Synth look and feel is a new skinnable look and feel which is introduced in JDK5/JRE5 from Sun. By using Synth look and feel, all components' style can be customized in an XML file, and the needed resource files can be loaded via the path specified in the XML too, this make customizing a new look and feel become much easier: the task are separated to graphic art and Java coding, which can be finished by artists and Java coders separately, and maybe parallelly.
To use Synth look and feel, your java application need to:
In JDK5/JRE5, the Synth look and feel has some bugs (you can find them in Bug Database), some of them are even hard to live with, so if you want to create a Synth based look and feel, you should also enclosed some fixing or workaround for some bugs in your look and feel. In JDK6/JRE6, things become much better, most critical bugs of Synth look and feel are fixed, so if possible, we recommend you to use JDK6/JRE6 so that you don't need to fight with those bugs.
You can get more information about Synth look and feel from the following resources: