CS552. User Interface Design

Assignment 2. Application of Color, Font, and Menu Guidelines


Size of team: 1
What's due: "Customized" copy of template GUI code, in a file called Util.java.
When it's due: Midnight on Friday, April 17


Note that the Java applet requires netscape4, which is available as /usr/local/bin/netscape4 on flop.


To Do...

For this assignment, you will make (minimal) changes to a template that implements a basic Java applet that serves as a "programmer's assistant" tool. You are not expected to know Java - in fact, you are only permitted to alter particular lines in the code (which are clearly identified by comments). Points will be deducted if you modify any other portions without obtaining prior permission by email.

You are expected to apply the guidelines on color use and menus that are part of the course materials, as well as those derived for Assignment 1. Your changes will be of two kinds:

  1. Color and font selections: Apply what you have learned about colors and fonts to make the tool's interface both attractive and highly legible.

  2. Menu and control button organization: Assume that the applet will provide the specified list of basic functions. Based on your general understanding of the tasks associated with programming (and the relative frequency with which they are needed):
Note that your program will not actually "do" anything. If you choose to include checkboxes or radio buttons as part of a menu, however, pay attention to default values. For example, if a choice is required between mutually exclusive options (a readio button grouping), one should be "pre-selected" as the default.

Do not include any icons. Be sure to check the spelling and grammar of your text strings. You will be evaluated on the basis of aesthetics and professionalism.

Trying out RGB values. As discussed in class, Java provides only very limited support for "named" colors; you will need to furnish RGB triplets. The following tools might be helpful to you in identifying what colors you want to use:

Specific Directions... Click asst2.tar to download the assignment tarfile. The tarfile contains all of the assignment files. Note: Be running your browser on an engr machine so that the tarfile is downloaded to that file system.

From a terminal window, untar the file, using tar -xvf asst2.tar. The files will be untarred into the same directory.

Change only file Util.java. Compile the code by typing make. (The resulting class files produced by the java compiler will be stored in the subdirectory classes.

There are two ways to test the changes you've made to the applet:

  1. From the directory where you made your changes,invoke runapplet, a script that uses Sun's appletviewer application. Ignore the warnings about applet security,etc. -- you did nothing wrong! This is the fastest, most convenient way to view the applet.

  2. Alternatively you can use your browser to load the file Applet.html. Unfortunately, pressing "reload" in the browser does not reload the new version of your applet (setting your browser's cache and memory size to 0 has no effect). To view the new version of the applet, you'll have to exit the browser completely, bring the browser back up and load the file.


Collaborating with Others...

You may discuss the meaning of the tool's functions with any of your classmates, but your strategy for subdividing and implenting the functionality must be discussed only with your teammate.


To Hand In...

Use the hand-in form to submit the location of a directory containing just your revised version of file Util.java. It will be linked with my own copy of the appropriate class files to grade your solution.

Note that the directory you specify on the form should contain only one file, and that both the file and the directory must be world-readable.