Granny's Programming Pearls
"inside of every large program is a small program struggling to get out"
JavaRanch.com/granny.jsp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Replicating Micro$oft Outlook Left Shortcut Bar

 
john kalaigian
Greenhorn
Posts: 15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok all of us who have the unfortunate experience to use outlook will recognize the convinient left hand shortcut bar which contains in my Java interpretation just a bunch of JPanels that are expanded and contracted vertically whenever an action off a JButton is activated. So ends theory, thus lets begin the facts - How would I do this Its obviously animated to some degree - not animation as far as a bunch of images of Duke waving his hands around but none the less it is the same concept - and it has to be dynamic meaning regardless of the contents inside each "Shortcut menu"/JPanel the movement has to respond independently of whats inside the component. Any thoughts or ideas how to get this done. I really appreciate any input you might have. Thanks in advance, John - "Can i get a spell check here...."
 
Gregg Bolinger
Ranch Hand
Posts: 15304
6
Chrome IntelliJ IDE Mac OS X
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my opinion, the animation factor of the Outlook Bar seems pointless. However if you just had to use that feature I would think that you would have to over-ride the paint method every time your called the new JPanel to be displayed. And you may even have to over-ride the paint mehod in the parent component. I really don't know, but I think it is hardly worth the effort.
Now, as far as the functionallity of the Outlook Bar, that's simple. Multiple panels, and JButtons on each panel. The dynamics of it would be kept in one of several options; properties file, hashmap, vectors, basically however you want to store the information when something is added or taken away from the Bar.
I would again just like to re-state the fact that the animation seems pointless and if I could turn it off I would because it would probably run faster. And then, to duplicate that in SWING which is already slower??
 
Rob Ross
Bartender
Posts: 2205
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
In my opinion, the animation factor of the Outlook Bar seems pointless.

I disagree. When you have a very complex UI, and that UI changes some display based on the user controling some object, it's useful to highlight the fact that a mode change is occuring. Rather than just "blink" from one mode to the next, which often times leaves the user wondering what just happened, a well-done, simple transitional animation can really nail the point home.
As a different example, think about double-clicking a document from the desktop on most operating systems. There's usually some kind of "zoom" animation effect, and this gives you feedback of your action and helps maintain the illusion that the file is being "opened" by some other process.
These little transitional animations can be extremely valuable, especially when you have a very busy UI and it might not be clear what "state" you're currently in.
[ May 10, 2002: Message edited by: Rob Ross ]
 
john kalaigian
Greenhorn
Posts: 15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Belive me I could care less about the animation - I'm just looking at the bar as a mean of being a space saver. It sort of takes the power of a JTabbedPane and brings it up a notch, cause although JTabbedPane is a fantastic space saving tool, you have to admit that its very boring and static in functionality. I honestly agree with you about the way the Outlook bar OPERATES but I'm looking to accomplish its PURPOSE in swing. (I emphisize those two words cause the represent significantly different meanings) Thanks, John
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!