[jboss-user] [JBoss Tools (users)] - Re: usage of visual edittor for jsf / seam pages

mwr0707 do-not-reply at jboss.com
Tue Jan 6 12:51:32 EST 2009

It's been a few years, so I don't have source.  But for our purposes, (and understanding that RichFaces is not going to provide everything you get with Swing/SWT) consider the JBoss server management view which appears when you double-click a configured JBoss server in Web Development perspective.  Now imagine that the Deployment panel contained another panel.  The panel nesting allows you to simplify the layout configuration.  In Swing, trying to layout too many components in a single GridBag is quite frustrating.  On the other hand, using multiple nested panels to manage layout is very difficult to visualize by looking at the source.  So the visual editor really adds great value here.

The concept is simply this:

It applies to any "visual" container:

In the visual editor window, when you double-click on a panel, the contents of the editor window "zooms" to just the panel you selected.  All of the components in the enclosing container are no longer visible.  The entire visual editor window shows only that panel.  If this panel contains a nested panel, you can double-click on it to drill-down further, and then that panel fills the entire visual editor window.  Of course, you can drill-back up to the enclosing container at any time.

In complex layouts which almost always require nested panels in Swing, this makes it very easy to select and move the desired components.

I assume that as you add layout support e.g. a4j:outputPanel, etc., users will attempt (as they would with Swing) a more visual (drag-and-drop, or click component in visual pane, then adjust properties view)  style of development.  Without drilldown into complex panels, it can be difficult to click on the specific component you want.  This was one of my frustrations with the early Eclipse Swing visual editor as compared to netbeans.

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