The other day I was discussing with colleagues if Nimbus should be the default LAF(Look and Feel) for Swing application. The current default LAF is Ocean which is a spiced up theme for Metal which has been the Swing default LAF since the beginning. It feels like with a large release like Java 7 it is about time we changed the default LAF to a more sensible choice which leaves two choices Nimbus which is the new cross platform LAF and the system native LAF which will be Windows LAF on Windows and GTK LAF on Unix. Apple has already gone with the system native choice and the default LAF for Java Swing applications on Mac is Apple’s Aqua native LAF. The only reason for remaining with Ocean LAF is to maintain backwards compatibility for old Java applications which were written with static pixel based layout so will be all messed up if the size of components changes. My feeling is that sector of users should be getting pretty small now and as long as we provide a easy work around like system property file that lets a user/administrator change the default LAF back to Ocean for those few special cases then we can move forward and select a modern LAF as the default. So then it comes down to what to choose Nimbus or Native(Windows/GTK) I am torn between the two. So we decided the best idea is to ask more people, so what do you think?

What Swing Look and Feel should be the default in Java 7?

  • Native (ie. Windows LAF on Windows, GTK on Unix) (56%, 465 Votes)
  • Nimbus (40%, 330 Votes)
  • Stick with Ocean(Metal) (4%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 829

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If you have a strong feeling one way or another then please explain in a comment below as we would love to hear. All your votes and comments will be taken into consideration when we make the final discussion.

Update
I have closed this poll and opened 3 new ones on the post Breakdown of what should be default LAF for Java 7. So follow that link if you would like to vote.