Difference between revisions of "FAQ Are there any visual composition editors available for SWT?"

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Several free and commercial products provide visual  
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Several free and commercial products provide visual composition editors, or GUI builders, for SWT.   These tools are especially appealing to people who are not yet skilled in all the intricacies of the SWT layout mechanisms and do not yet know what kinds of widgets are available to choose from.
composition editors, or GUI builders, for SWT.
+
These tools are especially appealing to people who are not yet skilled
+
in all the intricacies of the SWT layout mechanisms and do not yet
+
know what kinds of widgets are available to choose from.
+
  
 +
After doing an informal poll, we discovered that none of the respondents in the Eclipse  development team uses a visual builder to implement Eclipse. The UI for Eclipse is written manually in SWT, using an additional UI framework called JFace to  take care of some of the repetitive aspects of writing UIs.  Furthermore, when defining a new dialog, the developers often  use the “Monkey see, monkey do” rule: They first find one that is close to the intended result; then, the new UI is cloned from the inspiration  source and modified until it fits the needs of the new application.
  
 +
With the growing popularity of SWT, more and more developers want to prototype and develop user interfaces with SWT. Visual builders  help less experienced developers by eliminating most of the guesswork from the UI design labor. Widgets can be selected from a panel, and attributes can be chosen and assigned values from a limited set of options. The most successful builders offer fully synchronized views of the UI being developed and the generated source code to implement the UI.
  
After doing an informal poll, we discovered that none of the
+
Visual builders have been a long time coming for SWT, but a number of free and commercial GUI builders are finally available.
respondents in the Eclipse
+
development team uses a visual builder to implement Eclipse.
+
The UI for Eclipse is written
+
manually in SWT, using an additional UI framework called JFace to
+
take care of some of the repetitive aspects of writing UIs.
+
Furthermore, when defining a new dialog, the developers often
+
use the “Monkey see, monkey do” rule: They first find one that is close
+
to the intended result; then, the new UI is cloned from the inspiration
+
source and modified until it fits the needs of the new application.
+
  
 +
==Free Plug-ins==
 +
* [http://www.eclipse.org/vep <i>The Eclipse Visual Editor Project</i>].  The goal of this Eclipse project  is to build a framework for creating Eclipse-based GUI builders.  This project follows the general Eclipse philosophy of creating a  platform- and language-independent framework, with  language- and platform-specific layers on top.  This  project provides GUI builders for SWT/RCP and Swing applications.
  
 +
* <i>V4ALL Assisi GUI-Builder</i>. This SourceForge GUI builder project  targets both SWT and Swing.  So far, it is the work of a single developer, and there does not appear to be much activity on it.
  
With the growing popularity of SWT, more and more developers want to
+
* [http://jakarta.apache.org/commons/jelly/jellyswt.html <i>JellySWT</i>]. Jelly is a scripting engine that uses XML as its scripting language.  The goal of JellySWT is to allow you to describe a UI by using Jelly script and then have it generate the Java code automatically.  The idea is that it takes care of the tedious layout code for you.  This isn&#146;t really a visual composition editor, but it is a GUI builder of sorts.
prototype and develop user interfaces with SWT. Visual builders 
+
help less experienced developers by eliminating most of the guesswork
+
from the UI design labor. Widgets can be selected from a panel, and
+
attributes can be chosen and assigned values from a limited set of options.
+
The most successful builders offer fully synchronized views of the UI
+
being developed and the generated source code to implement the UI.
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
Visual builders have been a long time coming for SWT, but a number of
+
free and commercial GUI builders are finally available.
+
The following is a brief listing of the free plug-ins we know about:
+
 
+
 
+
* <i>The Eclipse Visual Editor Project</i>.  The goal of this Eclipse project
+
is to build a framework for creating Eclipse-based GUI builders. 
+
This project follows the general Eclipse philosophy of creating a
+
platform- and language-independent framework, with
+
language- and platform-specific layers on top.  This
+
project aims to provide Java-based reference implementations of SWT and
+
Swing GUI builders.  The project has not yet produced a stable release,
+
but pre-1.0 versions are available.
+
</li>
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
* <i>V4ALL Assisi GUI-Builder</i>. This SourceForge GUI builder project
+
targets both SWT and Swing.  So far, it is the work of a single developer,
+
and there does not appear to be much activity on it.</li>
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
* <i>JellySWT (jakarta.apache.org/commons/sandbox/jelly/jellyswt.html)</i>.
+
Jelly is a scripting engine that uses XML as its scripting language.  The goal
+
of JellySWT is to allow you to describe a UI by using Jelly script and then
+
have it generate the Java code automatically.  The idea is that it takes
+
care of the tedious layout code for you.  This isn&#146;t really a visual composition
+
editor, but it is a GUI builder of sorts.</li>
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
The following are known commercial plug-ins:
+
 
