PlanGuiBuilderDocImprovements

GUI Builder Doc Improvement Planning

Major Problems

The current tutorials for the GUI builder suffer from the following major issues:

  • lack of continuity:
  • there is little documentation for more advanced (but still common db scenarios, such as use of foreign keys, adding search)

Minor Problems

(Add yours here)

Coverage Gaps or Things That Might be Better Integrated on the Main docs site

  • embedded databases
  • enabling Java WebStart
  • tricks to avoid awkward resizing of forms
  • creating a login screen for an app
  • sorting a jtable (by clicking on a column header)
  • FaqFormSettingTabNames
  • applet tutorial for programming beginners (in contrast with existing web app)
  • resource injection in Swing Application Framework


Proposal

We can address the most major issues of the tutorials by doing the following:

  • Adapting some of the aspects of the Designing a Swing GUI in NetBeans IDE tutorial and fitting them into a full application that has db connectivity and actions
  • Making the tutorial modular, so that different "lessons" can be added. Each lesson should be able to work standalone (with a project of the final state of the previous lesson provided) or as a continuation of the previous lesson.

Application Outline

  • A full client order system that includes db tables for clients, email addresses (clients might have several, opportunity to bind to a JList), and client orders
  • The first part of the tutorial covers much of the same ground as Designing a Swing GUI in NetBeans IDE, but using a JDialog instead of a JFrame. This has the minor problem of not being runnable, but the original tutorial doesn't contain instructions on running either (and running it doesn't provide much more than simply previewing the form does anyway)
  • The second part of the tutorial involves the creation of a Java Desktop Application based on a SQL script and then connecting the dialog in the first part of the app to the application (setting up actions, binding fields to the db).

Feature Coverage

Besides basic features, the tutorial should cover the following things:
Part One

  • Database Creation
  • Creation of a Basic Application With DB Features

Part Two

  • Resizing Components
  • Aligning Components
  • Adjusting Component Anchoring
  • Setting Component Auto-Resizing Behavior


Part Three and Beyond

  • Showing event handling
  • Showing Actions
  • binding to tables, lists, combo boxes, radio button groups, and checkboxes
  • binding to date values (and properly formatting them)
  • binding to currency values (and properly formatting them)
  • validating
  • converting types
  • adding a search feature
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