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davidekholm

Posts: 3,241
Registered: 18-Oct-2002
jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 18:27
Working on jAlbum 20.3 (or perhaps 21?) here. Apart from hopefully addressing the bugs we've had when updating skins, this version has two new improvements
  • Supports 4 new look and feels thanks to the open source FlatLaf project . These will replace Darcula, which is abandonware and not really compatible with future Java versions (notice the errors when running jAlbum from the command line). FlatLaf has theme support, and one theme mimics Darcula so well that I don't think moving from Darcula to Flat will upset anyone :-)
  • Supports Oracle's new GraalJS JavaScript engine, which will replace the Nashorn JavaScript engine skins like Tiger and PhotoBlogger currently run on. (Nashorn is no longer present in the next Java version to come)

I'll post more on the GraalJS engine support later one. Will now focus on the new Flat look&feel:

Here's a demo album showcasing jAlbum running on the 4 themes of Flat look & feel that we currently support:


This look&feel is both open source, actively supported and used by the just released Netbeans 12, so one can assume it has been battle-tested well. If you find any issues with it, report here or directly to the Flat look & feel project .

If you like to customize it, rename system/themes/custom-Dark.theme.json.disabled to custom-Dark.theme.json and edit it. jAlbum will then automatically pick up your custom version if you select "Dark One" through jAlbum's user interface. (Later versions of jAlbum could iterate system/themes and present any custom themes added there, but I simply enabled one such custom file for now)

Installers:
Windows: http://jalbum.net/download/jAlbum-install.exe
Mac: http://jalbum.net/download/jAlbum.dmg
Any system: http://jalbum.net/download/jAlbum.zip
JeffTucker

Posts: 6,921
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 20:05   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
... (notice the errors when running jAlbum from the command line).

I'll be glad to see that one gone - it always catches me off guard, and it makes me think there's some horrendous error in my skin updates (I regenerate the demo albums from command scripts). I'm still seeing it now, since Darcula is still lurking out there.

Along with Darcula, I think it's probably time to ditch the other old L&F choices, which are looking pretty tired at this stage. If we were left with the system default, another light choice (the sys default is light on both Windows and macOS), and maybe two dark choices, that would be plenty. If you want to make a day-glo orange theme later, fine, but it's time to dump the old ones.

My only complaint about the FlatLaf themes is that they're very "expansive." With the Windows system default, the Pluto settings panels are 796px wide, but with any of the FlatLaf themes, they're a full 950px. And some of the extra space is unnecessary. Even the panel with the widest content is showing a lot of empty space to the right - see screenshots. They're about 5% taller, too. Not a huge problem - the macOS default L&F is similarly oversized.

On the subject of the UI, one little change I suggested (buried in another thread) is to change the wording: Tools, Preferences, General, Remember last selected object. Just for the sake of consistency, we should stick to one noun for what those things are. Everywhere else, they're referred to as "objects." I don't think "items" is any more descriptive, and I can't think of a better word, like "thingamies."
MarkusD

Posts: 523
Registered: 13-Apr-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 20:08   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
  • Supports 4 new look and feels thanks to the open source FlatLaf project . These will replace Darcula, which is abandonware and not really compatible with future Java versions (notice the errors when running jAlbum from the command line). FlatLaf has theme support, and one theme mimics Darcula so well that I don't think moving from Darcula to Flat will upset anyone :-)

If you find any issues with it, report here or directly to the Flat look & feel project .
There is an issue which I think is maybe on the side of jAlbum. It's not possible any more to move the splitter between then left panel with the projects and the middle panel with the explore and edit panel more that just a couple of pixels. I'm on Windows 10.
JeffTucker

Posts: 6,921
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 20:14   in response to: MarkusD in response to: MarkusD
MarkusD wrote:
There is an issue which I think is maybe on the side of jAlbum. It's not possible any more to move the splitter between then left panel with the projects and the middle panel with the explore and edit panel more that just a couple of pixels. I'm on Windows 10.

No problem with that for me, also Win10, with any L&F. All of the splitters work properly (project list, edit panel, image editing with comment panel, etc.).
MarkusD

Posts: 523
Registered: 13-Apr-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 20:20   in response to: JeffTucker in response to: JeffTucker
jGromit wrote:
MarkusD wrote:
There is an issue which I think is maybe on the side of jAlbum. It's not possible any more to move the splitter between then left panel with the projects and the middle panel with the explore and edit panel more that just a couple of pixels. I'm on Windows 10.

