New GUI Builder Demo is Live

I've prepared with Tomas Pavek and others from the development team a flash demo of the new GUI builder. It was created using the experimental version of new form editor, which will become a part of NetBeans in it's next release.

The full announcement is available here:

As usual, feedback is appreciated. Watch the demo here:

Click to play the demo (includes speech)

Update: A thread about new GUI builder was started on Javalobby.

Wow! There's me thinking the existing Netbeans 4.1 GUI builder was good ! (it is!) but I can't wait to try out this new one - looks excellent :-)

Posted by Tim Foster on červen 03, 2005 at 01:27 odp. CEST #!

Posted by guest on červen 03, 2005 at 01:30 odp. CEST #

kick ass..

Posted by aaa on červen 03, 2005 at 02:11 odp. CEST #

Why do we get this demo the day after I learned how to use the old editor!

Java2D Team

Posted by Dmitri Trembovetski on červen 03, 2005 at 02:55 odp. CEST #

Great !!!! Much success to the Matisse module !!!

Posted by vbrabant on červen 03, 2005 at 02:55 odp. CEST #

Hi Roumen, This editor is great. I have noticed in the demo, that it appears to support alignment by the baselines of the components. Is it possible (or reasonable) to plug in additional guideline engines into this editor?

I am working on a look and feel for Mac OS X. I am currently experimenting with an API that allows to access infos about additonal visual bounds of GUI components (e.g. baselines, lower and upper case ascent lines, border lines).

My API isn't much worth without a descent UI designer. So, if your editor would support guideline plug ins, this would enable me to implement one for my API.

Posted by Werner Randelshofer on červen 03, 2005 at 03:06 odp. CEST #

I can't answer that question - I will ask the main developer about it.

Thanks to others for nice comments!

Posted by Roman Strobl on červen 03, 2005 at 03:36 odp. CEST #

The new GUI builder will put NetBeans at the forefront in java interface desing, I will be using it. But would like to have the demo available from a non-netbeans site location. I can not connect to any netbeans url. :( Would that be possible?

Posted by Ezequiel Reyes on červen 03, 2005 at 04:05 odp. CEST #

What is the issue with NetBeans URL? Do you get any error message? You can also play it here.

Posted by Roman Strobl on červen 03, 2005 at 04:12 odp. CEST #

Could we see the code generated for this sample?

Posted by guest on červen 03, 2005 at 05:51 odp. CEST #

[Trackback] I don‘t know what the problem with the netbeans GUI builder is.  I‘ve tried several GUI builder applications in the past, and always been stumped about how to use them to develop a GUI application.  With the netbeans GUI...

Posted by RoboGeek on červen 03, 2005 at 06:01 odp. CEST #

Hi Roumen, Is the new GUI editor also dependent on the .form files? Last time I tried NetBeans I remember it was impossible to refactor portions of GUI classes that were created by the form editor... Any enhancements in this area?

Posted by Behrang s on červen 04, 2005 at 03:47 dop. CEST #

Yes, the new GUI builder is still dependend on the .form files.

Posted by Roman Strobl on červen 04, 2005 at 03:56 dop. CEST #

Great stuff!!!

Is there a way to reverse engineer an existing GUI classes to create .form? because the last time I investigated this, it is not posible to do...

Posted by nic on červen 04, 2005 at 09:00 dop. CEST #

No, AFAIK this won't be supported. Reverse-engineering of existing GUI classes is way too complex.

Posted by Roman Strobl on červen 04, 2005 at 09:12 dop. CEST #

What is the LayoutManager used with new GUI Builder ?

Posted by Claudio Miranda on červen 04, 2005 at 10:35 dop. CEST #

It's a so called NaturalLayout manager. So it's a new layout manager. More info will be given around Java One (at the end of this month). There will be a speech about it at Java One, see BOF-9156.

Posted by Roman Strobl on červen 04, 2005 at 10:38 dop. CEST #

Wow. Nice! Just as I learned the old GUI builder a new one comes along ;) Still, this is what many people have been waiting for I'm going to guess.

Posted by Shawn on červen 04, 2005 at 01:21 odp. CEST #

Thanks to all for your comments, I'll make sure the GUI builder developers will see them! If you want to see more and find out more about new GUI builder, sign up for the NetBeans day.

Posted by Roman Strobl on červen 04, 2005 at 05:49 odp. CEST #

[Trackback] I can't answer that question - I will ask the main developer about it.

Thanks Roumen.

I just looked your presentation again, and noticed that the editor is also able to align a JTextField to the text contained in the check box. (In the demo this is the JCheckBox with the text "Attach this signature:").

While you are about to ask the main developer. Would you please ask him also, which API he/she used to retrieve this information from the Look and Feel. :-)

Posted by Werner Randelshofer on červen 05, 2005 at 02:20 dop. CEST #

Hi Werner,

as for what information we obtain from (based on) look&feel it is mainly the preferred distance (gap) between components. Look&feel implementation will have a chance to provide its own spacing definition. Then it is the baseline position of a component. Both features are going to be available in Mustang (Java 6). We will use a library making these features available also on earlier JDK. This library will be made public soon on

If you have more questions or would like to know more details please write to me directly or ask on

Posted by Tomas Pavek on červen 06, 2005 at 04:32 dop. CEST #

Thanks Thomas,

So, these must be Scott Violets new API's for Mustang then. Unfortunately, they are not sufficient to layout Aqua components. I am going to contact you directly.

Posted by Werner Randelshofer on červen 06, 2005 at 01:46 odp. CEST #

[Trackback] Roman stopped by in another post and mentioned that he had his GUI Builder demo up live for us to drool over. I have to be perfectly honest in that I’m more of a web guy than a thick client guy (or whatever the word du jour is to describe a st...

Posted by Unordered on červen 08, 2005 at 05:16 odp. CEST #

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Roman Strobl


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