The example of a plugin using a ToolWindow provided in the "samples: folder of the IntelliJ source code Community Eidtion uses the GUI designer to create the example side toolbar.
As a side effect of using the GUI deisgner, form files are of course created but also antoher file , in the .idea folder, an XML file with the name "uiDesigner.xml" also appears.
I have to assume that the IntelliJ framework gets needed info from this file so that the toolbar can be created and placed on the IDE.
The question I have is, is this the way is it must be done, you have to use the GUI designer? Does the IntelliJ framework HAVE to have the uiDesigner.xml (or some other files generated automatically? as a side effect of using the GUI designer?).
I was trying to re-write the example plugin for the purpose of throughly understanding how it worked. I can rewite the GUI without the GuiDesigner, but then there's this issue of what appears to be .xml config files in the folder nameded ".idea" and whether those are absolutely needed by the IntelliJ framework because that's just how it's done and there is no other way.
Hope this was clear. I want to write the GUI parts of my plugin "by hand" , but it's not clear that's even permitted.