One of the glaring gap in the Netbeans Visual Web Application development is lack of ability to create Pages using predefined Page Layouts. Currently Visual Web users create a Visual Web JSF page using New -> Visual JSF page. This creates the "boring" empty page with no page layouts. It is up to the users to create their page layouts. Users tend to create Page Layout using external tools like Dream Weaver and import them in to VW pages. Unfortunately, page layouts created using these external tools require lots of hand crafting to fit in the VW design paradigm. I was thinking, how nice it would be if Visual Web provides some predefined Page Layouts for the users to select when they create their pages. So I wrote this experimental module that allows you to select such predefined Page Layouts.
Disclaimer:This is not a Netbeans 6.0 release supported plugin. It did not go through any rigorous QA tests like other Netbeans 6.0 Visual Web plugins. So comes without out any warranty.
Download the plugin sources: PageLayoutTemplatePlugin.zip
Steps to install the plugin and create page from Page Layout
Download and install Netbeans 6.0 Beta2 (Important: You need NB 6.0 Beta2 or later)
Download and install the plugin org-netbeans-modules-visualweb-woodstock-pagetemplates.nbm
Once you installed the plugin, it is easy to create a Visual Web Page with one of the predefined Page Layout.
Next create a Visual Web Page using New -> Visual Web JSF Page as usual. You will notice that New wizard has one more panel.
Select a Page Layout and click finish. This creates the page with desired
layout which can be edited in the designer later.
Note: As I mentioned earlier, this is an experimental module and the Page Layouts I've added are experimental too. If you think this module should be converted to an officially supported module, leave a comment to this blog or vote for the feature request at the issue #120748. My
idea is to pick some layouts from Open Source Web Design and convert them as Visual Web Page Layouts and present them via the New Page Wizard. Here is an example (andreas01)
How to Create a CSS based Page Layout
How to create your own Visual Web Page Layout Plugin