Jigloo SWT/Swing GUI Builder for Eclipse and WebSphere

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Current version: 4.6.4 released Dec 19th 2010 (initial JLayeredPane support; "P" to select parent; extraction of custom components, visual menu editing; SWT and Swing MigLayout support; for-loops parsed; bugs fixed; etc).

Introduction

Note: Jigloo is free for non-commercial use, but purchase of a Professional License is required for commercial use (after successfully evaluating Jigloo).

CloudGarden's Jigloo GUI Builder is a plugin for the Eclipse Java IDE and WebSphere Studio, which allows you to build and manage both Swing and SWT GUI classes.

Jigloo creates and manages code for all the parts of Swing or SWT GUIs as well as code to handle events, and shows you the GUIs as they are being built. Jigloo parses java class files to construct the form that you use when designing your GUI (round-tripping), so it can work on classes that were generated by other GUI builders or IDEs, or hand-coded classes. It can also convert from a Swing GUI to a SWT GUI and vice-versa.

Jigloo is straightforward, fast, powerful, easy to use and fully integrated with Eclipse. It can lead to substantial time-savings for GUI development and maintainance tasks.

Jigloo is highly-customizable: the parts of your code which Jigloo will parse can be restricted, and the classes which are instantiated when Jigloo parses your code and constructs the Form editor can be specified using patterns. The code generated by Jigloo can also be customized, and existing code can be re-arranged to follow the preferred style (eg, using getters for GUI elements, or separating elements by blank lines, braces or tagged comments).

Custom classes can be added to forms, and JavaBeans with Customizers and custom properties are supported. In addition, Jigloo supports visual inheritance - it can design classes which extend other custom classes, which may be public, abstract or non-public. Navigation between code and form editors is very easy - with Jigloo highlighting the relevant section of code when the form editor has focus, or the relevant form element when the code editor has focus.

Components are added, layouts changed etc, by selecting from a palette, or by options in the right-click context menus. They can be resized and dragged about in the form editor and in the outline view, and their properties, layout constraints and event handlers can be changed easily in a properties editor. Multi-selection of components makes widespread changes easy to perform. Class-changing (eg, from a Composite to a Group, a combo-box to a text field, or to any custom class) can also save design time. The GUI can be "previewed" or run using editor actions.

A basic knowledge of the Swing and SWT components is useful, but not essential - and the javadoc can be easily accessed (by a right-click option) directly from the GUI editor.


Where does the name "Jigloo" come from?
1) Jigloo = Jig + gloo - because a jig is used to hold pieces together while being assembled - with glue, or
2) Jigloo = J + igloo - because if you can't think of anything better, then start your Java project with a J, and an igloo is a cool building.


Features and Requirements

Eclipse: from 3.0 to 3.5
Java: 1.3, 1.4, 5 or 6
Platforms:

Windows, Linux (gtk) and Mac OSX. It has not been tested on other platforms, but may perform successfully on them

The Jigloo GUI builder offers the following features:

Basic:


Code Handling:
Layout:
Advanced:
 
Screenshot

Below is a screenshot of Jigloo version 4.0 (click on it for the full-sized image in a new window), being used (in a Windows platform). In the GUI editor, the "FlowerShop" example is being edited in a maximized Jigloo editor - a label inherited from FlowerShop's superclass (ShopFrame) is highlighted, and it's properties, layout, layout constraints and event handlers are shown ready for editing in the "GUI Properties" editor. The Java source code is shown below the form editor (the source code can also be aligned to the right of the form editor, or can be in a separate tab inside the editor). The tree view of the whole form is shown in the "Outline" view on the right-hand side.



Download & Installation


Notes for Eclipse 2, and Java 1.3 users:

Installation using update manager:
You should use the Update Manager in Eclipse to download and install Jigloo - just open it (under "Help->Software Updates->Find and Install"). You will need to create a new remote site entry in the update manager for the Jigloo update-site - the url is: http://cloudgardensoftware.com/update-site
For more detailed help, read this.
Installation using zip file:
Alternatively, you can download the zip file from here. Unzip it into the eclipse folder so that the structure is eclipse/plugins/com.cloudgarden.jigloo_4.#.#


Examples

You can create examples using Eclipse's "New" wizard - in Eclipse, choose "File->New->Other" and under "GUI Forms" you will see an "Examples" section.


Documentation and Tutorials

Three tutorials come bundled with Jigloo, and can also be viewed online:

A Jigloo Swing Tutorial

A Jigloo Swing Tutorial in German - with many thanks to Juergen Sauer !!!


A Jigloo SWT Tutorial

A Jigloo Swing Application Framework (JSR 296) Tutorial

The documentation bundle "Jigloo GUI Builder User's Guide" is contained in the Jigloo plugin - after you install Jigloo, open up the "Help->Help Contents" menu in Eclipse and go to the entry for "Jigloo GUI Builder Guide".

It is recommended you look at the "Quick Start" section in the Jigloo documentation before using Jigloo in earnest. Also, please read the FAQs, which address some common questions/problems.

If you will be running SWT applications inside Eclipse, it is important that you read the "Preparing your project to use the SWT classes" part of the "Getting Started" section of the "Jigloo GUI Builder Guide".


Purchasing a Commercial license for Jigloo version 4

For terms of use, and whether or not you need to purchase a commercial license, please read this.

The Commercial License for Jigloo version 4 costs $85 USD for a single-user license including one year of upgrades.

A single license allows one developer, or employee of a company, institution or government, to use Jigloo as part of their work.

The license covers perpetual use of Jigloo, and includes one year of upgrades. ie, you can use Jigloo for ever, but you can only download upgrades free for one year after purchase. To purchase further years of upgrades, see below.

You may purchase Professional Licenses using your credit card via the PayPal site, by clicking on the PayPal button below.


Purchasing additional years of upgrades

After one year, additional years of upgrades can be purchased for 25% of the current sales price for one year of upgrades.
To purchase upgrade licenses, go here.


For volume purchases, invoices or other questions, please contact jigloo at cloudgardensoftware.com




Reporting Bugs and Requesting Features

If you have problems with Eclipse 3 not recognizing Jigloo, move or delete the eclipse/configuration folder and restart Eclipse, or try the "-clean" startup parameter for Eclipse. Also, please read the FAQs, which address some common questions/problems.

To report bugs or request new features, please use the "Jigloo" section of the Cloudgarden Discussion Forums. Before reporting a bug or problem, please search the forums to see if it has been reported already.