Jiglooin’ a GroupLayout

I’ve been playing with Jigloo this evening. I noticed earlier today that the entry on EPIC for Jigloo claimed support for GroupLayout, so I decided to take a closer look.

The current release version, 3.9.5, supports the org.jdesktop.layout.GroupLayout that you can find as part of the Swing Layout project. As I understand it, this is essentially the incubator version of the layout that has since moved into Java 6 and become javax.swing.GroupLayout. There is a milestone build of Jigloo, 4.0M1, that supports both the Java 6 version and the Swing Layout versions of the layout manager (there’s a checkbox on the “Code Generation” page of the preferences).

I’ve been playing with it for about an hour and it works well. I’ve used it to import an existing user interface created with another IDE and it worked great. Jigloo didn’t even complain that I neglected to include the corresponding .form file. And, of course, you can make changes in the Java source editor or the visual assembly area and it does the right thing.

It’s not perfect (it seems to lose right-alignment layout information when you make changes), but it’s quite good for a milestone release. Watch the CloudGarden forums for the availability announcement of milestone 2 (4.0M2) sometime in the next couple of days.

There’s a cool button in the outline view that switches a layout between Swing and SWT. I’ve only clicked on it once and the results weren’t pretty (no GroupLayout in SWT), but I’m definitely going to spend some quality time trying to sort out how useful this can be for migrating existing Swing-based user interfaces into RCP components. I’m getting that excited tingle…

Jigloo isn’t your only choice for editing GroupLayouts. WindowBuilder also provides this functionality.

Jigloo is free for non-commercial use.

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5 Responses to Jiglooin’ a GroupLayout

  1. Eugene Kuleshov says:

    Did you know that Instantiations have offered WindowBuilder to the Eclipse projects?

  2. Eric Clayberg says:

    You should try our GroupLayout support in WindowBuilder. WB will also reverse engineer GL code generated by Matisse (something that Matisse can’t do, BTW). GL is supported for both Swing and SWT, and we have offered our SWT port of GL to the VE project, if they want it. And, as Eugene said, WB is available free to any Eclipse committer working on an Eclipse project.

  3. Wayne says:

    Thanks Eric. Maybe you can use this opportunity to remind the committers out there how they can get a copy of WindowBuilder.

  4. Eric Clayberg says:

    Send an e-mail to opensource@instantiations.com with the following information:First NameLast NameEmail AddressName of ProjectAffiliation to ProjectWeb Link to ProjectProduct(s) Requested

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