Java TM Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics > Part I: General Topics > 5: Idioms > Overview of Idioms   Previous Next Contents/Index/Search


Overview of Idioms

In user interfaces, an idiom is a set of components configured in a standardized way to provide a particular appearance and behavior. Just as idioms in a spoken language (such as "giving up" in English) have a meaning that cannot be derived from that of their individual words, idioms in the Java look and feel have usefulness that cannot be derived from that of their individual JFC components.

If you provide idioms consistently throughout your application, users come to recognize each idiom, even in new contexts, and can correctly infer what each idiom enables them to do.

An example of an widely used idiom is the Browse idiom , shown in Figure 43.

Figure 43   Example of an Idiom (the Browse Idiom)


The Browse idiom enables users to type or choose the name of an existing object, such as a file. This idiom always consists of a label, an editable text field, and a command button. Each time users see the Browse idiom, they know that they can fill in the text field by typing or by clicking the command button to choose text from a list. (The Browse idiom is described in detail on page90.)

Although the JFC provides the components that make up idioms, your development team is responsible for implementing the idioms used in your application. This chapter describes idioms that you can use in the Java look and feel and provides guidelines to help your team implement each idiom.

Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics.
Copyright 2001. Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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