No problem with that for me, also Win10, with any L&F. All of the splitters work properly (project list, edit panel, image editing with comment panel, etc.).

I agree. I just had to make the jAlbum window once from full screen to resized and the the splitter works again. Odd thing.
MarkusD

Posts: 523
Registered: 13-Apr-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 20:30   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
If you ask me, the blue color for the Title font is more or less unreadable, see screenshot.
davidekholm

Posts: 3,241
Registered: 18-Oct-2002
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 22:32   in response to: MarkusD in response to: MarkusD
Thanks for your feedback. I've now released b2 to https://jalbum.net/download/beta/jalbum-core.jar

Changes:
  • Got rid or Darcula and its error message on startup (the other old look&feels are part of Java)
  • Fixed the dark blue color for titles (and links too)
  • Enabled the left panel to be made smaller
JeffTucker

Posts: 6,921
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 22:55   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
...the other old look&feels are part of Java....

But you're not required to use them, are you? Metal and Nimbus are very dated, but at least they aren't terrible. On the other hand, CDE/Motif is a disaster - almost unreadable - and Windows Classic is actually tough to tell apart from regular Windows.

ETA: I'd never noticed it before, but NetBeans offers all of the built-in Java L&F's, so maybe ditching them isn't simple!
MarkusD

Posts: 523
Registered: 13-Apr-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 23:12   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
  • Fixed the dark blue color for titles (and links too)
Yes, much better now. ;-)
davidekholm

Posts: 3,241
Registered: 18-Oct-2002
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 23:37   in response to: JeffTucker in response to: JeffTucker
jGromit wrote:

ETA: I'd never noticed it before, but NetBeans offers all of the built-in Java L&F's, so maybe ditching them isn't simple!

It's possible to write more code to filter them out, and get angry comments from those who happen to like CDE/Motif. I understand your point though, they don't deliver a good user experience, so if novice users pick them, they might stop their jAlbum exploration there.
JeffTucker

Posts: 6,921
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 18-Jun-2020 23:50   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
The users who really get clobbered are the macOS people who try to use the system default L&F. Not great in my skins, but truly horrendous in Laza's skins. Those vertical tabs are a killer. :(
karlmistelberger

Posts: 214
Registered: 5-Dec-2013
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 19-Jun-2020 11:07   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
Working on jAlbum 20.3 (or perhaps 21?) here. Apart from hopefully addressing the bugs we've had when updating skins, this version has two new improvements
  • Supports 4 new look and feels thanks to the open source FlatLaf project . These will replace Darcula, which is abandonware and not really compatible with future Java versions (notice the errors when running jAlbum from the command line). FlatLaf has theme support, and one theme mimics Darcula so well that I don't think moving from Darcula to Flat will upset anyone :-)

Replacing abondonware at an early stage is great news. Tried FlatLight with v20.3b1. I am pleased. ;-)
MarkusD

Posts: 523
Registered: 13-Apr-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 19-Jun-2020 18:57   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
davidekholm wrote:
  • Supports 4 new look and feels thanks to the open source FlatLaf project . These will replace Darcula, which is abandonware and not really compatible with future Java versions (notice the errors when running jAlbum from the command line). FlatLaf has theme support, and one theme mimics Darcula so well that I don't think moving from Darcula to Flat will upset anyone :-)

I compiled an album with all skins for comparison.

My personal votes (from 1-5 {bad-excelent}):
Metal -> 1
Nimbus -> 1
CDE/Motif -> 0 (this is just super ugly)
FlatDark -> 5
FlatLight -> 5
FlatDarcula -> 5
FlatLaf - One dark -> 5
ctwist

Posts: 562
Registered: 27-Sep-2003
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 19-Jun-2020 20:51   in response to: davidekholm in response to: davidekholm
I am very interested in GraalJS because Mirage uses Nashorn to process Zif files. I looked at GraalJS a few months ago, but I was unsure how to get started.
JeffTucker

Posts: 6,921
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: jAlbum 20.3 for testing
Posted: 19-Jun-2020 21:31   in response to: MarkusD in response to: MarkusD
MarkusD wrote:
CDE/Motif -> 0 (this is just super ugly)

That one is more than just "ugly." It's almost unusable. The low contrast makes things very difficult to read, and it is sometimes absolutely impossible to tell the difference between a field that's enabled, and one that's disabled. With a JTextField, for example, there is no visual difference between enabled and disabled.

That L&F fails on every count.

At least Metal and Nimbus are readable, even if they're stylistically from the 1990's.
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