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icon7.gif  Help getting started with Window Builder [message #1065318] Tue, 25 June 2013 10:13 Go to next message
Alexander Madani is currently offline Alexander MadaniFriend
Messages: 1
Registered: June 2013
Junior Member
Dear Members,

Its nice to be a part of your group as a relatively new Java developer. I know some of the essentials of the language but I am far from considering myself anywhere near an expert on all topics.

I have some familiarity with the Eclipse IDE and recently *as of today* just installed the WindowBuilder Pro plugin. I have not used it much and had the following questions.

1) When a Java developer uses Eclipse IDE and in particular, the WindowBuilder plugin interface for developing a GUI application....Which Java classes or libraries need to be mastered in order to make the most use of this fantastic plugin. I realize that the code is generated in the backgroud, and that the required libraries are automatically imported. But that still does not mean that a new developer will know what to do, unless the study up on the IMPORTANT and RELEVANT Classes, and their methods, in order to develop an application. All that I remember during installation of WindowBuilder was that towards the end, I saw a screen entitled "Available Software" and I selected all three of those options which were:

a) "Swing Designer"
b) "SWT Designer"
c) "WindowBuilder Engine (Required)"

If I am not mistaken, I think Confused that Swing is a Java class that provides many Class and Instance methods (possibly also known as utilities) for developing GUI. But I am not sure. For all I know, Swing could also be a Package name and within that package, there are a bunch of classes that need to be studied and figured out. I dont know much about what the "SWT Designer" is supposed to be, but again, I am guessing it is some kind of Class or library or some such thing, which enabled GUI development. So I need some clarifications on what items (a) and (b) above are so I know (or have some idea what I am dealing with, and where I need to start to gain more knowledge and information for manipulating and using those features)

2) In the case of the SWT Designer for example, I know that if a developer follows the right steps, by going through the Wizard, opening the SWT Designer folder, selecting for example the "Forms" folder and expanding it...then you have a bunch of other really cool things you can do. For example, from the Forms folder, one can create a basic FormPage (which allows you to give the page a name, select finish, and then the wizard generates the Java Code for that very basic form). I just had a brief experience with this. Then what you can (and probably should do) is to click on the Design tab and look at the actual "Empty" Form page. But from the Design view you then have a "Palette" to select the components you wish to add to your blank FormPage. So for example, you then might select a "Composite" and place it on to the empty FormPage (then expand it to cover the whole form). Next, you may choose a "RowLayout" component from the "Layouts" folder, and place that on the FormPage (on top of your Composite). Then you can select a "Checkbox" or any other "Control" (from the Controls folder) and place that Checkbox on your form. You can then Rename the Checkbox and then use the context menu to Test/Preview your form.

All that stuff is great, and you can even see the code generated, but again, unless you have some resources (video instructions, books, example code etc...) you will not know how to make the most of this technology. In my case, I would like to be able to open a file for Reading, parse the content line by line, put it into a presentable (Scroll box) and allow the user to use their mouse to make a selection from one of the Parsed rows in my Scroll text box. Then I need to save that user selection and write it out to another file on disk. All this may seem simple, and the File/IO may not be too terribly hard. However, as far as the GUI is concerned, I have no idea where to begin. So can one of your kind members who have experience with either the "Swing Designer" or the "SWT Designer" tell me if there are any books or websites that teach how to do something like what I am trying to accomplish. Because honestly, after spending all that time learning the essentials of Java, I find myself Swamped. I dont know where to begin, what resources (books, video instructions or other examples exist out there on the Internet for me to learn from) and I need your guidance on how to master these technologies

Thanks for any insight from anyone.
Re: Help getting started with Window Builder [message #1068962 is a reply to message #1065318] Sun, 14 July 2013 21:53 Go to previous message
Michael Prentice is currently offline Michael PrenticeFriend
Messages: 22
Registered: October 2012
Location: Melbourne, FL
Junior Member
There are a number of slide decks posted here in this forum. There are also quite a lot on You can find a number of YouTube videos about how to use WindowBuilder (including one on GWT Designer from Google I/O). I actually found the best WindowBuilder videos were in Spanish (not a problem for me).

Also you need to decide if you are going to be using Swing or SWT. Read up on both of those and make a choice.

Michael Prentice
GDG Space Coast
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