Bug #1882

Investigate UI Changes

Added by Rod Spears over 17 years ago. Updated almost 17 years ago.

Target version:
Start date:
Due date:
% Done:


Estimated time:


Work with Laura to investigate the level of effort needed to make the UI changes
to Kepler (most of these changes impact Ptolemy)

For example:
Changing the Context Menu (right click)
Changing the color schema
Localizing all the strings
Adding dropdown lists for port types
Better layout of dialogs


#1 Updated by Matt Jones almost 17 years ago

Partially complete. Need to post time estimates on the wiki.

#2 Updated by Matthew Brooke almost 17 years ago

re: Changing the color scheme:

Do we really want to override the default system look & feel for background
colors? It would look especially odd on Mac, which uses a "pinstripe" BG under
Java 1.4. Would it not make more sense to let the system manage background
colors for these particular components, thus giving them the default platform
look & feel?

#3 Updated by Laura Downey almost 17 years ago

There is no proposal to change the "feel" of any system components of various
operating systems. The proposal is to control the color scheme only so that
all visual elements coordiate appropriately with the proposed color palette.
I would assume the "striped" effect on the Mac would remain, but the shades of
various gray and blue gray would be the ones we specify.

#4 Updated by Matthew Brooke almost 17 years ago

Unfortunately, that is not how it would work. The panels and window backgrounds
in the UI either get the native OS look, or they adopt the solid background
colors we specify. For example, setting the background color of a panel to gray
on the mac would make it solid gray, not a pinstriped version of our gray coloring.

#5 Updated by Laura Downey almost 17 years ago

Well then my take is this. Having one application on a Mac desktop that
doesn't have the striped look is not going to make the application unusable.
I've worked on cross platform designs in the past and they were always a pain
because it is often difficult to address every issue in every OS. The Mac is
the least prevalent OS out there so from a practical perspective, I'm not sure
we should spend lots of effort making sure everything looks perfect on a Mac.

We did have numerous discussions about controlling the colors when I first
started working on the visual design. I asked if we had total control and was
told yes since it was a java app. So as designer, of course I was going to
control the color palette so that everything coordinated appropriately.

#6 Updated by Matthew Brooke almost 17 years ago

My rationale for making this suggestion is as follows:

1) It would actually involve be less effort to make this work cross-platform;
more effort is needed to add the background colors (see the reasons and time
estimates at

2) the most-widely-used commercial Windows applications keep the system
look/coloring for toolbars and panels, thus providing an integrated user
experience - see for example all Microsoft Office & internet applications, Adobe
products et al. (The notable exception being Apple's iTunes, of course, whose
purpose is to convince windows users to switch to mac... :-)

Not a big deal to me either way; just wanted to point out that using system
colors would save time/effort and make the app "fit in" better on all
platforms - a win-win. Color coordination with actor icons etc. would still
work, since all 3 OS's have neutral (med-high value, low saturation) native app
BG colors.

#7 Updated by Laura Downey almost 17 years ago

Applications can indeed have a different color set and still look okay on a
desktop -- it just needs to be done right -- with coordinated colors and
professionally designed graphics -- both of which we have. The current
proposed color set is still in the neutral gray family.

Also, the proposed color set will pretty much work on the silver, tan or light
blue windows color schemes but will of course look the best on the background
colors they were designed to match.

#8 Updated by Matthew Brooke almost 17 years ago

see wiki page:

These examples all have their own bug entries now, too:

Changing the Context Menu (right click) (Bug #2011, Bug #2016, Bug #2247)
Changing the color scheme (Bug #2271)
Localizing all the strings (Bug #2270)
Adding dropdown lists for port types (Bug #1845)
Better layout of dialogs (Bug #2247 tracks all these)

Haven't set these up as dependencies for this bug, since these were only
examples - in reality, this bug applied to all the UI tasks

#9 Updated by Redmine Admin over 9 years ago

Original Bugzilla ID was 1882

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