POLL: Would you purchase if UI Designer were replaced with Matisse?

I'm not currently an IntelliJ IDEA user. I have tried it and I love everything about it except for the UI Designer. This is the only reason I haven't purchased IntelliJ IDEA. If the UI Designer were replaced with Matisse, or something like it that used GroupLayout and provided freeform placement of controls with preferred alignment guidelines, I would buy it immediately.

As I have said in an earlier posting, using the Intellij UI Designer reminds me of editing tables in Microsoft Word - a frustrating exercise of trial and error, and adapting to its quirks in order to achieve the desired result.

Before you jump in and tell me that there are plans to support GroupLayout, don't confuse GroupLayout with the user-experience that Matisse adds to it. Let me say that GroupLayout would be worthless if it were just added to the UI Designer as it exists today. And as far as I can tell, this is the plan. Dmitry implied this elsewhere on the forums, in the EAP thread "Selena roadmap is public":

>It's likely that UI Designer improvements will be planned for a later milestone,
>and GroupLayout support is one of the things we're considering.
>
>(Note that it's likely that our support for GroupLayout will look quite different
>from Matisse.)

So, is there anybody else out there who feels the same way as I do? Is IntelliJ IDEA's UI Designer the only thing that's holding you back from purchasing the IDE? (If you aren't willing to register to post your opinion, you could just email it to sales@jetbrains.com, and mention this forum thread).

8 comments
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after a bazillion people telling me how good matisse is, i'm going to take a look at it RIGHT NOW. isn't it possible to write a matisse plugin? netbeans is open source, right?

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Hello HamsterofDeath,

after a bazillion people telling me how good matisse is, i'm going to
take a look at it RIGHT NOW. isn't it possible to write a matisse
plugin? netbeans is open source, right?


Yes, this is certainly possible.

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


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after looking at jformdesigner, matisse and idea's ui designer (needs a name btw. i'll call it ideasigner), i have to say that none of them is clearly the best.

matisse does not provide a quick & clean way to wrap something into a jpanel or scrollpane. you have to add the panel, select your components, move them into the panel, and then move the panel back to where the components have originally been.
also, i was only able to use grouplayout. isn't any of the other layout managers supported?

jformdesigner offers a "wrap in panel" function.
the winner here is ideasigner, which can wrap anything in almost anything without doing drag & drop. it seems idea's refactoring capabilities are not limited to code.

jformdesigners gridbaglayout support (GBL is my favorite) is superior to matisse's grouplayout support. i can do all the funky "align everything here and adjust the size here and here, align to the left, minimum size 120px, grow to the right" stuff with fewer clicks because i can directly apply a lot to the columns and rows instead of a selection of components.

clear winner, imho: jformdesigner 3.0. both matisse and ideasigner can't keep up here.

after the gui is done, i am fastest with ideasigner. adding listeners and jumping to them is easy thanks to sensible hotkeys. binding fields to bean attributes is also pretty nice and can save time.

a strong point of matisse:
what i saw was exactly what i got. both jform and ideasigner lied to me a few times.

Message was edited by:
HamsterofDeath

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i've been using jformdesigner for a few days now. this plugin is just too good :D screw matisse, screw ideasigner :D buying license. it just does exactly what i want it to do AND works from within idea. it's polished almost to death (in a good way), and the only thing missing (grouplayout support) is planned. i didn't really notice all the small but ingenious details at first.

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I just had a look at their website. I didn't know that JFormDesigner could be used as a plugin for Idea. It definitely looks very nice. The catch is that you have to pay at least $79 (non-commercial) or $159 (commercial) in order to replace UI Designer. I'd be curious (and JetBrains should be curious also) to know how many people have actually done this.

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> The catch is that you have to pay at least $79 (non-commercial) or $159

(commercial) in order to replace UI Designer.


You surely know how much hours you have to work for $159, isn't it?

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Yes, I can rationalize that, but its still a mental obstacle that could inhibit Idea sales.
This should be interesting from JetBrain's perspective. When I said that JetBrains should be curious about how many people are purchasing JFormDesigner to replace Idea's UI Designer, what I was getting at is that perhaps they could charge 20% more for a license if the UI Designer were revamped to be more usable. Also, thinking about this might draw their attention to the people out there who don't like UI Designer, and don't know about JFormDesigner, don't want to pay extra for JFormDesigner, or don't like JFormDesigner. This is an untapped portion of the market.

Perhaps JetBrains should look into acquiring FormDev?

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I have and it paid for itself in the first week. This is one of the better
Java applications I have used.

-Pete

On Sun, 11 Feb 2007 14:57:49 -0800, Chris Herron <no_reply@jetbrains.com>
wrote:

I just had a look at their website. I didn't know that JFormDesigner
could be used as a plugin for Idea. It definitely looks very nice. The
catch is that you have to pay at least $79 (non-commercial) or $159
(commercial) in order to replace UI Designer. I'd be curious (and
JetBrains should be curious also) to know how many people have actually
done this.




--
Using M2, Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/m2/

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