Shortly after the release of Eclipse 3.4, Instantiations released version 6.7.0 of their Eclipse based Java GUI design toolset WindowBuilder Pro. Version 6.7.0 includes the following components:
- Swing Designer 6.7
- SWT Designer 6.7
- GWT Designer 5.0 (despite the release notes claiming it contains 4.0.0)
The most important feature of this release is that WindowBuilder Pro 6.7 now fully supports Eclipse 3.4 (Ganymede). This is critical in order to allow users to upgrade to the latest and greatest Eclipse version and be able to take advantage of the features that Ganymede brings.
One of the nice new features (at least for certain users) is that WindowBuilder Pro has been validated for IBM Rational Software. This means that if you are a user of Rational Application Developer (RAD) that you should now be able to install and use Instantiations without any issues. Although I don’t use RAD myself I can imagine that there are some developers who are glad to see this.
Speaking of taking advantage of new Eclipse 3.4 features, the SWT Designer now has support for the new 3.4 data binding APIs such as the TreeViewer input bindings as well as improved support for existing bindings.
The Swing Designer portion of WindowBuilder hasn’t received too many updates in version 6.7 but there are couple of notable improvements. JGoodies FormLayout (version 1.2.0) is now supported. Apparently, JFileChooser support has been added as well though I can’t find any reference beyond the release notes and I don’t see any apparent support in my installation. Perhaps I’m missing something.
The GWT Designer included in this release has made great improvements over previous versions. Support for MyGWT and GWT-Ext has been improved with a palette now available for GWT-Ext now included. GWT Designer also now supports Firefox 3 under Linux and Safari 3.1 under OSX.
As I’ve stated previously, WindowBuilder is the best tool out there for building Java, SWT or GWT GUIs.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Pre-existing GUI code can be modified by the tool and there is no additional untouchable sections created by the tool like other GUI programs. This latest version improves support and has fixed some nagging bugs and so far appears to be a more refined and robust tool. Good job Instantiations!
I’m disappointed that version 6.7 did not include any of the Swing Beans Binding (JSR-295)Ã‚Â or improved Swing Application Framework (JSR-296) support but it appears that support will be coming in future versions. Then again Sun has been VERY QUIET on these two specifications. Hopefully they won’t be dead in the water.
Additional details concerning new features can be found at: Window Builder Documentation : New & Noteworthy – v6.7.0.
Trial version downloads of WindowBuilder can be found at: http://www.instantiations.com/windowbuilder/pro/download.html?id=1