Friday, 12 November 2010

Bye, bye Metal

My IDE of choice is NetBeans and my development platform, Mandriva Linux with a KDE desktop. During my time as a Java developer I have always run NetBeans (and Java Desktop applications in general) using the default Metal look and feel having found the GTK laf unusable on my KDE desktop; the fonts, tabs and menus look awful. So, when I learnt about a new look and feel called Nimbus that was to be introduced with JDK 6 u10 I was eager to try it out. However, my enthusiasm soon turned to disappointment when I discovered similar rendering problems I had found with the GTK laf, so, back to Metal I went.... Until a few days ago when, with my system on the latest updates of JDK 6 and NetBeans I decided to try it again. This time I was pleasantly surprised - it looked fabulous! The fonts, tabs, menu - all rendering perfectly. All of a sudden NetBeans looked less flat and more polished.

It was a shame to read in a recent post that Oracle has decided to keep Metal as the default laf for JDK 7 rather than switching to Nimbus. But for me, I think I will be making a permanent switch to Nimbus. Bye, Bye metal. You did a good job but now it's time to go...