PRD-4.0: Lets do something with colors

Everything I have been working for some time with the report designer, I start to get a bit upset about the extremely ugly and hard to use colour chooser. The funny thing about this beast is: It contains all the elements, but in a way that just kills the fun of using it. Look at this and tell me you like it:

My problems with this colour chooser are several ones:

  • Its RGB selector is a nightmare. No visual selection, its just straight from the 80’s.
  • Its HSB selector offers RGB values, but you can’t edit them there. Argh!
  • The Swatches selection with its large shadowy buttons looks funny.
  • The Swatches section is entirely hard-coded and we cannot change the colours displayed there.
  • There is no way to enter colours in HTML notation (like #FF0088)

So now it was time to put on the maintenance hat and to do something about it.

First the swatches, with colour schemas and a bit larger buttons to make it easier to select the right colour. The code is prepared for external colour schema definitions and we could even extract all colours that have already been used in a given report.

And as second option, we now have a combined RGB/HSB/HTML colour selector.

Now it is actually easy to select exactly the colour you need.

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About Thomas

After working as all-hands guy and lead developer on Pentaho Reporting for over an decade, I have learned a thing or two about report generation, layouting and general BI practices. I have witnessed the remarkable growth of Pentaho Reporting from a small niche product to a enterprise class Business Intelligence product. This blog documents my own perspective on Pentaho Reporting's development process and our our steps towards upcoming releases.