Eclipse Plugins for Swing

Today had some free time in office and so thought of learning GUI development in Java Swing and SWT. But I got stuck for quite some time when searching for a suitable eclipse plugin for swing/swt GUI development.Quite a few forums recommended using NetBeans IDE over Eclipse for swing development. However, I did manage to find the following eclipse plugins for Swing

1. Visual Editor : It is the oldest swing plugin on the block. It’s an Eclipse project, licensed under EPL, that has been archived since June 2011 due to lack of development support. Quite a few forums had complaints about the buggy nature of VE.For more information, refer http://www.eclipse.org/archived/

2. Visual Swing : It is a google code project by William Chen. This free plugin is designed to ease the pain of using Visual Editor. It has been there since 2008, but is still beta. For more information, refer http://code.google.com/p/visualswing4eclipse/

3. Windows Builder Pro : It has been donated to the open source community through the Eclipse Foundation and is in the process of becoming an Eclipse Project.It is a bidirectional GUI designer that supports Sun Swing, IBM SWT, Google GWT technologies. It also supports the popular JJGoodies FormLayout that enables creation of flexible swing applications for windows eenvironment. For more information, refer http://marketplace.eclipse.org/content/windowbuilder-pro-gui-designer

4. Swing GUI Designer : It is a commercial Swing plugin by Genuitec, LLC. It has been recently launched in 2009. It is a MyEclipse plugin and an implementation of Netbeans Matisse. For more information, refer http://marketplace.eclipse.org/node/1101

5. JForm Designer : It is a commercial Swing GUI designer by FormDev Software. It also has support for the popular JGoodies FormLayout,GroupLayout, TableLayout and GridBagLayout.For more information, refer http://www.formdev.com/jformdesigner/

For now, I have decided to use WindowsBuilderPro plugin for eclipse as it’s both free and open source and also has support for both Swing and SWT.Let’s see how this turns out :)

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