Hi all. I have been reading a tutorial at jetbrains.com about their GUI builder, and I downloaded the source code of the example. there are two files : subscriber.java subscriber.form the java file dosen't include the creation of the GUI components, and the form file is an xml file contains information about the components and the form. I am curious about this approach, if someone creates a whole swing application using intellij approach and want to package his application into a runnable jar, will this jar work correctly ? I must admit, the BEST GUI builder that I have ever worked with is : JBuilder GUI builder.
Intellij is using their own GUI-compiler magic (byte-code instrumentation) to create the java classes necessary to run the forms. The GUI-compiler comes with IDEA and is a separate Ant build task. You can jar up these apps with no problem. Your project can even combine Intellij forms with forms built the regular way with source code.
IDEA will create Java source files directly from the form builder if you change the setting in Settings | Project | GUI Designer.
As much as I love using IDEA, I agree with you that JBuilder is still the best GUI builder.
after creating a complete application using intellij, it seems to me that they are using null layout , right ? because, when resizing the frame, some component are wrapped (the behaviour of null layout)
They use their own custom grid type layout. The thing you have to remember about Intellij is that it's not a GUI Builder. It is a Forms Builder or GUI Designer. You don't create GUI's with it. You create forms (JPanels) to be used in your GUI. If you can keep that in mind, I find that approach much more suited to my coding style than something like, say, Netbeans.
If you want to distribute your application and don't want to mess with IntelliJ creating the code, all you need is to distribute your code with the forms_rt.jar file. This file is also located on your harddrive where you have IDEA installed.