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Building a UI Builder?

 
Inocencio Oliveira
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Sometimes happened that I figured out how to build a UI builder, like a jasper report or a netbeans matisse are. As harder is to implementing something like that, a builder to create UI. I´m trying to find out some infos but not found. My idea is to create for example a JForm (or something similar), create some dots (to represents rules) and a structure to drag on drop components from a palete.

A justed starded and put via code a JLabel, but not from a palete, and that label one action I can do atm is to move this component surrounding the form. I have a lot of thing to do and thinking about to create a real UI Builder. If I take something functional I can go further next step and mind what I can do with this tool.
 
Inocencio Oliveira
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I did a kind of "dot grid" to represent the slots that any dragable component can be fited. Its just a start code, I will try to implement next step some way to drag component to the form. Check the code following...



Next step I will try to do something more useful.
 
Michael Dunn
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> Building a UI Builder?

a ui builder, built incorrectly, is not a good start.

class Pointer extends Canvas {

Canvas is an AWT component, and whilst the program might work OK now,
the moment you add Swing components alongside the canvas, you will have
painting problems.

http://java.sun.com/products/jfc/tsc/articles/mixing/
 
Inocencio Oliveira
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My intention is to build an UI Builder. But I have to concentrate new ideas to build further a real UI builder, but in primor state I´m doing new samples to build different stuffs, first: how to draw dots to represent some grid context, next... (I hope) how to build components at screen that are dragable and fix to scen, and so on.
 
eric aro
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You must think different.

A UI builder is nothing but an application like the others. Instead of handling, let say, bank account, you'll handle "beans".

java provides a wide set of generic tools to handle beans. That's you model.

To handle a "Bean" you must put it into a "handler box". Something like a panel, with layeredpane and an opaque glasspane ( with transparent color). This will enable you to generically display beans, but catch all the click, and drag gesture, and even draw overlay.

It's the same for a Container. Except that you'll have to handle the drag and drop based on the actual layout for it. I've never seen a visual builder that can handle "generic" layouts. There is always a Handler class for every LayoutManager. Most of the difference between UI builder comes from the quality of their LayoutManager HandlerSSS

Then, at last, when you have a tree of beans, you can generate code, or XML description, to makes it possible to access the actual view at runtime.
 
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