The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

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#1 Charlie IronGleet  Icon User is offline

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The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 29 August 2011 - 03:35 PM

I recently wasted a lot of time looking for a good visual java gui builder, settled on Netbeans, wasted a whole lot more time, and just sat down to code the damn interface by hand.

Is it me or are there just no decent GUI builders out there decent for anything but the simplest java applications?

If not, how does the future look? Anyone know of anything in the works?

Charlie
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#2 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:50 PM

What's your problem with Netbeans, exactly?
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#3 HiddenDragon  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:57 PM

From what I've heard (never used netbeans) it creates aweful code that's pretty much unreadable and unmaintainable.

I'd recommend doing them by hand. You get experience with it and it'll be easier to maintain. Plus that's probably the way you'll be doing it if you get a job with Java.
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#4 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:58 PM

Not NetBeans, just the GUI Builder. The code it churns out is horrid, unreadable and unmaintainable. That's some of the worst code I've seen personally.

Until someone produces a GUI Builder that generates clean, modular, and OO-standards adherent code, I doubt there is a future for the GUI Builders. Microsoft has done a good job making tools friendly. Oracle is in bed with NetBeans, so don't count on things getting better unless there is a major push for it from Oracle.
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#5 immeraufdemhund  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:30 PM

I agree so much. I use netbeans my self, I love it to death. But i absolutly hate it's GUI builder. I will say this about it though. When I am using a GridBagLayout by hand I have a project that I can just delete all the objects in it then add it in to my GUI thing, then adjust how I want it to look. It will then give it's horrid code.. but all i'm interested in is the numbers (x,y, width, height, weight X, weight Y etc) I'll then take those numbers and put it in my code, but i'll never EVER copy and paste though.

I remember a bit ago PBL mentioned that GUI builders have there place, but when it comes to being able to reuse code you can't. AND if you need a custom JPanel, or a custom JFrame you are up a creek.
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:39 PM

It's good for quick prototyping and designing. That's about it. You'll never see GUI Builder code in production. :)
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#7 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 30 August 2011 - 03:29 PM

Matisse gui code isn't bad, unless you plan on modifying it by hand, then you just need to learn GridLayout. In my opinion, if you keep your business seperated from your gui code, and only ever expect to modify your gui code with neatbeans, you'll be fine. You can even do custom components. If you plan on modifying any code by hand, then just do it by hand, because gridlayout is confusing. Leave that crap to Matisse.

This post has been edited by farrell2k: 30 August 2011 - 03:31 PM

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#8 DaneAU  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 27 September 2011 - 09:56 AM

Why not get involved with using some good frameworks. Qt Jambi could be one - if you have not used Qt for C++ development i would suggest downloading QtCreator and the SDK to mess around with.

You can do all your design in QtCreator, if you use a form designer you can then generate the java files directly from the .ui which is the xml form kina document, as described here.

:bananaman:
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#9 Munawwar  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:01 AM

Came here expecting some good visual gui editor. Netbeans uses GroupLayout. The code is horrible even when written by hand. Right now I am looking into MigLayout. It seems to be easier at first sight, but it's documentation quickly gets crazy.
I think Java needs a better GUI framework (JavaFX?).
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#10 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 28 September 2011 - 05:15 PM

At a first glance it looks like an easier GridBag layout. Might try using it a few times to see how easy it is. I wonder why they went for String constraints rather than enums though.
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#11 immeraufdemhund  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 28 September 2011 - 06:01 PM

View PostMunawwar, on 28 September 2011 - 01:01 PM, said:

Came here expecting some good visual gui editor. Netbeans uses GroupLayout. The code is horrible even when written by hand. Right now I am looking into MigLayout. It seems to be easier at first sight, but it's documentation quickly gets crazy.
I think Java needs a better GUI framework (JavaFX?).


it's default is group layout, but you can change it to what ever layout that java has available.

sorry to be picky, but netbeans often gets trashed because it HAS a gui builder and uses group layout as default. Were I dont think it should have bad rep because it HAS something. It can be changed and also doesn't have to be used. rant.end();
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#12 Munawwar  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:05 AM

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..but you can change it to what ever layout that java has available.

I just noticed that option now *fplam*.

You are right actually. Swing layout managers are difficult to work with and Netbeans builder just uses them.
Anyhow, I am required to do stuff with Eclipse for my current project. And I have decided to settle with MigLayout. The code looks much cleaner with it.
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#13 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 30 September 2011 - 06:27 AM

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Swing layout managers are difficult to work with

The ones I work with- FlowLayout, BoxLayout, GridLayout, and BorderLayout- are very easy to use. I've worked with GridBagLayout once, and never SpringLayout or GroupLayout.

Quote

netbeans often gets trashed because it HAS a gui builder and uses group layout as default. Were I dont think it should have bad rep because it HAS something.

GroupLayout may not be great, but the code that NetBeans produces is trash. Even above and beyond the LayoutManager, the way the GUI Builder sets up the Listeners is not clean. I don't want to have to deal with jButton1ActionPerformed(java.awt.event.ActionEvent event){} for each JButton. I can write code far cleaner than that. The GUI Builder also explicitly uses the full package path with each class.

I personally have nothing against NetBeans- it's my IDE of choice. I will lobby against the GUI Builder, though. I think people who misunderstand our concerns see it as bashing NetBeans, when in reality it's just the horrible tool that people use. When they have problems and can't understand the GUI Builder code, that's our complaint.
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#14 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 01 October 2011 - 10:17 AM

I think that once GUI Builders can create GUIs as a human can, then it will be in shape. I don't even mean like a good human. It needs more code modularity, more subclassing, and things like that. When I see Netbeans making new classes that subclass things and being more intelligent about the paths (like only qualifying it when needed), then I think that GUI builders would be viable. C# and other visual studio products prove my point. They are very good and almost always produce code that one can work with (and if you can't, it puts that in a separate partial class).
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#15 gregorsam  Icon User is offline

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Re: The Future of Java GUI Builders - is there one?

Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:19 PM

View PostCharlie IronGleet, on 29 August 2011 - 03:35 PM, said:

I recently wasted a lot of time looking for a good visual java gui builder, settled on Netbeans, wasted a whole lot more time, and just sat down to code the damn interface by hand.

Is it me or are there just no decent GUI builders out there decent for anything but the simplest java applications?

If not, how does the future look? Anyone know of anything in the works?

Charlie



Try GOLA at gola.mathnium.com

It has a visual interface produces readable code.
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