Eclipse 3.1M3 due out today / Java GUI Builders

Per the Eclipse 3.1 Project Plan, Eclipse 3.1M3 should come out today.

It looks like there is great interest in Desktop Java as I saw the number of page views surged yesterday.  Thanks all for reading and stay tuned for more.

One more enabler for a Desktop Java Renaissance:  The appearance of some really good Java GUI Builders.

Sun wanted to have a tool that competes against VB for ease of development.  So they created Java Studio Creator.  It creates webapps in JSF (JavaServer Faces) without giving up the "highly-productive visual style" that you’re used to.  That’s marketing-speak for: "You can use a drag and drop GUI Builder.  That means you, VB Coder."  That’s great for webapps, but for Desktop Java, there are now several GUI Builders that are widely available.

Now I haven’t tried the Java GUI Builders in IntelliJ (still have the 3.x version) or NetBeans, but I have tried both the Eclipse Visual Editor and Instantiations SWT Designer.  I’ll post more detailed reviews in the future, but the important thing to note is that these two products are going to help a lot of people create Desktop Java apps.  I’m an experienced Desktop Java app developer and love to create UIs in code (either Swing or SWT), but I know there are a lot more people who would rather drag and drop and get it over with.

These two GUI Builders are exceptionally good.  SWT Designer is a professional product that is more polished, faster, and comes w/support.  Note that Instantiations also has a Swing Designer and also WindowBuilder Pro which lets you build a GUI in either Swing or SWT.

The Eclipse Visual Editor is only at 1.0.1 and interestingly started off life as a Swing UI builder, but now lets you build SWT and Swing UIs.  It is open source and it’s 1.1 release seems to be synchronized to come out around the time that Eclipse 3.1 comes out, according to the newly released Eclipse Visual Editor Project 1.1 Plan.