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How to do slide-in menus and text over video overlays

Glenn Puckett

Joined: Sep 09, 2008
Posts: 16
Hi, I have designed and coded J2EE for years and have even written a stand-alone ap using AWT and Swing. So I'm not new to Java. But now I have my first serious desktop ap to develop. It will be a stand-alone and will only run on a windows based machine. I need to use Java because I jumped straight from mainframe coding to Java and have almost no background in C/C++/C#. Yes, I could learn C++ but the opportunity would be gone before I could gain any proficiency. And I much prefer Java anyway. I plan to use SWT/JFace because native efficiency and performance is a top priority. I am just now starting to dig into the SWT and JFace APIs and tutorials.

The ap will display on a small touch screen monitor of about 8" or 10" diag, (not any sort of notepad) so screen real estate is extremely important. One important thing is that I will have a video capture displaying and I need to overlay text and draw lines over the video. I think I am slowly putting together some hint of possibility on how to do this but I still have a long way to go. If anyone has some suggestions of reference material and tutorials to help me with this I would greatly appreciate it!!!

There needs to be a fairly significant menu structure to the ap to control a lot of functionality. All with a touch interface so larger size buttons would be best. I really don't want to load up the limited space with buttons. So what I have in mind is to have a single button in a corner or an arrowhead on an edge where someone would touch and the menu options slide in. Then once a function is selected the menu would slide back out of sight and the original arrow would come back. I would prefer that at least the arrow button be somewhat transparent. it would be even better if the menu that slides in would also be maybe 40%-50% transparent. Is this something that can be done in SWT/JFace? Again could someone suggest some research material and/or tutorials I would need to figure this out?

I'm not looking for someone to give me all the code. Just some information as to where I can learn how to do it. I've been Googling for days now and haven't gotten anywhere. There are tons of reference material and tutorials that I will be studying but nothing that gives me any hope that I can make this happen. I'm convinced it can be done, if I have the right resources available. Is it possible I would have to go all the way down to where I am drawing the buttons manually and moving them into place with the code? That's ok. I just hope I don't have to start totally from scratch.

Any productive comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Michael Dunn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 09, 2003
Posts: 4632
can't help with SWT/JFace (and many/most SWT questions here go unanswered),
but there might be something similar to Swing's OverlayLayout, which should handle
drawing over your video.

for the button, perhaps something similar to JScrollPane's setCorner() - where you could put a button
Glenn Puckett

Joined: Sep 09, 2008
Posts: 16
I appreciate the reply. I am under the gun here and any suggestions are very much appreciated.
Ranganathan Kaliyur Mannar

Joined: Oct 16, 2003
Posts: 1084

If you have not decided on SWT 100%, then you can look at NetBeans RCP to do this too. The biggest advantage here is that, its built on swing and you can use Swing components freely...
The SwingX library has a JXPanel which handles the transparency stuff well...

Glenn Puckett

Joined: Sep 09, 2008
Posts: 16
My primary interest in using SWT/JFace is that it uses native interfaces. I am developing this specifically for Windows and performance is THE top priority. There will be a lot of graphics related display. If the NetBeans RCP is based on Swing that means it's a light weight API and does not use Native resources. I would be reluctant to go that route. But I will certainly take a look at it before I make a firm decision. Thank you for the suggestion.
subject: How to do slide-in menus and text over video overlays