe. I should try it a bit more though.

Aside from noting my search, Cristian said:

Decent font rendering by the Java VM is what I hope Sun will provide, sooner or later.
I couldn't agree more. Although font rendering improved vastly with the addition of Java2D, there are still holes. In particular, an easy way to turn on anti-aliasing would be a godsend (right now the only way to do it is to redefine the paint() method of a component by subclassing and change the parameters on the Graphics2D object that is received). Well-designed, platform-independent font management would also be an important step forward.

Categories: clevercactus, soft.dev
Posted by diego on March 26, 2003 at 8:46 PM

new machine, cont.

Arcterex was asking the specs of the new machine I got. I thought about posting them and then I forgot. Here they are:

  • Pentium 4 2.4 GHz
  • 1 GB RDRAM
  • ATI Radeon 9700 TX w/ 128 MB DDR RAM
  • 120 GB 7200 RPM disk
  • DVD/CDRW
  • Sound Blaster Audigy, and
  • A Dell 1702 FP Digital/Analog LCD Display
The other machine, the one on which all the initial development for spaces was done, is a Thinkpad T21 P800 with 32GB disk and 384 MB of RAM. The speed of the new machine is a welcome change, but the display is a really welcome change. The display on the laptop wasn't so bad (14 in, 1400x1280) but at such high resolution with less area I was forced to zoom the system font a lot (one reason why spaces behaves nicely with different font sizes :-)). We tend to forget about the display, but that's really what we're looking at all day, and so the difference in price (not so much, BTW) is IMO more than justified.

The installation of the new environment is mostly done, and copying of files from the notebook is also largely complete. I've spent most of the day working on a new Look and Feel for spaces, adding a couple of new context commands for Contacts, and setting up some VMWare virtual machines. I just run the spaces beta in Linux/Gnome (Red Hat 7.2) and it looks great (More on my impressions on running linux again later). Screenshots are forthcoming shortly :-).

Categories: clevercactus, technology
Posted by diego on March 26, 2003 at 8:29 PM

using all those GHz and MB

Now that I have a machine that can handle more than two applications at once, I installed VMWare Workstation 4 (Beta). Such an amazing application. So well done, so simple and powerful. I've already installed W2K Server in one VM, now I'm going for Red Hat 7.2 in another. Testing spaces is about to get a lot easier.

Something else that I've been looking at, in the interest of making life easier for users, is InstallShield multiplatform, which builds native installers for multiple target platforms from a single build configuration. Still haven't tamed it (somewhat non-intuitive at times) but getting there. In the end, for Windows installs the Multiplatform product might not be the best idea since the installation doesn't look too good. But for targeting multiple UNIX environments, plus MacOS and Windows, it's great. Then again, many people that use UNIX don't have much use for installers. ;-)

Categories: clevercactus, soft.dev
Posted by diego on March 26, 2003 at 5:20 PM

looking for a new look and feel

As part of changes for the beta I've been exploring the area of Pluggable Look and Feels for Java. There aren't that many really, and most are not very complete. Javootoo is a good listing of the best-known (there are several more out there, like the Alloy L&F). One that I found that looks really good is the Skin Look and Feel. Alloy also looks nice, although a bit dated. Oyoaha is also interesting. And finally, the Simple L&F. I've been modifying one of the L&Fs from Skin, and it looks good.

It's possible that a different look and feel might be the default for spaces, always having the option for reverting to "native" L&F. I think that wouldn't be too much of an impact for users, who are by now more used to seeing different UIs (Winamp, Quicktime, Media Player, games...)

Categories: clevercactus, soft.dev
Posted by diego on March 26, 2003 at 2:44 PM

cristian's new design

Cristian's weblog has a new design. Nice!

Later:I noticed Karlin also updated her weblog design recently. Very cool as well.

And... I just realized that today it's one month since I did the redesign. It must be the season... :-)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on March 26, 2003 at 1:19 PM

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