GUI designer planned: no!

Hi Folks,

I love IDEA, and I've been gradually switching to it from JBuilder. I keep an eye on Aurora (thanks for making this possible!) and I'm sad to see that a GUI designer is planned. I'm sure it's an oft-asked for feature, but I hate to see the accompanying bloat and transfer of resources from the core features that make IDEA great: WRITING CODE! Is there any possibility of not adding a designer? If not, how about a way to disable it?

matt

22 comments
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Ctfo! Give the intellij crew a break! At least let them show what they can do before you take a piss on them! And also, if you don't want it: don't use it! I do mainly server side programming so I will have less use of it than say regular Swing programmers. But I'm definitely going to try it!

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Hi Matt,

... I hate to see the accompanying bloat and transfer of
resources from the core features that make IDEA great:
WRITING CODE!


I agree with you although I would not have said "... I hate ...".
Unfortunately a large-enough crowd of users want (need?) a GUI builder
and more sad, a lot of reviewers of IDEA cannot live without it and
take the absense as a disadvantage.

Nevertheless, Jetbrains have decided to create one and they are making
progress -- guessing from the tracker entries. So, there is no way to
cancel it. I guess, the most important reason why they are
implementing it is to take bad reviewers the chance to make bad
reviews.

Tom

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Besides, as I remember someone from intellij team said that GUIBuilder
will be deployed as a plugin, so it should be easy to remove it if you
don't need it.

/kesh

Thomas Singer wrote:

Hi Matt,

>>... I hate to see the accompanying bloat and transfer of
>>resources from the core features that make IDEA great:
>>WRITING CODE!


I agree with you although I would not have said "... I hate ...".
Unfortunately a large-enough crowd of users want (need?) a GUI builder
and more sad, a lot of reviewers of IDEA cannot live without it and
take the absense as a disadvantage.

Nevertheless, Jetbrains have decided to create one and they are making
progress -- guessing from the tracker entries. So, there is no way to
cancel it. I guess, the most important reason why they are
implementing it is to take bad reviewers the chance to make bad
reviews.

Tom


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Also, according to JetBrains, IntelliJ is developed with an internal version
of the GUI builder, so it seems to be promissing...

I will not have use for it so much, as I am doing a web application right
now. But I don't know what my next project will be, and I'd hate to move to
a different IDE, so I am happy that a GUI builder is being built before I
actually need it.

Amnon

"kesh" <dummy@dummy.com> wrote in message
news:bbqau1$tti$1@is.intellij.net...

Besides, as I remember someone from intellij team said that GUIBuilder
will be deployed as a plugin, so it should be easy to remove it if you
don't need it.

>

/kesh

>

Thomas Singer wrote:

Hi Matt,

>
>
>>... I hate to see the accompanying bloat and transfer of
>>resources from the core features that make IDEA great:
>>WRITING CODE!
>
>

I agree with you although I would not have said "... I hate ...".
Unfortunately a large-enough crowd of users want (need?) a GUI builder
and more sad, a lot of reviewers of IDEA cannot live without it and
take the absense as a disadvantage.

>

Nevertheless, Jetbrains have decided to create one and they are making
progress -- guessing from the tracker entries. So, there is no way to
cancel it. I guess, the most important reason why they are
implementing it is to take bad reviewers the chance to make bad
reviews.

>

Tom

>


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"Amnon I. Govrin" <agovrin@freshwater.com> wrote in message
news:bbqcag$2p5$1@is.intellij.net...

Also, according to JetBrains, IntelliJ is developed with an internal

version

of the GUI builder, so it seems to be promissing...

>

I will not have use for it so much, as I am doing a web application right
now. But I don't know what my next project will be, and I'd hate to move

to

a different IDE, so I am happy that a GUI builder is being built before I
actually need it.


Indeed, and if you can build a powerful app like IDEA with GUI builder, then
it would be much easier for folks like myself, who are heavy in web based
development, to finally take a little time and make some stride in writing
desktop based GUI driven administrative apps for our web apps.

So before you go yelling I HATE, why don't you sit back and enjoy the ride.
JetBrains has not failed us in a few years, and for anyone to jump at their
throat at the first sight of innovation is pretty uncalled for.

R

>

Amnon

>

"kesh" <dummy@dummy.com> wrote in message
news:bbqau1$tti$1@is.intellij.net...

Besides, as I remember someone from intellij team said that GUIBuilder
will be deployed as a plugin, so it should be easy to remove it if you
don't need it.

