NOTE: Check out this newer blog entry for more details on Nimbus and for easier-to-see screenshots.
At least a year ago, perhaps longer, some of my friends at Sun showed me the designs for a custom look Sun had designed for the Java Desktop System called Nimbus. At the time I was advocating that Sun create a “frickin’ cool amazing cross-platform look-and-feel” and I was impressed at how well Nimbus could fit that bill — or at least how much better it was than Metal / Ocean.
Back then, Sun had no plans to create a Swing look-and-feel around Nimbus. I’m pleased to say that work is now under way to do just that. The Swing Team and I have partnered to create an open-source project around an effort to take the detailed specifications of Nimbus (along with an existing implemention of Nimbus as a GTK theme as a guide) and implement it as a Swing look-and-feel (actually, a Synth skin).
Experienced Swing UI wizards like Jasper Potts (of Xerto fame) and Romain Guy (who needs no introduction), and popular independent software vendors FormDev Software and JIDE Software have already begun work to support Nimbus. Jasper has by far made the most significant contribution to the coding effort, having implementing the majority of the components in the spec already.
I’ll be posting a bit more info on Nimbus, but for now, here are a few screen shots of Nimbus application mock-ups and some of the specs.