Construction Based Development/RAD (more like hyper RAD) Discussion

initiator Wade Chandler

The idea comes from the fact software has been afflicted with the inability to give good quotes related to development time. Other engineering industries such as housing contractors, civil engineers, etc are able to give much better information because the pieces they use on any project are standardized and readily available. The Netbeans Platform addresses many things already. This discussion is meant to address the areas it could be improved or features it is missing which make it hard to build certain types of applications.

A study is needed of some of the most popular applications from different categories such as

  • Accouting
  • Point of Sale
  • Graphic editing
  • Multi-media editing
  • Sound editing
  • Development Environments/IDEs
  • Word Processing
  • Web browsers
  • Chat clients
  • Text editors
  • todo - add more categories

to determine both the most common features and the features only related to a specific category.

Floating dialog or floating tool windows

One instance which can be worked on now is Floating dialog or floating tool windows. In the Platform 6.0 we have undockable TopComponents. This is a step in the right direction. It would be nice to have a library for creating these types of components which can be used in regular Swing applications and Platform applications. Imagine having them on the Palette and to also be extensible so they can be used to create standalone classes to help with modularization and application compartmentalization. It also seems like a good idea for there to be a JSF AJAX component which allows tool and floating dialog capabilities on the web client. This will help more with rich web client development.

For now, I have created a simple project which shows the difference between how undockable TopComponents behave now versus a dialog. Notice the JFrame acts like the currently undockable TopComponents. We need to have the JDialog functionality. Please see DialgVWindowTest.zip at the bottom of the page. It has a simple standard Netbeans J2SE application which allows a JDialog to be shown and a JFrame (Window). Notice the differences. For instance, minimize the main application window and the notes JFrame. Then bring the main application back to the front. If you have the JDialog opened it will show with the main application window and can move over the main window. This works well for toolbox floating windows such as the "Styles and Formatting" dialog in Open Office.

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