Java News from Monday, November 17, 2003

My e-mail's on the fritz at the moment, apparently due to a change in the IBiblio root certificate. If you absolutely have to contact me right now, use the telephone. (Anyone who absolutely has to contact me right now already knows the number.)

Swing lesson of the day: Never use Event.CTRL_MASK directly. Instead one should call Toolkit.getDefaultToolkit.getPreferredMetaKey() so your application picks up the right meta key for different platforms.

I should be demoing the app for which I discovered this tip tonight at the New York XML SIG, and posting it here later this month. Late last night it occurred to me that I might not want the first test of the app on Mac OS X to be on my PowerBook in front of a 100-person audience. :-) The app still won't look perfectly native--I still have to fix that damn menu bar--but at least that's one bug fixed.

French lesson of the day: The verb apprendre can mean both learn and teach. This one's going to take some getting used to. Like most American schoolchildren I had it drilled into me from a very early age that "learning somebody something" was the depths of low class English. The nuns at my school may not have been allowed to rap our knuckles when we got this one wrong, but they weren't happy about it. I don't think "learning somebody" is particularly common in modern, colloquial American English--television and movies mostly use this phrase as a humorous indicator of a backwoods yokel (think Cletus on the Simpsons)--but the text books still warn against this alleged atrocity.

Frederic Lavigne posted version 1.2.6 of his Skin Look And Feel for Java. SkinLF allows Java developers to use Skins (GTK and KDE themes) in their Swing applications. This release supports theming text component borders and JDK 1.4 frame decoration. It also provides theme converters to port themes written for other skin engines to SkinLF themepacks. This release adds a new Aluminium Alloy Toxic theme pack and fixes a couple of bugs. Java 2 is required.