Wanted: GUI Builder Tutorial

for a co-worker who is a novice to java I'm looking for the best available tutorial
for the IDEA GUI Builder,
one that goes beyond creating just one very well layouted form,
but also explains how your app "navigates" from one form to the next etc.


Any tipps?

14 comments

this has nothing to do with the gui builder itself (or any gui builder).

Message was edited by:
HamsterofDeath

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This is only partially correct ;)
The two topics overlap: GUI layout and GUI logic. <- better terminology appreciated.

I would be very thankful for hints about a really good tutorial about GUI logic, on an application level - for a desktop application. Maybe some good book about the topic?

But it would be really very very useful, in my opinion, if you had a very very simple
example of how to build an application with more than one form, with IDEAs GUI builder.

For example you could use CardLayout to switch between the two forms.
But nowhere do you find any hint on how to use CardLayout with the GUI builder.
Maybe it is dead intuitive? But my co-worker could not figure it out, and currently,
I don't have more time than it takes to write this post - that is, 5 minutes, and I am skeptic if this would be enough to find out by trying it myself(?)

Building nice forms is nice, but come on... why not give beginners one stupid
example of how to wire them together?

With Visual Basic you could do some kind of showForm("myform") - yes, that was intuitive ;)

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http://www.jgoodies.com/articles/
Presentation section. Interesting reading, a bit complex though.
-serg



Michael Damberger wrote:

This is only partially correct ;)
The two topics overlap: GUI layout and GUI logic. <- better terminology appreciated.

I would be very thankful for hints about a really good tutorial about GUI logic, on an application level - for a desktop application. Maybe some good book about the topic?

But it would be really very very useful, in my opinion, if you had a very very simple
example of how to build an application with more than one form, with IDEAs GUI builder.

For example you could use CardLayout to switch between the two forms.
But nowhere do you find any hint on how to use CardLayout with the GUI builder.
Maybe it is dead intuitive? But my co-worker could not figure it out, and currently,
I don't have more time than it takes to write this post - that is, 5 minutes, and I am skeptic if this would be enough to find out by trying it myself(?)

Building nice forms is nice, but come on... why not give beginners one stupid
example of how to wire them together?

With Visual Basic you could do some kind of showForm("myform") - yes, that was intuitive ;)

0

my coworker decided to use Netbeans Matisse.
He is very happy with it.

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i decided to use the jformdesigner plugin, so i didn't have to use netbeans[/strikeout] abandon idea to get a really good gui designer :D

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thanks for the info, did not know that this plugin exists.
129 EUR - but it is really good, yes?

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The two topics overlap: GUI layout and GUI logic. <- better terminology appreciated.


IMHO layout and logic are two separate things. I even would go a step
further and say that creation of the components should happen in the code
and not configurable by a GUI designer.

Please take a look at web applications. E.g. wicket goes also this way: you
have a page template ("layout") and components which define the rendering
and logic.

Why do I think, that a GUI designer should no allow, e.g., to set fonts?
Because less experienced developers (concerning GUI design) will try to do
good but will do bad changing too much low-level things. BTW, changing fonts
in the code is also not a good advice. They should be changed in the look
and feel or at least on a central place, but not for a particular form.

Instead of changing low level things like fonts, one should be able to
change high level things like "this label belongs to that input field". This
could have influence on the distances between components (belonging
components should be nearer to each other than not-belonging components).

We are using the VisualLayout plugin (which allows to change just the layout
part) for a long time now - not because we can't afford a GUI designer like
JFormBuilder, but because we think it is the right way to go.

Building nice forms is nice, but come on... why not give beginners one stupid
example of how to wire them together?


Because it better should be done with code? IMHO, if the beginner does not
understand how to create a panel/dialog/window from plain Java code, then I
would not allow him/her to do any GUI related stuff in my application. It is
a too sensitive part of it.

Tom

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i'd give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. the only thing i don't like about it is the lack of keyboard shortcuts compared to idea.
you can use an evaluation version before you buy it.

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>then I would not allow him/her to do any GUI related stuff in my application. It is
>a too sensitive part of it.

I understand, but my coworker has the job to create a complete desktop application (with oracle database access ), although he never did anything like that before.

Yes... some basic understanding, a learning experience, cannot be skipped.

But I still think we could need some great examples, that do not end where it starts to get interesting ;)

Seems like today it is easier to find such examples for web applications, then for desktop applications - or did I just not find them?

Today I read the list of new features of Netbeans 6, Milestone 9, where they write
something about Swing Building Blocks, some new JSR - interesting...

The Visual Layout Plugin is also not known to me - do you have a web page for it?

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Let's also face it: one reason why you don't easily find the really good examples is,
because those who know how to do it do not want to lose their knowledge advantage.

like "It took me years of experience to figure out how to do this the best way - do you think that I will just give this away for free?!"

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We prefer JFormDesigner over the IntelliJ-GUI-Designer, because it seems more flexible. The nice thing about JFormDesigner is that it exists also as a standalone application, which we use for GUI-Prototyping and GUI-specification. Thus, a specification author does not have to get familiar with a full fledged IDE, only the rather simple feature set if JFormDesigner is necessary.

The product is certainly worth the money. We used Visio before to specify GUI forms, which was a hassle compared to JFormDesigner.

Kind regards

Thomas Gülden
Munich, Germany

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Hi Michael

I think the problem is that the Java world has focused (and is still focusing) on web applications, thus neglecting applications relying on rich clients.

I don't know any decent book which describes the development of a desktop application or a rich client-based enterprise application using Swing in full circle from persistence layer to application layer to the presentation. Where things like table sorting, binding of GUI elements to business objects, and master-detail relations are are discussed.

Looking at some classic books about Java frameworks like Hibernate and Spring only give web examples as if rich clients aren't existing. Swing literature is either a repetion of the Swing API or a guide of how to use a particular GUI element, but do not show the whole picture.

Web sites such as ClientJava.com from Scott Delap seem to be dead and his good SourceBeat book Desktop Java Live, which finally was a book approaching rich client development with Swing from a broader perspective seems to be abandoned.

Regards

Thomas

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I hope that we'll start to see a resurgence in desktop Java with the new
Swing Application Framework.

Is Desktop Java Live and/or ClientJava.com really dead? If so, that would be
sad.

;ted

"Thomas Gülden" <no_reply@jetbrains.com> wrote in message
news:8724691.1178621409613.JavaMail.itn@is.intellij.net...

Hi Michael

>

I think the problem is that the Java world has focused (and is still
focusing) on web applications, thus neglecting applications relying on
rich clients.

>

I don't know any decent book which describes the development of a desktop
application or a rich client-based enterprise application using Swing in
full circle from persistence layer to application layer to the
presentation. Where things like table sorting, binding of GUI elements to
business objects, and master-detail relations are are discussed.

>

Looking at some classic books about Java frameworks like Hibernate and
Spring only give web examples as if rich clients aren't existing. Swing
literature is either a repetion of the Swing API or a guide of how to use
a particular GUI element, but do not show the whole picture.

>

Web sites such as ClientJava.com from Scott Delap seem to be dead and his
good SourceBeat book Desktop Java Live, which finally was a book
approaching rich client development with Swing from a broader perspective
seems to be abandoned.

>

Regards

>

Thomas



0

I dont know for sure if they are dead, but there isn't any new content at ClientJava.com for a veeeery long while and no progress on the Desktop Java Live book.

Regards

Thomas

0

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