I am developing a GUIs with Java Swing. Awesome, everything fine. Now, today I needed something like tool-tip or balloon pop-up to show various messages. In particular, I find that there are no standard form validation framework, so I created one, ripping off ideas from Zope Formulator. And the validation trigger suppose to pop-up a balloon tip when something wrong and focus the widget. That's fine, validation works perfect, unless you need a balloon tip.
I found one "decent" balloon tip on https://balloontip.dev.java.net/ site. Here how it looks like in Windows with Metal L&F: (pic is taken from the site directly):
Well, it's OK. It's Windows and mostly everything looks ugly there even in Vista, so a combination of blue frame on bluish gray with a squarish hint might be OK for environment that lacks taste and design. But what about Mac? — yeah, I am snob-like a--hole here, sorry. OK, what about Gnome or KDE on Linux and/or Sun Solaris? Windows is not the only OS these days anymore. So here how the whole thing looks like in Mac:
Notice ugly corners and quite crappy close button, not mention that a close button does not fits into a balloon tip paradigm. Well, my double-advice to all Java developers who sticks on Windows platform (there are two messages in one):
People, PLEASE install Linux and/or Solaris to make sure you are NOT providing funny things!..
So and now this is how it should look like (took for me less than two hours to rework entire source code, throwing lots of things):
Now I am happy. :-)
P.S. And yes, it does not need a close button — just click on it...