The NetBeans IDE‘s new GUI builder called Matisse have gotten my attention since until this editor I had lost the hope for decent desktop Java application development. Now the project Matisse have taken the GUI building to the same level as seen in recent Microsoft Visual Studios. I’m sure that we’ll see some interesting Java desktop applications in the near future thanks to Matisse.
One thing that is still slowing down the desktop app’s blooming is the Java’s native look and feel. As a newbie creates his first GUI with the Matisse and starts the application, he might be surprised as the application doesn’t look like the one he designed as it uses the default look and feel. This can be easily fixed by writing a single line of code for example to your main() method:
UIManager.setLookAndFeel( UIManager.getSystemLookAndFeelClassName() );
This will set the application to use the system’s look and feel. Here is screenshot of my work-in-progress application, TrailExplorer, which is a desktop software for viewing trails that have been prerecorded with a mobile application using the bluetooth connection to a GPS device (mobile app is also in work-in-progress status). I’ll use this software to explore my recorded biking trails.