Does anybody use IntelliJ GUI Designer in a large desktop applications?

This forum unfortunately looks near to dead - 5 - 7 messages per month, 5 clicks and you are back in 2004. Does it mean that nobody uses the GUI Designer? Or everyone is entirely happy with it? We've bought version 6 mainly to use the GUI Designer. It looks now that we were too optimistic. While definition of simple form is relatively easy and enjoyable, it's hard to integrate the GUI Designer into our existing environment. GridLayoutManager is another grid layout to learn - behaving sometimes in strange and unexpected way, especially in combination with other layouts. Custom creation (use of non-default constructors) is limited. The bugs, which a critical for us (IDEADEV-11905 and IDEDEV-12679 namely) will be fixed only in next major version (why?).

In general, our expectations have been replaced with disappointment - it looks like the GUI Designer developers lost interest in their creature some steps before it will become really useful.

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I would like to hear your opinions, dear colleagues.

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We're evaluating version 6, looking to move from JBuilder X. What did you use for UI before?

I have two general problems, after several hours of working with it:

1) It will not work with our legacy GUI classes built with the JBuilder GUI designer. The snapshot feature did not work, and it doesn't handle Swing menu systems, which we use extensively.
2) Respecting the MVC pattern for GUIs, we dedicate a (View) class strictly to UI components, their initialization and layout, and create a companion class (Controller) for all the listeners and related logic. We can't do this with IDEA, because it generates private component fields, assuming that the listeners are contained within the generated form class.

Overall, the GUI designer seems pretty green; I'm guessing it was new in version 6.

I am really motivated to make this work (though not as much as you having already commited to it), because I like the rest of what I see (though the way file saving is handled is also a real problem).

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Hello Peris,

We're evaluating version 6, looking to move from JBuilder X. What did
you use for UI before?

I have two general problems, after several hours of working with it:

1) It will not work with our legacy GUI classes built with the
JBuilder GUI designer. The snapshot feature did not work, and it
doesn't handle Swing menu systems, which we use extensively.


Indeed, the form snapshot feature isn't compatible with JBuilder's proprietary
layout managers, and we don't have any near-term plans to support them. Support
for menus may be added in version 7.

2) Respecting the MVC pattern for GUIs, we dedicate a (View) class
strictly to UI components, their initialization and layout, and create
a companion class (Controller) for all the listeners and related
logic. We can't do this with IDEA, because it generates private
component fields, assuming that the listeners are contained within the
generated form class.


You can manually change the accessibility level of the fields to public -
this won't break anything, and IntelliJ IDEA will not regenerate the field
declarations.

See also http://www.jetbrains.net/jira/browse/IDEADEV-15080

Overall, the GUI designer seems pretty green; I'm guessing it was new
in version 6.


If you have any other feedback on the GUI Designer, we'll be happy to hear
it.

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


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Hello Peris,

you could evaluate JFormDesigner (http://www.formdev.com/), which is available as IDEA plug-in.

JFormDesigner provides a small tool to convert JBuilder jbInit() methods to JFormDesigner forms. With this tool, you can easily migrate most of your legacy GUI classes. Download: http://www.formdev.com/download/#tools

JFormDesigner supports menus and it can generate public component fields. See property "Default Variable Modifiers" here http://www.formdev.com/doc/help/ui/properties_view.html#form_props

--
Karl Tauber
FormDev Software
www.formdev.com

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