Finally we are almost done with Nimbus and I am very pleased with the way it looks. There are many small details that need to be pollished and a couple of big ones like tabs but they will all be done by the time it gets released. I thought it might be time to tease you with some screenshots and details to keep you hungry.

Nimbus Buttons Windows XP
Nimbus Buttons on Windows XP


I think we have also made some exciting technology behind nimbus it’s not just another standard hard coded swing look and feel

2D Vector

All of Nimbus is rendered with 2D vector graphics, there is not one image even for all the icons. This means that the whole of Nimbus is just 56k as a packed jar which is pretty impressive for a whole rich look and feel.

High DPI Ready hd ready

As the whole of Nimbus is drawn with shapes and gradients it can be scaled to any resolution. You will not be able to control this yet but watch for it in the near future.

Based on Painters

All painting for components is done with simple stateless implementations of the Painter interface. These painters are stored in the UIDefaults table so they can be replaced if you would like to change the look of components or can be used in your own components if you would like to create a custom table header for example that looks the same as the standard Nimbus one plus something extra.


All colors, icons and fonts are derived off UIDefaults keys so the whole UI can be customized by changing values in the UiDefaults table.

Easy to skin 3rd party components to fit in

All of the colors, fonts, icons, borders and painters are exposed through the UIDefaults table which means they are available to your 3rd part components to help you skin them in a Nimbus style.

I saved the best for last….

Nimbus was drawn graphicaly in a new tool we have been building. Almost none of it was hand coded. We have built this tool that is like a mini Photoshop or Illustrator that lets you graphicaly draw all the 2D vector graphics for each of the states of the components. Those graphics are then compiled into Java2D painting code which is exposed as simple Painters to the LookAndFeel. It has support for advanced features like sub-pixel acuracy, complex gradients, layers and layer effects like drop shadow and glow. The tool is still something internal that we have hacked together but we are working on getting it opensourced and making it into something you will be able to use. Both for creating new look and feels and for drawing painters that you may want to use anywhere in your application. I am looking forward to being able to release it.

Well I hope you are as excited as I am about Nimbus and can’t wait to try it out in your own apps. You should not have to wait to long for the first public alpha build. 🙂

Nimbus OptionPanes Solaris
Nimbus Option Pane Dialogs on Solaris