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Slickedit Java UI Editor ?



According to the release notes for Slickedit 9/10 there's some kind of Java UI editor built-in, problem is i can't seem to find anywhere to start it in Slickedit v11.

Start a new Java JFC Project, you get "created by Slickedit Java UI editor" comments all over the source, but no menus (menubar or pop up) seems to point to an editor.

Was this feature removed in v11 ?, or do i need a bigger flashlight :D

ScottW, VP of Dev:
In order to find that feature, you'll need a flashlight that emits anti-photons that go back in time. Yes, we removed the Java GUI Builder in v11. The comments you are seeing are something we missed when we took out the feature.

The GUI Builder was an interesting feature, but it had several problems that we didn't feel we had time to correct. Also, it didn't seem to be as relevant as other features we were working on. Fewer Java programmers are using Swing now than when we started the feature.

Also, our customers tend to be the kind of power programmers who prefer to write the code themselves. It's a real challenge in a product like that to get it to spit out the kind of code you would write yourself. After I built something with the GUI Builder, I would typically go back and rename variables. Also, it generated code in a very linear fashion, rather than grouping related statements together. So if I had a set of buttons in a container, like GridBag, and I came back later to add another button, that button would be placed at the bottom of the file rather than with the other buttons. Overall, an editor like SlickEdit allows me to write the code much faster than I could by dragging things around graphically.

So, we had to make a tough choice about whether to invest more time in addressing the problems or building something that we felt would appeal to a larger number of our users. These are very difficult decisions, and somebody is always going to be disappointed we didn't choose to work on their favorite item. I hope that's not the case with you and the GUI Builder.


I understand your reasons for removing it, and it's not a major issue for me.

It just caught my eye while i was creating different projects, and today a colleague and myself were planning a new small tool to be used in-house, so we figured we'd get something going in java/swing, which was why i raised the question.

Just out of curiosity, what do java programmers use for UI code these days ?
I'm an old school C programmer, still stuck in 20+ year old UNIX code, so not much Java/C# comes my way :D

ScottW, VP of Dev:
These are the kinds of questions I wish I had a firm answer for. It would make my job as product manager a lot easier. So, I read articles and try to keep up with as many development trends as possible.

I did a lot of Java development before I came to SlickEdit. Some of my initial work was done in Swing, and I really like the Swing API. However, it has always been a bit slow. I think that most Java projects are oriented toward the web and are using JSP, Struts, JFaces, etc. rather than Swing or AWT. Eclipse has created SWT, which is a smaller, faster UI framework.

I think you'll find that Swing is a great way to write a quick application for the desktop.



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