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GUI designer

Mihai Radulescu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2003
Posts: 918


I have a general question : to use or not to use a gui designer ? That is the question !

On one side you are preaty quick and you can deliver your soulution faster (ok not always) but on the other side a gui means more than what you see on the screen and this under all aspects(design patterns, threading, ...) so you lose on all the other Software Life Cycle aspects.

Masoud Kalali
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2004
Posts: 531

It more depends on your project
if you need dynamic form (GUI) generation
from some OLAP + metadata ,... hard codeing is best approach ,
also when you use hand made beans , probably you will need hard code.

when :you know the forms and GUI would not change in future using gui builder is fast and best way , but code generated by GUI builder are not easy readable and does not met best performance , (i used jbuilder 5 years ago).

Masoud Kalali
Software Engineer - My Weblog - GlassFish Security
Mihai Radulescu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2003
Posts: 918

It hard to admint that a "GUI would not change",ok you don't chhange it every day but at least at some time periods you update it.
An other bad stuff is that some gui desingnes birg some extra "goodies" and if you pack them in your code you 'll need them always.
Also when you need to change your patform/JVM is a problems (parts you can solve it with independent build tool like ant& ..) and the gui designer has problems with the new patform/JVM.
Pat Hays
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 138

If you wish the human readable generated GUI code. I recommend one GUI Builder tool JFrameBuilder which you must feel satisfied.

The following is a simple GUI code generated by JFrameBuilder, easy to read and maintain.

For more GUI Example code, see the online tutorial of JFrameBuilder at
[ August 26, 2004: Message edited by: Pat Hays ]

Download Java GUI Builder, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a>
David Weitzman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 1365
You can get some pretty source code if you use IntelliJ IDEA. For example, the code to make a very complex panel where all the widgets do nothing except for one button looks like this:

Yup, that's hand-written source code with no layout or component assembly code at all. All the gui assembly code is silently injected during compilation! I've found that the IDEA panel designer is very non-intrusive (the only constraint is that each panel needs to be associated with a unique class, although if you use inner classes you can get a bunch of panels into a single source file).
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 33108

"Pat H",
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subject: GUI designer
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