Extending the IntelliJ UI Designer plug in

Hi,

We are evaluating extending the IntelliJ IDEA UI Designer plug for building a GUI toolkit for our home-grown (Swing based) GUI framework. Would you recommend this (i.e. is this a feasible endeavor) & are there any limitations?  Are there suitable extension points for IntelliJ GUI designer (e.g., configuration xml, configurable interfaces, etc.).  Can you point me to available documentation / tutorials on this subject?  To start with, we would like to customize the palette to add our own GUI widgets (with their own set of properties / attributes, some of these widgets are container components to which other components can be added (similar to the JPanel)).  We would also like to customize the XML generation process (i.e. generate our own form xml).

Any help or pointers will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks & Regards,

Natarajan

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Hello Natarajan,

The UI Designer is available as open-source as part of the IntelliJ IDEA
Community Edition, so what you can definitely do is copy its code, add the
pieces necessary to support your framework, and release it as a separate
plugin. Adding support for a new framework as an extension of the existing
UI Designer plugin may not be possible, because the plugin doesn't provide
support for registering new types of properties or containers via extension
points. Of course, there is no documentation or tutorials for this; it's
a highly specific task, and we never had demand for documentation on it.
However, you can ask specific questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.

We are evaluating extending the IntelliJ IDEA UI Designer plug for
building a GUI toolkit for our home-grown (Swing based) GUI framework.
Would you recommend this (i.e. is this a feasible endeavor) & are
there any limitations?  Are there suitable extension points for
IntelliJ GUI designer (e.g., configuration xml, configurable
interfaces, etc.).  Can you point me to available documentation /
tutorials on this subject?  To start with, we would like to customize
the palette to add our own GUI widgets (with their own set of
properties / attributes, some of these widgets are container
components to which other components can be added (similar to the
JPanel)).  We would also like to customize the XML generation process
(i.e. generate our own form xml).


--
Dmitry Jemerov
Development Lead
JetBrains, Inc.
http://www.jetbrains.com/
"Develop with Pleasure!"


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