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Is the Visual Editor going in the wrong direction? [message #617043] Wed, 16 April 2008 10:38
Eli Lato is currently offline Eli Lato
Messages: 35
Registered: July 2009
Member
I use the VE to build Swing screens. Each time that I want to do something that I think is simple, obvious, and trivial, I hit a wall of technical trivia. For example, I want to make a property editor that displays a modal Swing dialog. STOP! So far as I can tell, I have to extend VE with a plugin to do something this simple. And I have to learn SWT on top of that! I'm sure that there's a great reason for me to have to learn SWT, but it doesn't help me get my work done.

I've read Gili Mendel's "custom widget" articles on customizing VE. They look as if they were brain teasers for nerds. With all due respect for universality, compatibility, and academic rigor, this approach does not help a developer do a day's work.

We may be able to borrow a solution to this problem from Java's approach. Java has classes that handle universality. For example formatters handle Object to String conversions. But these formatters were a nuisance for everyday work, so someone wrote SimpleDateFormat. Can the VE use this approach?- give us a solution that may not be universal, but that works for most of us. VE succeeds in its universality, but not in its usefulness.

You can answer that I'm too dumb to handle the complexity that VE demands. You may be right, but I'm probably not the only dummy out there. All I need a flexible, Swing-oriented tool, and I don't have the time to learn all the technical details of extension points.

David Perez's recent post implied that a lot of people are looking elsewhere for a visual editor. That's a shame, but it isn't surprising.

Are there any plans to make VE more useful for Swing developers?
Alternatively, has anyone written plugins that take the difficulty out of customizing VE?

Thanks,
Eli
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