Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta is out!

A quick post that I’ve meant to post all week.

Photoshop CS6 Beta is out and available to download for free for a limited trial. I’m not a seasoned veteran with Photoshop, but I have been using it since CS3, and previously, I have found better editors for my needs. These would generally load quicker and wouldn’t suffer from lost windows as I’ve had with CS3 before.

However, CS6 really is a different story, with a lovely new interface, and a harder push at 3D and content-aware features, as well as an update to many other common use features, it really is lovely to use, and much more intuitive for even a casual user of the program, such as myself.

I will continue testing it and playing about with it’s features, but if a much more in-depth preview of the beta is what you’re looking for, head over to The Verge and look at their preview of Photoshop CS6.

If you’re looking for a download of the beta, head over to Adobe’s Labs section for more information and a download link.

Enjoy the public beta while it lasts! Adobe don’t give software like this away for long!

Java: Styling a Swing JLabel

A quick post here really, as I found it difficult to find this information all in one place, anywhere else.

I’m not usually a Java programmer, but it is used as part of some of our courses and assignments at Uni. We’ve recently gone into setting up GUIs and something that I wanted to do was style my read-only text, or JLabels. Searching brought me to many incomplete answers, or answers on forums like “Font() is your friend”, hinting to look into the documentation.

However the documentation for Font() is incredibly broad and not the smallest of pages, so for this specific case, I think it would be more useful to have all the information on the page. There are also other types of styling which Font() does not cover…

Using Font() to style your JLabel

It is assumed that you understand what a JLabel is, how to create an instance of one and what to do with one after you’ve created it and styled it. But just for completeness to start with, we’ll add in a JLabel creation. Styling the actual text is done by creating a Font object with the necessary parameters specified. First we’ll style a label to the default styling given to a JLabel.

JLabel label = new JLabel("Hello There!");
label.setFont(new Font("Sans Serif", Font.PLAIN, 12));

Testing this won’t really show much visually, as it will look like this, regardless of whether you specify the style. But it’s good to know what you’re changing the styling from, especially if you ever want to return a label to it’s normal style. But now let’s try something a bit different.

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Use Version Control Software for More Manageable Project Development

The bigger the project that I undertake, the more of a risk and sometimes a pitfall, that I fall in to. Often when developing code alone, you fly about, trying different bits of code and usually making snap decisions on which method to go for. At the time you think that it’ll be fine to work like that and it won’t cause any problems.

This is fine if you find there are problems early on, but if it’s not until days or weeks down the line, and you realise that you should’ve made the opposite decision, then you’ll have to try and figure out just what went wrong, and where and what you did differently to make things work.

Upon doing this for yet another project recently, I decided it’d be the last time it happened, and promptly looked into version control software, which I’d previously never thought about, assuming it was software only useful for team development.

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HTML5: requestAnimationFrame made easy

I’ve been searching for a recent, clear article on how to start using requestAnimationFrame and it just doesn’t seem to exist.

requestAnimationFrame is an API for animating styling changes, canvas or WebGL. It removes the need to use a setInterval or setTimeout to continuously call an animation function and, along with it, optimises the animation both in visual and resource performance.

This sounds great, but the API is still experimental and so is liable to change, which it has done over the past year. This means a lot of the demos of the API online are outdated. Those that aren’t, make the API seem much harder to use than it actually is. This is what I’m hoping to remedy.

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