Java and the Swinging Flamingo


Continuing our “desktop Java has become nice and powerful recently” theme, Flamingo is a suite of open-source components for Swing with a certain visual flair.

I try not to think about what a swinging flamingo gets up to, but anyway the components in this nifty UI suite include a button strip, breadcrumb bar, a file viewer, and a progress bar that makes nice use of Swing’s GlassPane: the whole container is darkened, and a “Waiting for ... seconds” message displayed across the top.

The GlassPane is a powerful feature of Swing which has potential for some amazing effects when combined with, say, Java2D (this potential has mostly been realized by Sun’s own Romain Guy).

Of course it also has the potential for some hideous misuse (too many “wibbly glass” effects when you’re just trying to get some work done could really put a dampener on your day!). Hopefully, though, what we’re seeing is that the developers who know enough to use the GlassPane also (by definition) know not to abuse it.

Check Flamingo’s homepage for the Webstartable demos.

About the Author

Matt Stephens is a senior architect, programmer and project leader based in Central London. He co-wrote Agile Development with ICONIX Process, Extreme Programming Refactored, and Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML - Theory and Practice.