[Praveen Marath wrote:]
Is anybody using Java GUI tools in AS/400, like JBuilder ? I would like to
move to GUI's in AS/400. Which tools are widely acceptable ? Whether these
tools are native or uses ODBC to access AS/400. I want to know more about
this.
---------
[Satyanaran A.N.V opined:]
I am using Bluette0.70 for developing small GUI based programs in java.
I use java toolkit. So these programs connect to as400 database through
JDBC nor ODBC. I think JBuilder is popular. All these access databases
on as/400 thru jabc.
---------
[shahar mor replied:]
teoratically visual age from ibm is the proper ide to interact with
as400 since it combines nice with java tool box(where the udb400 data
access classes are available).

However, i personally dont like visual age at all. i'm using visual
cafe from symantec which is in my opinion easier and make more "sense".
There is no problem(of course) to use the tool box classes in the
visual cafe ide.
---------
[and finally, Brad Grier expounded:]
I tend to agree. I use Symantec's Visual Cafe for all of my Java
development. Visual Age is a robust IDE and may be appealing for things like
team development. One of my biggest problems with VA is the quality and
quantity of the code it generates. For example, if you place a button on a
form using the GUI designer, you have to call an IBM generated method just
to get a reference to the button. As a result of things like this, the class
files end up being much larger than if you coded the thing by hand or with
Cafe. Of course, that's where tools like JAX come in, but that's another
thread entirely.
---------

Ah, I said I wanted discussion, didn't I?  Well, I'm going to put my personal
opinion into this thread and see if I can't raise the temperature a few thousand
degrees [grin].

Okay, for IDEs, I think it depends on what you need.  I'm a tool builder, so I
have some specific needs that are slightly different than those of an
application developer.  If you want a complete rundown, check out "Java IDEs:
>From Toy Box to Toolbox" in the March 1999 edition of Midrange Computing.  The
gist of the article is that there are two types of IDEs: add-on IDEs, which
require you to have the JDK already installed, and the bigger brand name IDEs
which come with their own integrated JVM.  Add-ons are tend to be cheaper, less
functional (especially in class browsing and code completion) and more likely to
support the latest release.  The bigger, bulkier brand name IDEs tend to lock
you into their specific version of the JVM, especially when it comes to GUI
elements.  All this being said, I prefer VAJ, because I like the repository idea
and I also like its export capabilities, but I'm also going back and reviewing
some of the free utilities like Bluette and Sun Java Workshop.

Alright, if I didn't get you angry with that paragraph, let's try this:

Which visual programming tool do I like?  NONE!  ZILCH!  NADA!  Personally, I
have a very strong aversion to any programming tool that uses X and Y
coordinates to build Java screens.  That is totally foreign to the whole concept
of Java layout managers.  IMNSHO, all placement of fields in a Java panel should
be relative to the other fields, with strecth points defined so that when the
user resizes the window, they don't get a big expanse of gray with a few fields
in the corner.  Display objects should allow variable amounts of data and resize
themselves accordingly.  My JBUI package will automatically build a nice, clean
dialog and the only numbers you specify are the widths of the enterable fields.
Everything is nicely lined up, and the window even expands and contracts without
looking completely lopsided.

To me, NOBODY should use a GUI designer, except maybe for RAD sessions.  They
are a holdover from the C++ days, and they show it.

And if anybody wants, I'll stop beating around the buch and tell you what I
REALLY think...

===================
Joe "Zappie" Pluta
www.zappie.net/java
"Where the AS/400 speak Java with an RPG accent"
===================


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