Re: Switching to Netbeans IDE

"Andrew Thompson" <u32984@uwe>
Fri, 09 Nov 2007 03:42:10 GMT
JWS wrote:

...I would also
like to switch to Netbeans IDE (instead of hand-coding). With
Netbeans I am, unfortunately, even more of a newbie than with Java
by itself.

I currently use a simple editor (not IDE) and Ant for my projects.
The reason is largely resource usage, for my case. I reckon
getting up to speed with Ant will help you more at this stage,
than jumping into using an IDE.

Note that once you are comfortable with writing Ant scripts,
they can easily be imported into 'your major IDEs', and better,
once there, you will have greater control over the way the project
is compiled, built, launched or deployed.

(Also - people are more willing to help with Ant build scripts,
than an IDE. Or perhaps it is just that users of *any* IDE can
help with an 'Ant' based problem..)

a) would a Java expert say "don't bother, hand coding is better
  anyway" (like the html experts say)?

Interesting point. I code my GUIs by hand.

I had a deep prejudice against GUIs created using Drag'n'Drop
(for e.g., NetBeans form designer) until I encountered Mark Roth's
Java based equivalent of the XScreenSaver settings dialog.

- It was designed using the NetBeans form designer.
- It can create GUIs 'on the fly' from XML based descriptions
(that was a basic requirement for this class).
- It contains no quirky little 'NetBeans specific' layouts or classes.

OTOH - I think Mark had a good understanding of the
inbuilt layouts before he started, as well as good knowledge
of NetBeans to avoid the 'problems' I listed above.

..Or even "awt is simpler,
  smaller, and faster than Swing, don't use Swing if you do not
  need it"?

...hmmm. There is some (slight) benefit to that reasonning.
But Swing components look so very much better IMO,
and you'll soon be discovering uses for the extra classes
offered by Swing that are not included in the AWT.
(trees, tables, splitpanes, HTML aware components..)

 ...My applet, at the moment, does not
  know about "packages"; it is one source file, containing 3
  classes. Should I change this?

Yes. It has been said that the default package is only
suited to 'test and toy' codes.

I do not feel your mass/spring simulation fits either category.
(Though it is pretty - hence giving a false impression of 'toy').

..Are there some step-by-step
  instructions about this situation somewhere?

Putting a class into packages? If you put all the classes
into one single package, I doubt there will be much needs

..The idea is not to
  start the whole applet from scratch, but to import it into
  Netbeans somehow, and then to "Swing-ify" it (e.g. by replacing
  Buttons with JButtons, if such a thing is possible).

Yep, mostly. Their are a number of common little 'gotchas'*
when transferring from AWT->Swing, but often it is just a
matter of switching the AWT widget to it's Swing counterpart.

* E.G. AWT/Swing

Andrew Thompson

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