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Professional Window

Posted by editor on March 18, 2008 at 7:45 AM PDT

How to use the Consumer JRE's translucent and shaped windows

A few weeks ago, I blogged in this space about translucent and shaped windows, following on Kirill Grouchnikov's initial blog about the feature in JDK 6 Update N (or 10, or whatever it's called now). One thing that's worth noting is that while we keep using the term "translucent and shaped" windows, they're really an application of the same feature: the ability to set per-pixel translucency in the still-rectangular window bounds. Given a shape, set all pixels outside that shape to full transparency to achieve a shaped window. Or, set all the pixels to a translucency between 0.0 and 1.0 to get a translucent, see-through effect, as seen the increasingly-popular "HUD windows". Or use both approaches for a shaped, translucent windows.

Kirill dives in deeper in today's Feature Article,

Translucent and Shaped Swing Windows:

It has been long awaited, and now it's finally here. Even though the APIs for creating translucent and shaped windows are not in the officially supported packages, they can still be used for creating visually rich cross-platform UIs. The Translucent-Shaped Windows (Extreme GUI Makeover) entry from Romain's blog showcases the JNA project to create a visually compelling use of an animated translucent shaped window. Now you can do the same with the core JDK.

Read the article for some practical and interesting uses of the technique, including translucent tool tips that can now go beyond the borders of their host windows, and a real-time reflection of a playing QuickTime that appears outside of the window's bounds.

In Java Today,
the SIP Communicator project has been accepted as a mentoring organization for the 2008 edition of Google Summer of Code. If you're a student and you want to write open source this summer (and get a stipend to do so) pick up one of the SIP Communicator summer of code projects. The deadline for joining is March 31.

Sun Microsystems, Inc., is sponsoring the OpenJDK Community Innovators' Challenge, a contest with up to $175,000 in awards, intended to encourage and reward developers working together in solving key problems, initiating new innovative projects that promote new uses for the code, developing curricula and training, and porting the OpenJDK code base to new platforms. Finalists, announced March 17, are Closures for Java (Neal Gafter), Implement XRender pipeline for Java2D (Clemens Eisserer), Provide date and time library from JSR-310 (Stephen Colebourne and Michael Nascimento Santos), Portable GUI backends (Roman Kennke and Mario Torre), Virtual Machine Interface (Andrew John Hughes), Free Software synthesizer implemention for the OpenJDK project (Karl Helgason), and OpenJDK on Windows (Ted Neward). The finalists have until 4 August 2008 to implement their proposals, with all work done using transparent development methods and under the auspices of the OpenJDK Community.

So what's the new Data Reaper project about? Its owners explain, "we were working on the development project and to get data from one of our client's website with fine grained format to display on our application. The other team does not want to provide us the grained format to serve same information. We searched few websites (,, etc) for similar project, parser, or code to re-use on our project and unfortunately, we did not find any parser or code. Therefore, we planned to start code under public license and others can use our code and update with new enhancements."

In today's Weblogs, James Gosling is delighted that
NetBeans 6.1 Beta is out!
"NetBeans 6.1 [Beta] is out, along with a contest. There's a lot to like about it, but my personal favorite is the MySQL support. It couldn't have come at a better time: just a couple of days ago I started a big-ish project using MySQL, and the new NB features have really helped."



No, sometimes I'll do a pun if I think I can pull it off. Your mileage may vary. In this case, the actual song is "Professional Widow".

Is there actually a song by Tori Amos with the title "Professional Window"?