Monday, September 04, 2006

jFlubber Reloaded

What a week - remind me to tell you about it sometime (when I can).

Anyway, one of the really cool things that happened this week was I got an email from Romain Guy, Formerly of Swing Labs fame. He, along with others from Swing Labs (like Josh Marinacci and Richard Bair among others) do several sessions at JavaOne each year where they take an existing rather plain swing app and pimp it up to look spectacular, mainly as a demo of what swing can do (with the right people doing it :-) ).

Well, I was delighted when Romain told me in the email that he had given my jFlubber application an extreme makeover. jFlubber is a simple application that I use literally all the time for podcasting. I slung it together in a few short hours using Matisse, in essence it is a stopwatch with a multiple lap timer, you start the timer, and each time you hit flub it records the exact time. It also spits out an audacity formatted labels file. The upshot is that when recording a podcast, you start the flubber timer with the recording, then whenever someone makes a mistake you hit the button and it records a flub time. At the end of the recording session you save the file out and load it into audacity, and you instantly get a bookmark track of all the mistakes in the podcast recording - very useful and a great timesaver.

Of course, I am not really a GUI guy, so the UI was serviceable (and I even thought it was decent), but it certainly wasn't a looker - until now. The new UI has bitmap textures, anti-aliased fonts, non-rectangular buttons, shadowed timer label and a fantastic custom flub button.

I used the original project as one of my developer.com demo articles for how to use matisse and if you check that out you can see what the original UI looked like - certainly usable but not pretty. The results of what Romain did you can see in the screenshot included with this blog entry - quite striking. I am very proud that one of my apps got a GUI makeover - thanks Romain.

jFlubber is hosted out on google code hosting and soon Romain's changes will be put up there too (once we get all the logistic sorted out like adding Romain to the project membership). In the meantime, you can download the source (and a pre-build jar file which you can run with java -jar jFlubber.jar).

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