Everything we’ve covered in this chapter up to this point has been useful background information for the ultimate application customization strategy—creating your own look-and-feel. As you might guess, this is not something you’ll do in an afternoon. However, thanks to the improvements made in the L&F framework (as of the JDK 1.2 beta 4 release), it’s not as difficult as you might think. You’ll likely find that the most difficult part is coming up with graphical design for each component.
There are basically three different strategies for creating a new L&F:
Start from ground zero by extending
and extending each of the UI delegates defined in
BasicLookAndFeel and each of the
abstract UI delegates defined in
Extend an existing L&F, like
and change only selected components.
The first option gives you complete control over how everything works. It also requires a lot of effort. Unless you are implementing an L&F that is fundamentally different from the traditional desktop L&Fs, or you have some strong desire to implement your own L&F framework from scratch, we strongly recommend that you do not use this approach.
The next option is the most logical if you want to create a
completely new L&F. This is the approach we’ll focus on in
this section. The
BasicLookAndFeel has been
designed (well, actually it’s been significantly
re-designed as of JDK 1.2 beta 4) as an abstract framework for ...