>

/kesh

>

Thomas Singer wrote:

Hi Matt,

>
>
>>... I hate to see the accompanying bloat and transfer of
>>resources from the core features that make IDEA great:
>>WRITING CODE!
>
>

I agree with you although I would not have said "... I hate ...".
Unfortunately a large-enough crowd of users want (need?) a GUI builder
and more sad, a lot of reviewers of IDEA cannot live without it and
take the absense as a disadvantage.

>

Nevertheless, Jetbrains have decided to create one and they are making
progress -- guessing from the tracker entries. So, there is no way to
cancel it. I guess, the most important reason why they are
implementing it is to take bad reviewers the chance to make bad
reviews.

>

Tom

>

>
>


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"Robert S. Sfeir" <robert@codepuccino.com> wrote in message
news:bbqcns$3ib$1@is.intellij.net...

Indeed, and if you can build a powerful app like IDEA with GUI builder,

then

it would be much easier for folks like myself, who are heavy in web based
development, to finally take a little time and make some stride in writing
desktop based GUI driven administrative apps for our web apps.

>

So before you go yelling I HATE, why don't you sit back and enjoy the

ride.

JetBrains has not failed us in a few years, and for anyone to jump at

their

throat at the first sight of innovation is pretty uncalled for.


+ 1x10^23



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+ 1x10^23


it's better be 2x10^108

--
Dmitry Skavish
-


Boston, MA, USA
tel. +1 781 910-3810
http://www.jzox.com
http://www.flashgap.com

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>Indeed, and if you can build a powerful app like IDEA with GUI builder, then
>it would be much easier for folks like myself, who are heavy in web based
>development, to finally take a little time and make some stride in writing
>desktop based GUI driven administrative apps for our web apps.

It's even possible to build powerful and professional looking and
behaving (desktop) applications without a GUI builder.

Building a good GUI is always more difficult than just adding buttons,
text fields and attach some listeners. One of the most important
things is consistency. An application looks "round", when it is
designed consistent (label alignment, spacings, capitalization...).
This can only be achieved with a good framework. OK, IDEA's GUI
builder uses a framework, but will it enforce consistency over the
whole application?

BTW, when looking at some new dialogs or parts of dialog in the latest
build(s), I believe, they rather are bad than good examples for the
new GUI builder.

Nevertheless, I will give the new GUI builder a try.

Tom

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For people who do a lot of GUI stuff (I am doing almost entirely Swing programming) a GUI builder is a very useful tool for rapid prototyping. If the final GUI is done with the GUI Builder is another question, but I personaly do 80% prototyping and 20% creating GUIs that will go into production. Currently I use Netbeans a lot for prototyping. With Aurora I hope that I will be able to do all programming with one IDE.

Also a GUI builder helps a lot in achieving results quickly. For a beginner it can be very frustrating if he cannot even create a very small GUI app without having studied the Swing framework for some months.

And finally, there is a strong need for a GUI builder (AFAIK it is one of the most requested features), and it will not harm those who still insist in writing GUI code by hand or do not write GUI code at all. So I don't really understand what all the fuzz is about.

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"Jan Boesenberg" <jiveadmin@jetbrains.com> wrote in message
news:2445358.1054923942763.JavaMail.itn@is.intellij.net...

For people who do a lot of GUI stuff (I am doing almost entirely Swing

programming) a GUI builder is a very useful tool for rapid prototyping. If
the final GUI is done with the GUI Builder is another question, but I
personaly do 80% prototyping and 20% creating GUIs that will go into
production. Currently I use Netbeans a lot for prototyping. With Aurora I
hope that I will be able to do all programming with one IDE.
>

Also a GUI builder helps a lot in achieving results quickly. For a

beginner it can be very frustrating if he cannot even create a very small
GUI app without having studied the Swing framework for some months.
>

This is my stance on this. I'm not a GUI guru by any means, a novice for
sure, and the GUI's I've tried to throw together have made me throw fits
before throwing the GUI anywhere near what it should have been doing. I'm
hoping that JetBrains puts enough smarts in the GUI builder to make things
consistent to a point where I can AT LEAST bring up something functional. I
can deal with cleaning things up and making it consistent afterwards. Like
you said prototyping is of major importance for this guy here. I can always
throw it at another more experience Swing engineer after I'm done with the
prototype.

One last thing, prototyping also allows me to make sure that I've abstracted
my layers enough in my web app to be able to plug in the GUI app without
disturbing much of anything else.

R


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>designer is planned. I'm sure it's an oft-asked for feature, but I hate to see the accompanying bloat and transfer of resources
from the core features that make >IDEA great: WRITING CODE!

In your opinion, what features should we concentrate on?

