Possible new project: OpenJDK LaF

Mario Torre neugens at redhat.com
Thu Aug 28 10:04:46 UTC 2014

On Wed, 2014-08-27 at 17:03 +0100, Martijn Verburg wrote:
> I think a move to GTK 3 would eliminate a class of java/Linux desktop
> issues we run across today. My concern would be the long term maintenance
> of this piece...

Yeah, long term maintenance will surely be some overhead, like anything
that is added to the jdk.

The way I would target the development is to try to respect the common
denominator that works in the most important Linux distribution in their
long term support releases (Ubuntu LTS, RHEL 7 and derivatives, etc...).

Those distributions have very long term support so it should not be a
big problem with moving gtk version. For other variants, where gtk may
be more of a moving target, we need to count on users of those system to
help out, and we need to talk with gtk maintainers to ensure there's a
compatible set of features we need. Eclipse and Mozilla have the same
problem and from time to time it comes back to byte them, but that's the
way it is unfortunately.

I think we should also ensure that the look and feel can be swapped out
without harm, for example, avoiding that if the Gnome team ends up
rewriting things for the fun of it again, and gtk4 comes out, we can
just deploy the gtk3 version of the laf, together with the gtk2 and with
whatever the future gives us without it interfere (that is, if is not
used, it's like dead code, no classes loaded, no code touched at
runtime, nothing).

That basically means a very self contained look and feel, which is great
because it could be eventually used even on older JDK without troubles
as a plugin. Also, I don't thing I would like to make this the default
theme (which will be forever Metal) and not even the default native
theme, but having some way to configure a system wide default would be
neat (I think there's already some flags to drive the selection of the
default native theme, never really tried out how this works though). 


> On Wednesday, 27 August 2014, Mario Torre <neugens at redhat.com> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > First of all, sorry for cross posting... I would like to kindly ask to
> > direct all the replies to this thread to the "discuss" alias if
> > possible.
> >
> > Is a bit of time I'm playing with the idea of implementing a proper GTK3
> > look and feel for OpenJDK, something to make the jdk look a bit more
> > modern and also take it as an opportunity to solve some of the issues
> > the GTK2 laf has, including some related bugs like this:
> >
> > http://icedtea.classpath.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=729
> >
> > I mentored a Summer of Code project last year where we produced a more
> > or less working and complete implementation. It was a student project
> > and the efforts to make it well abstracted and tested are really as
> > close as making a new implementation, however it was great to show that
> > we could have a basic and functional implementation in less than a month
> > of work, the new GTK3 library looks way nicer!
> >
> > At the same time, since Swing will be [very] gradually replaced by
> > JavaFX, I think it would be awesome to have a JavaFX based look and
> > feel, something I started to play with last year as well but then put on
> > hold because of tons of other things to do:
> >
> > https://neugens.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/javafx-look-and-feel-for-swing/
> >
> > Recently I was convinced though that we should move forward with the
> > Java laf: Swing has still lots to say, and JavaFX is not yet as
> > integrated with OpenJDK as it should be (especially in Linux
> > distribution, although is more popular within the OSX and Windows
> > communities), but before I move forward (and get to propose a JEP for
> > this) I would like some early feedback and gather some ideas/potential
> > interest :)
> >
> > Another possible implementation would be based on QT, which is even
> > cross platform by itself.
> >
> > So to recap, what are your feelings about an official OpenJDK look and
> > feel collection?
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Mario
> >
> >
> >

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