improved message diaogs, automatic update polling (demo)

Two things in this demo:

  1. Message dialogs which don’t wrap text look stupid. The standard
    message dialog you can create from JOptionPane is like this. I’ve
    created a message dialog for us which looks like the ones you see
    in modern apps—it has a heading, it doesn’t end up being a
    ridiculous width if it contains a lot of text, and if you resize it
    the text reflows. (This was much harder than you’d think it would
    be if you’ve never tried it. Widgets for which their preferred height
    depends on their width do not play well with most layouts.)

  2. It wouldn’t be hard to have VASSAL check whether a newer version
    has been released when you start it, and if so, take you to where
    it can be downloaded (or download, and possibly install it for you).
    The second demo reads a version number from a file on my web server
    and compares it to a local version number. If the local version is
    older than the remote version, then you’ll see a dialog (of the kind
    in the first demo) prompting you to upgrade VASSAL. (In the demo,
    the buttons don’t do anything, and the local version is hard-coded
    as “2.9.9”.)

Here you can find the demo: …

(As an aside: I’ve been trying these demos with the GTK LaF, and I’ve
noticed that this looks hugely better than the default Metal LaF. I’m
starting to itch for switching to the GTL LaF on Linux, and possibly
the Windows LaF on Windows. The Metal LaF is soooo ugly, and looks like
it’s from 1995.)