>Is there any possibility of not adding a designer?

No

>If not, how about a way to disable it?

The designer is being developed as a plugin. So you may deinstall it if you don't like it.

--

Best regards,
Eugene Zhuravlev
JetBrains, Inc, http://www.intellij.com
"Develop with pleasure!"



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>>Is there any possibility of not adding a designer?

>No

Thanks for clarifying this :)

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>For people who do a lot of GUI stuff (I am doing almost entirely Swing programming) a GUI builder is a very useful tool for rapid prototyping. If the final GUI is done with the GUI Builder is another question, but I personaly do 80% prototyping and 20% creating GUIs that will go into production. Currently I use Netbeans a lot for prototyping. With Aurora I hope that I will be able to do all programming with one IDE.

Me too, but I never felt the need for a GUI builder (although I
developed with Delphi before coming to Java).

>Also a GUI builder helps a lot in achieving results quickly. For a beginner it can be very frustrating if he cannot even create a very small GUI app without having studied the Swing framework for some months.

Well, when I want to start with web-development (an area I have no
experience) I would not use a tool, that generates me something, I
would try it step by step from the ground up.

>And finally, there is a strong need for a GUI builder (AFAIK it is one of the most requested features), and it will not harm those who still insist in writing GUI code by hand or do not write GUI code at all. So I don't really understand what all the fuzz is about.

See my previous posting in this thread.

Tom

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Eugene I think you are headed in the right direction personally. While I love IntelliJ, even on the couple of occasions where its actually eatten my code - to not do a GUI Builder is to engineer the product for eventual obsolescence.

While I and many others may only use the GUI Builder for prototyping, don't be swayed by the Java religious who want everyone to be doing GUIs by hand. FOr the vast majority of people out there, whatever a GUI builder generates is oft sufficient - note the large success that Visual Basic was. I applaud you for not ignoring that large market segment.

I do how that you are similarly not planning to ignore the enormous numbers of developers who use or will be developing with J2ME and come up with supported tools that accomodate development in that API as well.

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Ctfo! Give the intellij crew a break! At least let


Council for a Tobacco Free Ontario???
Children's Trust Fund of Oregon???
Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario???

'scuse the ignorance, but wtf does this fla mean? I stfw but only found those above. ne1 else know?

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Gregory Pierce wrote:

FOr the vast majority of people out there, whatever a GUI builder generates is oft sufficient - note the large success that Visual Basic was.


Pedantic Man! is going to step in here for a moment:

Visual Basic doesn't actually generate code for it's forms. They're
stored in a form description language in the .frm files and the VB
runtime library constructs the GUI from that description when the
application starts.

If I understand correctly, the IDEA GUI designer is going operate on a
similar principle with an XML description of the form being read to
create the Swing GUI at runtime.

It's really the only sane way of doing generated GUIs because parsing
and maintaining generated code just sucks.

Ciao,
Gordon

--
Gordon Tyler (Software Developer)
Quest Software <http://java.quest.com/>
260 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5A 4L5, Canada
Voice: 416-643-4846 | Fax: 416-594-1919

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Actually, they seem to be fixed on creating the GUI (as bytecodes) at compile time, and modifying the bytecodes of the classes you bind to the GUI. There's plusses and minuses to this, and I'm reserving judgement.

--Dave

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I guess we all will have to wait until we try the GUI builder once in a project. IDEA's approach is interesting, but I really do not know yet if it is good or bad. At least Microsoft created with a similar approach in VisualBasic a major success story (financially). Time will tell...

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I can see your point... we love IDEA here because it is so fast and small
and isn't bloated with a GUI designer - it is really just a fantastic Java
code editor :)

However - GUI designers definitely have their uses. I used to love GUI
designers (Visual J++ had an excellent designer, JBuilder had a usuable but
troublesome designer, NetBeans is OK but slow) but have since adapted to
building GUIs by hand (but I still use Visual J++ for rapid prototyping :)).

The main thing that has improved hand coding for me is TableLayout (why
isn't this part of the default JDK?). See:

http://www.clearthought.info/software/TableLayout/

I would urge IntelliJ to not fall down the trap that JBuilder/NetBeans fell
in trying to support all of the existing, default layout managers (flow,
grid, border, etc). Layout managers are inherently bad for GUI designers
(and inherently good for hand coders) as you often require manager nesting
which is impossible to represent on screen reliably. Try dragging components
around graphically in NetBeans with nested layout managers and you'll soon
be editing the code by hand!

