UI Designer and Plugin Development

Hi,

I'm not a GUI designer fan. From time to time I will try one and return to hand-coding my GUIs, because I think I'm faster and more effective that way. Today I gave IDEA's UI Designer another try and at first thought that it could be quite usable. It has definitely improved since the last time I tried it.
I'm currently developing a plugin and all was well till I realized I needed an ActionToolBar. There's no ActionToolBar in the palette and it's not possible to add it there because it isn't a subclass of Component. That's really a pity. I think the UI designer should somehow allow me to add an ActionToolBar to my UI and any other components that may be useful when developing a plugin. And when a component needs some special handling like in this case, it should take care of that. At least it should take care of any special handling of components that are part of IDEA.
Yeah, I know I can create a JPanel with a BorderLayout, put the toolbar into the north and the rest of the GUI into the center, but somehow it feels like a hack.

Cheers,
Robert

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Hello Robert,

I'm not a GUI designer fan. From time to time I will try one and
return to hand-coding my GUIs, because I think I'm faster and more
effective that way. Today I gave IDEA's UI Designer another try and at
first thought that it could be quite usable. It has definitely
improved since the last time I tried it.

I'm currently developing a plugin and all was well till I realized I
needed an ActionToolBar. There's no ActionToolBar in the palette and
it's not possible to add it there because it isn't a subclass of
Component. That's really a pity. I think the UI designer should
somehow allow me to add an ActionToolBar to my UI and any other
components that may be useful when developing a plugin. And when a
component needs some special handling like in this case, it should
take care of that. At least it should take care of any special
handling of components that are part of IDEA.

Yeah, I know I can create a JPanel with a BorderLayout, put the
toolbar into the north and the rest of the GUI into the center, but
somehow it feels like a hack.


We certainly don't plan to add any special handling of IntelliJ IDEA's UI
components to UI Designer - the plugin developer audience is too limited.
:) Indeed, we don't currently support working with entities which are not
JComponents. It's possible that support for such entities will be added in
a future version, but that won't be hard-coded for our own components in
any way.

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


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Indeed some extensible concept would be better and you could demonstrate it by doing it for IDEAs own components.
Your comment doesn't sound like it's a feature planned for IDEA 7. I'm a bit astonished about that. Don't you use the UI designer when developing IDEA plugins? Isn't it a pain for you to use it in such a context, too?

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Hello Robert,

Indeed some extensible concept would be better and you could
demonstrate it by doing it for IDEAs own components.

Your comment doesn't sound like it's a feature planned for IDEA 7. I'm
a bit astonished about that. Don't you use the UI designer when
developing IDEA plugins? Isn't it a pain for you to use it in such a
context, too?


We do use the UI Designer, but there are only a few components that require
special handling and can't be manipulated directly. So the pain is quite
minor.

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


0

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