+
 
+
* <i>SWT designer (swt-designer.com)</i>.  This commercial plug-in to
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Eclipse, which targets only SWT, is fairly new as a commercial
+
product but is based on an open source project that has been around
+
for a while and has a strong following.
+
</li>
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
* <i>SWT GUI Builder (www.swtguibuilder.com)</i>. This commercial plug-in
+
provides a visual editor for SWT only.  The company also sells a product
+
called Swing2SWT that ports Swing applications to SWT.
+
</li>
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
*
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<i>Jigloo GUI Builder (cloudgarden.com/jigloo)</i>. This fairly new GUI
+
builder for both SWT and Swing is a commercial product, but a free
+
version is licensed for noncommercial use only.
+
</li>
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
As with most listings of Eclipse plug-ins, this list will probably be outdated
+
by the time this book goes to print.  Check the plug-in listings
+
in[[FAQ_What_open_source_projects_are_based_on_Eclipse%3F]]
+
for a more up-to-date list.
+
 
+
  
 +
==Commercial Plug-ins==
  
 +
* [http://www.swt-designer.com <i>SWT designer</i>].  This commercial plug-in to  Eclipse, which targets only SWT, is fairly new as a commercial  product but is based on an open source project that has been around  for a while and has a strong following.
  
 +
* [http://www.swtguibuilder.com <i>SWT GUI Builder</i>]. This commercial plug-in provides a visual editor for SWT only.  The company also sells a product  called Swing2SWT that ports Swing applications to SWT.
  
 +
* [http://www.cloudgarden.com/jigloo <i>Jigloo GUI Builder</i>]. This fairly new GUI  builder for both SWT and Swing is a commercial product, but a free  version is licensed for noncommercial use only.
  
 
== See Also: ==
 
== See Also: ==
 +
*[[FAQ What open source projects are based on Eclipse?]]
  
 
+
{{Template:FAQ_Tagline}}
[[FAQ_What_open_source_projects_are_based_on_Eclipse%3F]]
+
 
+
<hr><font size=-2>This FAQ was originally published in [http://www.eclipsefaq.org Official Eclipse 3.0 FAQs]. Copyright 2004, Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. This text is made available here under the terms of the [http://www.eclipse.org/legal/epl-v10.html Eclipse Public License v1.0].</font>
+

Latest revision as of 22:58, 1 June 2006

Several free and commercial products provide visual composition editors, or GUI builders, for SWT. These tools are especially appealing to people who are not yet skilled in all the intricacies of the SWT layout mechanisms and do not yet know what kinds of widgets are available to choose from.

After doing an informal poll, we discovered that none of the respondents in the Eclipse development team uses a visual builder to implement Eclipse. The UI for Eclipse is written manually in SWT, using an additional UI framework called JFace to take care of some of the repetitive aspects of writing UIs. Furthermore, when defining a new dialog, the developers often use the “Monkey see, monkey do” rule: They first find one that is close to the intended result; then, the new UI is cloned from the inspiration source and modified until it fits the needs of the new application.

With the growing popularity of SWT, more and more developers want to prototype and develop user interfaces with SWT. Visual builders help less experienced developers by eliminating most of the guesswork from the UI design labor. Widgets can be selected from a panel, and attributes can be chosen and assigned values from a limited set of options. The most successful builders offer fully synchronized views of the UI being developed and the generated source code to implement the UI.

Visual builders have been a long time coming for SWT, but a number of free and commercial GUI builders are finally available.

[edit] Free Plug-ins

  • The Eclipse Visual Editor Project. The goal of this Eclipse project is to build a framework for creating Eclipse-based GUI builders. This project follows the general Eclipse philosophy of creating a platform- and language-independent framework, with language- and platform-specific layers on top. This project provides GUI builders for SWT/RCP and Swing applications.
  • V4ALL Assisi GUI-Builder. This SourceForge GUI builder project targets both SWT and Swing. So far, it is the work of a single developer, and there does not appear to be much activity on it.
  • JellySWT. Jelly is a scripting engine that uses XML as its scripting language. The goal of JellySWT is to allow you to describe a UI by using Jelly script and then have it generate the Java code automatically. The idea is that it takes care of the tedious layout code for you. This isn’t really a visual composition editor, but it is a GUI builder of sorts.

[edit] Commercial Plug-ins

  • SWT designer. This commercial plug-in to Eclipse, which targets only SWT, is fairly new as a commercial product but is based on an open source project that has been around for a while and has a strong following.
  • SWT GUI Builder. This commercial plug-in provides a visual editor for SWT only. The company also sells a product called Swing2SWT that ports Swing applications to SWT.
  • Jigloo GUI Builder. This fairly new GUI builder for both SWT and Swing is a commercial product, but a free version is licensed for noncommercial use only.

[edit] See Also:


This FAQ was originally published in Official Eclipse 3.0 FAQs. Copyright 2004, Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. This text is made available here under the terms of the Eclipse Public License v1.0.