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Advanced look & feel features

This document describes some advanced look and feel (L&F) features, that I would like to see in a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Some of the features already exist in various GUIs, but I have never seen any GUI that has all of these features.

Pluggable Look&Feel

Here is an introduction to the concept of pluggable L&F. I like the idea that a user of a GUI can install his/her own favoite L&F in the entire GUI in an operating sytem. It should only be necessary to install this L&F once, so that all applications on the same system will use that L&F. For instance some people might like the L&F of Windows95, while others may prefer the L&F of BeOS. Ideally it should be possible to install a different L&F for each user in a system.

To do something like this, a standard interface will have to be defined for general L&F possibilities. Such a standard should preferably work on any modern operating system with a GUI and open up the possibility for implementing features like those listed through the rest of this document.

However, since the evolution of software these days seems to be moving backwards at times, pluggable L&F will possibly remain a dream for a long time, unless some serious work is started. I am very interested in participating in a project to define such a standard, so you should send me an e-mail if you share this interest. I know about Swing which will, alas, be a Java-only API. I also know about Berlin which might be a good place to introduce a general crossplatform standard.

Pluggable elements in a GUI with pluggable Look & Feel

Concrete Look & Feel features that I find useful

- ÁNOQ of the Sun

Modified: 1999-04-14