Netbeans 6 Form Designer is Broken

I’ve been using Netbeans 6 (and previous versions) for several reasons but recently my loyalty suffered a massive blow. Simply put I had a run in with the netbeans form designer. You know, that gui builder tool they have. Don’t get me wrong it WORKS, kind of, but what happened after I tried to compress the code for distribution was a nightmare.

Netbeans 6 uses a horribly broken design paradigm for buttons. This is extended on to subclasses and related classes of buttons, such as menu items in a jmenu. What they do is they use some kind of weird reflection technique – for absolutely no reason. Seriously. What makes it worse is that they use inner classes to declare actionlisteners for things like valuechanged on a jtree or list. This is a real mind job because there is no real difference between this and declaring inner classes in the exact same way and NOT using actionmap.

In fact it could be argued that the reflection/actionmap/@action crap is inefficient from a profiling standpoint compared to using inner classes to call methods.

I mean heck – if you are gonna declare anonymous inner classes to call a function for something like a value change on a jtree why the hell would you jump through fifty hoops to use reflection to call a button handler or menu item handler? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s a bloody greyed out collapsed uneditable code block. Why not make it easy on people who will use the code with real world applications? You know like yGuard or ProGuard?

I’m currently in the process of breaking my code away from crappy Netbeans 6 form designer.

I was also pissed off how the form designer locked my code into using netbeans 6. Seriously that jdesktop stuff is GARBAGE. There is no reason why you need it. None. You have .form files for god’s sake, put any data you need in there and keep it out of my lib directory.

But now I don’t need .form files anymore. Oh, yes, I will use them to design and prototype, but the final product won’t use them.

And I swear I’m going to try out eclipse later on and I know my code will drop in compile (or should) because it won’t be using any IDE-specific libraries (!).

I miss kawa. I really do. Life was simpler.

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