Enter NetBeans IDE!

The current tutorial has a "Getting Started" section for the NetBeans IDE, but the subsequent trails and lessons don't give any examples that are specific to using it. Well, that's about to change. We're currently prototyping the next version of the tutorial, which will fully integrate NetBeans into the discussions and examples. The first section to receive such treatment will be the Getting Started with Swing lesson. If you haven't used it before, NetBeans has an incredibly useful GUI builder; the various Swing components (JLabel, JTextField, etc.) appear in a pallete, and you literally just drag the components onto the visual form editor to create the layout of your GUI. With this feature the typical GUI creation cycle of code/compile/run/fix/repeat becomes a thing of the past. If you've ever struggled with coding layout managers by hand, you'll appreciate how much easier this is.

Now, we realize that some developers will still want/need to understand the underlying concepts. For that we will provide optional links that lead to deeper conceptual discussions, with examples of how to code by hand as usual. We believe this will reduce the learning curve associated with Swing, yet still provide enough information for those who prefer to build their GUI from the ground up.

Your thoughts?

-- Scott Hommel

Comments:

Net beans provide a very easy way to build i agree with it. But there is a problem which i feel needs to be addressed, ie the generated code is completely blocked and the developer dont have freedom to edit it . The only way is to use the properties dialog. But Swing developers, who are used to develop manually will feel their hands tied.. It would be fine if we can have a mixture of drag and drop and developer should be free to edit the generated code. secondly i dont think the net beans code follows the MVC architecture. correct me if i am wrong here.. Even there is no Binding framework , i am talking about some thing like Jgoodies binding api which help to build Swing application strictly on MVC architecture. I am curious to know if Net beans 6 has any thing to offer on these drawback. Thank you.

Posted by Ranganath.S on December 20, 2006 at 01:07 PM PST #

I had a discussion on the JavaLobby with former Delphi users (I used it myself also) I think they have a few great points:
  1. While GroupLayout is great it is still slightly harder than absolute positioning. You should stress that this is easy to change (and explain the consequences to i18n and cross platform).
  2. Data aware components are very important to many developers. It would be nice to explain how to integrate with some of the work done in SwingLabs. An end to end 2-tier simple solution would be great in that sense.
I think the fact that the generated code in NB is blocked is its best feature ;-) It allows stable code generation and you can customize almost everything, the 2way tools tend to break.

Posted by Shai Almog on December 20, 2006 at 02:55 PM PST #

Just curious...why not Eclipse?

Posted by Ric on December 21, 2006 at 01:46 PM PST #

Looking forward to this. The sooner the better. :-) Also looking forward to JSR 296 (long wait I know). I have programming experience but no native GUI or OOP experience. Looking forward to building desktop Web Service based distributed applications. Thanks Java Senseis! ;-)

Posted by Chuck R on December 21, 2006 at 02:44 PM PST #

In the Java Tutorials - Creating a GUI with Swing - can anyone please make a tutorial on how to do them in NetBeans, please. Thank you!

Posted by Rex Ranay on April 30, 2007 at 06:08 PM PDT #

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