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Various library additional features which helps you to create awesome Swing applications

Branch “styling”


I have added a temporary project branch styling on GitHub WebLaF project page – almost all new changes are added there right now. This branch contains changes required to enable styling support for all existing components. It isn’t stable right now and might even be uncompilable sometimes, but as soon as I finish adding modifications it will be merged into the master branch and I will finally be able to release v1.29 update.

I was going to postpone a lot of those changes and release only small chunks one by one but that would force me to add even more workarounds for older parts of the code. So I have finally decided to finish it in one sweep. Originally this was the goal of v1.40 release, but it is coming sooner than expected. Some improvements will still be made on the way to v1.40 release, but the main part will be added in v1.29 update and it won’t be a simple preview – it will be fully working styling system.

So let me go into some specifics of changed you can expect…


News and v1.28 release


About news and site updates

As you might have noticed – it was a really long time since last post here, I were still releasing new library versions in background but I didn’t post here due to time constraints and since I didn’t actually find anything specific worth noticing. I have taken all that time to think about structuring information on the site better and improving the library itself. So today’s post will bring a few important news and v1.28 release notes.

If you were tracking GitHub updates you might have already seen some of this post parts in the README file on the home WebLaF page on GitHub, but this post contains some extended comments and notes, so make sure you don’t miss anything!

Let’s now continue to the interesting part…


WebLookAndFeel and Nine-patch


Library got a large bunch of updates and upgrades since last version and i today i will tell about the main one – new Nine-patch editor and styling hidden within the library. 
First of all i will tell a bit about nine-patch format for those who still don’t know anything…


Nine-patch is an image format that holds some additional information inside png-format image meta-data or inside the picture itself.

Here you can see a simple example of nine-patch image (it is also set as default image in editor):


As you can see there are four black-colored lines on the image sides – that is additional data that nine-patch format provides.
Each line on the left and top sides presents stretchable image areas – those parts of image will be sized with the component they are used on.
Each line on the right and bottom sides presents content areas (they might also be empty) – in those parts of image component content will be placed (for example – button text and icon).

That is basically all you need to know about that format to make it useful inside you application with WebLookAndFeel library!
If you want to know more – you might find this post and official Android dev guide useful.

I will tell you about nine-patch files usage a bit later – let’s check the format editor first…


Nine-patch editor within the library


It have been a long time since last post here, but from now on i will also inform you about upcoming features with separate posts.

Today i will tell you some news and interesting information about upcoming features and would love to see any kind of feedback in the comments or on email!


There was a small announce of a new visual editor for Android 9-patch format on HabraHabr which is now a part of  Web Look and Feel library (and could be found in upcoming release or in the post on HabraHabr). If you are Android developer – that might be interesting for you since it is much more comfortable and easy in use than a basic editor that is offered to Android developers.

Also with upcoming release there will be a cross-platform installer available on downloads page for desktop 9-patch editor version so Android developers can quickly install and use it.