I would definitely want any GUI builder to just use its own custom layout
manager (or just TableLayout) and only support that manager (but support
it really well!). The reason the Visual J+/C+ designers were so good is
that they had a simple grid based GUI where you dragged components quickly
and easily (the grid letting you align things quickly) and then defined
resize behaviour using anchors (for North, South, Eeast, West).

I would love to see the IDEA GUI designer really just be a GUI
representation of TableLayout. However, having played with the latest build
(823) it isn't looking promising :( Try actually creating a nicely aligned
set of components and you'll soon be frustrated by lack of a
grid/intelligent snapping. Not sure how the resize behaviour works either.
Oh and what if you use a different look and feel (eg we use the excellent
JGoodies http://www.jgoodies.com) - you don't want your GUI designer to use
Metal (yuch!) when you are designing for a different look and feel.

Also not convinced by the "bytecode enhancement" process. One of the
advantages of JBuilder's GUI designer approach (there weren't many!) is that
you could see the generated code to see what it was doing and
override/extend the generated jbInit() to add any custom/runtime components
as required. This is (I think) impossible with the proposed scheme?

Anyway - just my ?0.02 worth. My gut feeling is that adding a GUI designer
is a bad move overall but if they reckon customers are asking for it then
they have to do it to stay competitive. It would also give IDEA a real edge
over Eclipse (which I have to admit is very close to IDEA and is free, so
must be a real competitor for IntelliJ's business!).

Cheers,

TicH

"m c" <marmatkat@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:29494388.1054909627864.JavaMail.itn@is.intellij.net...

Hi Folks,

>

I love IDEA, and I've been gradually switching to it from JBuilder. I keep

an eye on Aurora (thanks for making this possible!) and I'm sad to see that
a GUI designer is planned. I'm sure it's an oft-asked for feature, but I
hate to see the accompanying bloat and transfer of resources from the core
features that make IDEA great: WRITING CODE! Is there any possibility of not
adding a designer? If not, how about a way to disable it?
>

matt

>


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"Jan Boesenberg" <jiveadmin@jetbrains.com> wrote in message
news:16416905.1055272935451.JavaMail.itn@is.intellij.net...

I guess we all will have to wait until we try the GUI builder once in a

project. IDEA's approach is interesting, but I really do not know yet if it
is good or bad. At least Microsoft created with a similar approach in
VisualBasic a major success story (financially). Time will tell...

MS and Borland do not change machine code directly in EXE file. All they do
is use plain old Windows resources (ok, slightly extended resources, but
this does not mean, they are not resources). Resource handling was a WinAPI
feature from the ice age, so each app can do it with couple of system calls.
The whole point is who makes these calls. Either the app developer (that's
us) writes it directly in the code (VC), or the IDE does it somewhere behind
the scenes (Delphi, VB). But in either case the bytecode or machine code is
not modified. And this is the major gripe that I have against IntelliJ
approach.

Michael Jouravlev.


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Some really great points that Richard has made. I've been involved with IDEs for a long time and doing a good GUI builder is very very hard. Making a mediocre GUI builder seems like a popular choice, but often times, it ends up not worth the development investment. A mediocre GUI builder is all downside. Marketing gets a checkbox, but the customers get all sorts of highly nuanced forms of pain and grow to look at the product and company with disdain. Some how it seems that new generations of product managers just have to keep learning this over and over, throwing money and time down the drain, throwing their brand down the drain.

As Richard mentioned, Visual J++ had a good GUI builder. And some fusion of this approach with the better JGoodies layouts might work well. IMO, it would be extremely worthwhile for everyone who is involved making GUI builders at Jetbrains to spend time working with Visual J++ and learning about JGoodies.

Lastly, it seems that IntelliJ is in some danger of what I might call getting lost on its mission. It's supposed to be the best IDE for Java coding. And to a great extent it is. But it seems that there is too much dispersion of focus. Beyond darcula, there isn't anything that I could easily name that is a significant advance in IntelliJ for Java development in a long time. Sure, the VCS works better. And the IDE is somewhat faster. And Maven support has fewer bugs. But the big improvement in IntelliJ for me has been nothing more than a theme. It seems like care and love for Java-centric features, polish, and elegance has gotten less and less and over time.

So my two cents is not necessarily "don't make a GUI builder", but "if this is what you want to do, go all out, learn from the past, do it right, and make a great GUI builder." But if you are adding a GUI builder for a marketing checkbox, please reconsider. A mediocre GUI builder ends up being a terrible negative over time.

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It seems like care and love for Java-centric features, polish, and elegance has gotten less and less and over time.

We welcome your feedback (preferrably in a new thread) on what exactly you're missing and any issues you're encountering. Thanks.

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