The name jextar goes short for java + expanding targets.


From now on the jextar library makes use of improvements of the new Java 1.5 "Tiger" specifications. This means to see demos / applet, or use the library you will need a 1.5 compliant JVM. A beta version of suns 1.5 vm is available at their site java.sun.com

What are "expanding targets"?

You may want to hava a look at this applet that uses the jextar library.
Imagine a button that gets larger when you move the mouse toward it. This can be called an "expanding target". There are some implementations on this idea. Probably the coolest is integrated into this [1] operating system. The "Starterbar" from the gnome-desklets project [2] also seems to deal with this [2]. For a more scientific and less geeky view on expanding targets and its usefulness hava a look at the excellent page of Michael McGuffin [3], where you can find some demo applets and a paper about expanding targets.


I switched to JDK1.5.0, or JDK5.0, or "Tiger" (the three are all the same..) because it makes layering of components so much easier - I could not resist.

Today I released version 0.1. I say it is still in alpha state, however it looks much cooler than the first release. Have a look at the applet mentioned on top.

Whats inside?

The brick on which all is built up is the JextarButton. It is a pushdown button that increases its visible area the more the mouse gets towards its center. The main clue in my implementation is, that the button does not "really" grow. It always has the same size. Only the Icon that is used is scaled in size. The rest of the Button is just transparent.
The major advantage of this aproach is that i do not have to deal with resizing the components all the time. However to get JextarButtons close to each other I needed to overlap the buttons.The JextarPanel class deals with this problem and serves as a container for JextarButtos.
The package also contains the applet mentioned on top of this page and two demos.


Probably the best way to explore the library is by looking at the code of the included examples. From version 0.1, you can also have a look at the javadoc folder "docs".


Download releases

[1] Peaches cool expanding targets
[2] The gdesklets project
[3] Michael McGuffin: Research

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