It was the year 2003 and I was a Java programmer. I enjoyed developing GUI applications with the Java Swing framework. They looked so much better than the earlier applications that needed to use that awful Advanced Windowing Toolkit.
But the Metal Look And Feel that was delivered with Swing started to look boring. Fortunately Swing enabled developers to develop their own pluggable look and feels.
So during the summer of that said year 2003 I started working on ideas for my own look and feel. And since I wanted to port it to any platform or software that I used, I called it “Uniformity”
It looked nice and I liked that color palette I came up with. Looking at my website here you can tell I still like beige and related colors 15 years later. It also used rounded corners. It looked fabulous and it only worked in Adobe Illustrator. Back then rounded corners were hard.
Because of the low screen resolutions rounded corners just looked bad and painting rounded corners on UI controls was also hard or near to impossible on some of them. So I removed the rounded corners and renamed it to “Squareness”.
I started off with an implementation for Java Swing and added a WindowBlinds theme for Windows as well as a PalmRevolt theme for the Palm handhelds.
Some Java applications bundled the Java Swing look and feel and the other Squareness implementations also had their share of success.
Then I moved from Windows to Mac OS X and also tried to do a Squareness theme for that OS with an application called ShapeShifter. That wasn’t really fun. It was quite complicated and it didn’t look good.
I realized that I was probably fighting against windmills like once Don Quijote. The WindowBlinds theme had some quirks and the Java Look and Feel wasn’t perfect either.
I moved on and ceased updating Squareness.
It was a fun project and I have fond memories of the times I worked on Squareness till late into the night.