NetBeans in dark shining armor
The latest Q Build of NetBeans provides much better support for third-party look-and-feels than was available in previous releases (although still it has some hard-coded assumptions that LAF should inherit from Metal, leading to quite a few ClassCastExceptions). Recently, a few dark-themed look-and-feels have been made available, and I decided to take them for a ride on the NetBeans.
This FAQ entry describes how to run NetBeans with custom look-and-feel (what's wrong with swing.defaultlaf setting that it should be replaced by laf). The following three LAFs have been tested: Synthetica BlackStar (commercially available only), TinyLAF Nightly and Substance Ebony. Here are the results:
Synthetica BlackStar : H:\netbeans-4.2dev\bin\netbeans.exe -cp:p H:\JavaTools\lnf\synthblackstar\syntheticaBlackStar.jar;H:\JavaTools\lnf\synthblackstar\synthetica.jar -laf de.javasoft.plaf.synthetica.SyntheticaBlackStarLookAndFeel. It needs two jars (standard and theme). Here is how NetBeans looks like under this theme (click to see fullsize):
TinyLAF Nightly : H:\netbeans-4.2dev\bin\netbeans.exe -cp:p H:\JavaTools\lnf\tinylaf-1_3_02\tinylaf.jar -laf de.muntjak.tinylookandfeel.TinyLookAndFeel. In addition, you will have to place the YQ Nightly.theme file under either user.home or user.dir and rename it to Default.theme. Here is how NetBeans looks like under this theme (click to see fullsize):
Substance Ebony : H:\netbeans-4.2dev\bin\netbeans.exe -cp:p h:\jprojects\substance\drop\substance.jar -laf org.jvnet.substance.SubstanceLookAndFeel -J-Dsubstancelaf.theme=org.jvnet.substance.theme.SubstanceEbonyTheme.
The theme is specified as a VM flag. Here is how NetBeans looks like under this theme (click to see fullsize):
So, which one looks better?