I created a form with 5 text fields on it. I tried to bind this form to a simple bean, that has 2 String props, and 3 integer props.
Why doesnt IDEA detect that the properties are integral (since IDEA has access to the bean code) and auto-convert the TextField values in to integer values for me? (The same applies for Double, Long, Boolean, double, long, boolean)
If this cant be done, could IDEA not provide some out of the box components for dealing with numeric data (integral and floating point values).
It would be real nice to be able to drop a few of these components on to a form, bind the form to a bean and be done. This would surely be a productivity gain.
Ive tried the UI designer in every build since 6.0, and its still not even close to being as usable as products like C++ Builder and Delphi. Im not a GUI designer, but I could at least put together some reasonable looking GUIs in a very short time frame using those products - Java/IDEA's UI design support still falls significantly short.
I played around with JFormDesigner for a while, and while it has support for a newer layout manager (the one that ships with Netbeans - I think its also in JDK6?), it doesnt have the integration with IDEA that Id really like. JGoodies form layout seems a little better, but its still trying to do stuff for me (or prevent me from creating a GUI) that I simply dont want.
I want to be able to drop components on to a form, make them equally sized and aligned and not have to deal with spacers, columns, flows etc. Just drop my components on, a quick tidy up, and then be done. Data binding is a great feature, but its not quite there yet (see above). I'd also like to be able to select a group of components, and drag them in to the component palette for reuse. Just drag and drop them over there, or at the very least, right click in the tree and select "Add to palette as custom component". If the selected components are not enclosed within a JPanel, then IDEA should offer to wrap them, and then save the form.
The custom components should be made available to the other developers on the project. Id also like to be able to share them amongst other projects ( things like integer data entry components, common groups of buttons etc.)
JFormsDesigner has nice layout suggestions when you are placing components, but it still seems to try and regroup/format things when you start moving things around. To be honest, if I could drop components on a form, align them, size them and specify anchors on each component (similar to Delphi / C++ Builder) so that forms can be resized, forms would be easy to make, and I wouldnt care too much about the nice layout suggestions. Most business GUIs are there purely for getting data in and out. A quick functioning GUI is far and above preferable to a perfectly laid out GUI that takes weeks to put together. Most business apps end up with output in PDFs, Excel, or as input to other apps - the GUIs Ive worked on are typically for administration, and data entry. Please please please provide a simpler, quicker way to make a data entry GUI in less than 10 mins.