24.1.05

Java UI Frameworks: Far way to satisfaction!

Similar to my former entry, Java Persistence: Failed, I have been stimulated by another entry, this time from Alexey Maslov, who asks Do we need another UI framework?.

In my comment to his entry, I stated that in my eyes, there is no real UI framework existent for Java, being capable of representing a common platform for UI development. Either it is too expensive (I want a framework for free, please. Look at Delphi, SAP etc. where several standardized mechanisms are there to satisfy the developer). Or it is instable, too hard to learn, not capable enough etc.

Sorry, I have not found a single framework fitting my simple needs. When trying out Luxor/XUL at first I thought there is light at the end of the tunnel. But then I soon recongnized the limized features when it comes to event-handling and other non-regular stuff (what is irregular about event-handling, one might ask).

As long as we ask questions such as Why does GridBagLayout get tab order wrong? we have a far way to go to satisfaction!

2 comments:

frank.nimphius said...

Maybe a good start would be you telling us what you like on Delphi and SAP in particular.

"Look at Delphi, SAP etc. where several standardized mechanisms are there to satisfy the developer"

Where exactly do you see the standard in SAP? For example, I am not even aware of SAP providing Swing or Java UI programming capabilities, so I am really interested to learn from you.

regards

Frank

Javarunner said...

SAP offers an integrated development environment and standardized everyday tools. There is no need (as in plain Java) to buy add-on tool X from vendor Y because SAP provides the necessary already. Formerly, SAP-world only consisted of ABAP, the proprietary SAP language. Nowadays with SAP NetWeaver, Java is offered, too. The NetWeaver Developer Studio for Java (NDS) offers a technology called WebDynpro. With it you can compose whole GUI designs including basic business logic, data mapping, workflow and basic validation without coding. SAO abstracts the Swing-like stuff from the developer. Although the SAP-way is not everyone's way as you a forced to stay within the SAP world to profit from their proprietary technology (but there is connectivity offered).

Delphi offers at least a common user interface designer which is great for getting started, making prototypes and clicking-together small to medium apps. On the enterprise level, I am not aware if Delphi offers standardized mechanisms for building the UI, except for the VCL.

Generally spoken, Delphi and especially SAP consist of more standardized (because wide-spread) tools and techs than Java. This is natural as Java is a language for most of us. It is not an environment at first place.