If you’ve been experimenting with Matisse, the new GUI builder that comes with NetBeans 5.0, you’ve probably wanted to run your app outside of the IDE at some time.
The LayoutManager used in Matisse is held in a jar file called swing-layout-0.7.jar which is in the ide6/modules/ext directory of NetBeans 5.0
You just need to add this jar file to your classpath to run Matisse generated GUI apps outside of the IDE.
I blogged recently about the need for good GUI builders in Java.
Yesterday, I downloaded the latest daily release of NetBeans 5.0 and tried out Matisse. I’ve seen the demos of it being used, but never had the chance to use it myself.
I was very impressed with how it all worked and how easy it was to construct dialogs. There were a few stability issues with it, but thats to be expected from a daily build.
Not long now until there is a beta available!
For those of us still using Struts, there’s a good tutorial on using Struts Validator over on developerWorks.
This is worth a read if you’re new to Struts of haven’t used the Validator stuff before.
Swing seems to be en vogue at the moment, whereas not long ago it was SWT that was fashionable.
I’ve never developed with SWT before, but I’m finding that there’s less reason to do so now that before. JDK1.5 enhanced the Windows look and feel to make Java apps look more like Windows native apps. If you want to take it a step further, you can use something like the Plastic L&F which will give you excellent results.
Taking it one step further again, Romain Guy explains how to get more from the Plastic L&F.
I’ve no doubt you can get similar results with SWT, but is it worth it? I’d be interested in other peoples opinions. Do you develop with Swing or SWT?
There’s a lot of debate at the moment on the merits of GUI builders, in particular Matisse – the new GUI builder for NetBeans.
I’ve heard people suggest that GUI builders shouldn’t be used and all user interfaces should be manually coded. I don’t really subscribe to this line of thought. I can’t imagine that any serious GUI is completely manually coded nowadays – thats the sort of think I used to do in the mid-90s developing Windows 3.1 software. Surely things have moved on a lot since then?
When you’re considering GUI builders, I believe you have to think about how the “other side” (i.e. Microsoft) do things. Its impossible to deny that Visual Studio allows users to create fantastic looking GUIs in a fraction of the time that it takes to develop a similar Swing GUI. I’m not saying that you can’t develop professional looking GUIs in Swing (just take a look at IntelliJ IDEA for example), but that they take a lot longer to develop in Swing. I for one, am looking forward to Matisse. I think that Java is lacking in GUI support as compared to Visual Studio and completely welcome products like Matisse.