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Preferred method for java gui design

Posted on 2012-03-24
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Last Modified: 2012-03-26
What is your preferred method , for designing java swing gui applications?
Which layout(s) , software tools or methods do you use and why?
Thank you.
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Question by:skiabox
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by:for_yan
ID: 37761524
Therae are two main ways -

one is to learn a little bit about the Swing compobnenets and undesrtand at least some layouts and then write the code yourself in any of the IDE's - mainly folks are using Eclipse, but also can use NetBeans and IntelliJ Idea.

The second way is to use GUI Designer - the most usable and popular one is within NetBeans IDE - some people prefer to design the application GUI graphichally with NetBeans Designer.

If you ask me I would not recommend to get addicted to designer, it is worth learning a little bit more about the componenets and layout and devise layout yourself - you'll be much more flexible understand better the process
Event though some of your lauyouts espeecially in the beginning may be less beautiful, but you;ll be not dependendon that desigenr,
I would recommedn to do it yourslef.
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by:for_yan
ID: 37761530
This is the info about NetBeans GUI builder:

http://netbeans.org/features/java/swing.html
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by:for_yan
ID: 37761538
These are the there main Java IDE - this may seem not directly answer to your question - but it is related  to your question:

http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/


http://netbeans.org/downloads/


http://www.jetbrains.com/idea/download/
(this is commercial, but has a free community edition)

So if you want to use GUI builder - then use NetBeans,
if you decide to create GUI yourself, Eclipse is probably
a better and more popular choice
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Author Comment

by:skiabox
ID: 37761560
I have used all three tools for java development.
My preferred method is to design layouts by coding them, but I wonder if there is a roadmap when you use these layouts.
For example if I use BordeLayout which is the default layout, and later I want to add more panes in the main application window will it be possible?
I even bought JFormDesigner but I was disappointed to see the code it produces and the fact that you cannot edit this code.
My preferred ide is NetBeans.
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for_yan earned 350 total points
ID: 37761569
>For example if I use BordeLayout which is the default layout, and later I want to add more >panes in the main application window will it be possible?

Sure, it will be possible - all depends how you want to place them
One way I use is that suppose I had at the south one row of button on a panel, you now want two rows of buttons, just create one more panel put it on the south - set  GridLayout(2,1) to that ne panle and then add two morec panels to it and add your existing buttons to the upper of this two and new buttons to the lower of these two
I know it does not sound very elegant but in fact os very little coding work - just pasting some lines , add say panle2 to where it was called panel, and you'll do it very quickly
Once you understand how it wroks - it is really easy - than to have to do with these designers or thrid party components
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by:for_yan
ID: 37761577
Of course, as usuall all depnds on particualr situation - I do not develop big commercial programs, I usually write programs for in-department consumption of a couple of dozens users, main requirement to the interface is not the beauty of it, but practicality and ease of use

I'm sure for commericali application developement you'll have a separate department, artistic designer, etc, then it becomes quite different situation and maybe some third party tools there would be more appropriate.
Again, I still doubt that  in that environment someone would use some designer tools.
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by:for_yan
for_yan earned 350 total points
ID: 37761643
tehs seem to be godd parctical recommendations about designing layuts
http://jfpoilpret.blogspot.com/2009/01/swing-ui-layout-best-practices.html
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by:for_yan
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ID: 37761657
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