I have been playing with JavaFX 2.0, and although it is pretty and works with Swing (In order to get menus!), the lack of any designer to aid in layout of it’s features, has put a rather big stop on that.
IntelliJ just would not give up and allow an Application to be created, but you could import one and do it that way ?
NetBeans – Although good at all the different project types, and a lot of enthusiastic Forums, again would not allow code to be placed directly into it “protected” regions, and you have to jump through some hoops to use the “Insert Custom Code” to get round that. I can understand why they do it this way (To keep the designer slick probably!) but it is a bit of a pain.
So I will be using Eclipse, because It does everything. Which is both a plus and a negative. So A bit of process learning is going to take place to see if this tool can be focused a little to be a better round-trip tool.
In the meantime, the Windows version of Elucidate has picked up a bug in it’s log output, and while I was there I found a few features that would make the user experience a little slicker .
So a commercial product should be able to do some good stuff.. Well yes it does, BUT it does not allow you to create a desktop application that actually works from it’s IDE. You cannot add a menu to it’s Form or Dialog creation things, and then it will not even run it. I could not get it to play ball. So no picture from can be produced that looks like Elucidate. To get menu’s you have to download, register, payfor the JFormDesigner.. I do not want to do that, I want to have a look at what can be done first.. So unfortunately, even tho’ I like the C# products from them (Resharper is great !), this seems to be a bit of a let down when compared to the initial ease of NetBeans, and the complete control over everything in Eclipse
I have been playing with this for a few hours, and like the way that everything that you need to get an application running is installed and ready to go. The main problem is with the code genertion part. If it is is not part of “their” recognised standard, then they will not let you do it, i.e. put a spring in the menu to right align an entry.
This can be done by writing custom code generators, but then that prevents it from being in the designer. So overall, a better experience than Eclipse, but I feel locked out to some of the things that I have seen in Eclipse:
So I have been playing with SWT in Eclipse, to try and emulate the Elucidate Look that I have created for the Windows .Net application, and it seems to do what the pundits say it does. Both the positive and the negative –
- I have witnessed the power of the GUI builder and felt the pain of the round trip time.
- I have witnessed the ease of using SWT, and the pain of not being able to use swing directly once it is in that mode ! (i.e. I want the Help menu to be right aligned!)
- The ease with which it can all go horribly wrong with the incorrect choice of layout.
- JFace makes things harder to understand (I know about event programming.. but this did not feel right)
Here is my result (Windows 7). It does not work and the tabs do not change the buttons, but it shows the layout is possible !
I have been busy trying to find a “Good” package that allows “Cross Platform GUI’s” to be developed that look the same.
It seems to be a painful experience, and I am giving each of the shortlist a good test
List (so far) contains:
- Mono Develop 2.6
- Eclipse 3.7 (Indigo)
- NetBeans 7.0
So far Mono Has been eliminated, due to it annoying me 1 too many times, It is faster than Eclipse, but does not draw what it says it is going to !
In Progress is Eclipse, and after a few hours of install and learning I have this:-
( Just need to test it on Ubuntu to see what it looks like)
So I have been playing with the Elucidate project a little more, and have coded a mouse over track rounded Tab TabControl (A bit like Firefox 3.6 “Hot Track”, but with more pronounced rounding). All the values can be changed (Colour track change, border width, rounding) in the MS 2010 IDE designer and will be reflected immediately in the designer as well.
Here’s a teaser of how I am using it at the moment:-
Code can be found here.
So I have had another look at the interface of the SnapRAID GUI application that I have written, and have split it into 3 tabs to cover 3 areas, that have cropped up as “important”:
- Common things first
- Recovery options moved off first screen
- Some way of viewing the real-time log (A tail of the log anyway)
Comments please ?