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Home » Eclipse Projects » WindowBuilder » Creating an UI Toolkit for an Abstract GUI-Framework(Questions from working on the above mentioned task)
Creating an UI Toolkit for an Abstract GUI-Framework [message #1015141] Wed, 27 February 2013 14:55 Go to next message
Anne Z. is currently offline Anne Z.Friend
Messages: 2
Registered: February 2013
Location: Germany
Junior Member


first of all I'd like to know if this is still the repository for the WindowBuilder Sourcecode:

I'd like to create an UI Toolkit for an abstract GUI-Framework and I'd like to use the most current version (1.5) for that.
As this project is a bit long termed I'd also like to know if there will be many changes with the new Release in March? (As it would be quite counterproductive/too time consuming for me to get into 1.5 in order to relearn it with 1.6 again.)

Anyway, the GUI-Framework I'm using is slightly based on SWING, but is more of a meta-model above that. GUI that is created using the Presentation Forms of that Framework will be used in either the presentation on a SWING- or a wingS-client, making the whole thing cross-platform accessible. Which one will be decided while the system is running obviously.
My question is: Is it even possible to create an UI-Toolkit that uses the Extention Points of the WB to create Code for the Abstract PF-Components, but display SWING-Components in the WB itself (DesignView)?
I'd be grateful for any thoughts and/or advice on that matter.

On the note of EP: I've read that there are quite a bunch of them for the project, but is there any documentation that covers all of the necessary ones?
Or is there even any documentation at all on how to extend the WB?
What I've found so far is not really that helpful...

Thanks in advance for any kind of help.

And a little note I'd like to add: If this whole thing is indeed possible - which I hope -, it will become the topic for my bachelor's thesis. That means if any answer to any of the above or some of the follow up questions are valuable for me I'd need to quote them as reference. If that is the case I will contact the author for his/her agreement. Just so you know what might happen.
Re: Creating an UI Toolkit for an Abstract GUI-Framework [message #1015410 is a reply to message #1015141] Thu, 28 February 2013 14:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric Clayberg is currently offline Eric ClaybergFriend
Messages: 979
Registered: July 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Senior Member
That is the WB repository.

No major changes are planned between now and the next major release. Some major refactoring was done a couple of months ago, but the focus now is just on bug fixes.

You should be able to do what you want. You have considerable control over how widgets are represented and rendered. Using Swing-based proxies for your real widgets can be done or you can just use your actual widgets as rendered at runtime. WindowBuilder currently supports several Java-based and XML-based UI toolkits each with very different implementation under the covers.

There are docs for adding new widgets to existing toolkits but most of the extension points are documente din the code itself and by their actual usage in the existing toolkit implementations. WB itself is an abstract framework for building UI builders. It comes with several excellent examples for implementing UI builders for different toolkits (like SWT, eSWT, XWT, and Swing) and multiple public 3rd party examples are available for things like GWT and Android. Ultimately, the best documentation for using the EPs and APIs is the source itself - specially the various concrete toolkit examples. Cloning one of those would be a good way to start.

The following site also has some great docs and diagrams on the WB architecture...

While we won't do the work for you, we are very happy to answer specific questions about how to use the EPs and APIs. If you end up getting deep into the WB code and would like to see changes made or new EPs/APIs added, we are happy to consider those and are very open to anyone would like to become a contributor or committer on the project.
Re: Creating an UI Toolkit for an Abstract GUI-Framework [message #1015539 is a reply to message #1015410] Fri, 01 March 2013 07:53 Go to previous message
Anne Z. is currently offline Anne Z.Friend
Messages: 2
Registered: February 2013
Location: Germany
Junior Member

Great, thanks for the information.

I'm not sure whether I'll find anything useful for the project itself, but I am quite certain that there will be many questions throughout the whole process. So thanks for the offered help. Smile
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