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MyEclipse Matisse4MyEclipse (M4M) Overview

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1. Introduction

This document presents an overview of Matisse4MyEclipse (M4M) features available in MyEclipse.


2. What is Matisse4MyEclipse?

Matisse is the code name for the well-known WYSIWYG Swing user-interface designer of NetBeans. This designer includes some of the most intuitive and advanced layout and sizing controls of any Swing visual designer today.

Matisse4MyEclipse is an implementation of NetBeans Matisse that integrates its functionality into MyEclipse Enterprise Workbench to enable the rapid development of Java Swing rich client applications (RCP) within the MyEclipse environment. Developed in partnership with Sun's NetBeans Project, Matisse4MyEclipse offers full control and round trip development between RAD visual design tools and underlying Java Source code. It consists of a form designer with a source mode, an extensible palette of Swing and AWT controls with drag-and-drop placement support, advanced alignment guides and sizing tools as well as property and outline views.

Matisse4MyEclipse includes:

  • Swing/Matisse workbench perspective
  • Form Editor with visual design and source modes
  • Extensible palette of Swing and AWT controls
  • Form creation and project library configuration wizard
  • Properties view
  • Outline view
  • Preferences for operation customization
  • Numerous UI control and event configuration wizards.

The design process involves drag-and-drop placement of Swing and AWT components from the UI controls palette onto a visual form. The Form Editor provides advanced alignment guides and sizing tools to enable quick development of aesthetically pleasing user interfaces in minutes. The source mode of the Form Editor is an embedded version of the Eclipse Java Editor and allows quick viewing and modification of generated and supporting Java code.

3. Creating a New Form

Working with Matisse4MyEclipse begins with first creating a new Matisse Form and adding it to your project.

MyEclipse supports many different kinds of Swing-based forms that you can add to your project, including:

  • JPanel
  • JFrame
  • JDialog
  • JApplet
  • MDI Application (A form for a JDesktopPane-based MDI application)
  • and more...

After creating your new form in your project, MyEclipse will take you to the Matisse4MyEclipse perspective where you will be ready to design your new form visually.

Some of the tools you will have to design your forms are:

  • Form Designer - At the center of the screen you have the visual representation of the form you are designing, and the components on that form can be dragged and dropped or organized in any fashion you wish.

  • Form Outline - This will show you the hierarchy of all the visual components in your form (for example, which panels contain which components, etc.)
  • Matisse Palette - This palette includes all the components you can use to design your form. It can also contain custom components.
  • Properties - This will display the properties, events and code generation settings for each component in your form for you to tweak or fine-tune as you want.

  • Source/Design - The tabs at the bottom of the Form Designer allow you to easily flip between the Source or Design views of your form, allowing you to work in whichever method you prefer.

  • Quick Preview - This preview mode will pop up an emulated version of your running form for you immediately, to get an idea of how it will look at runtime without needing to spin up the entire application.

The focus of the Matisse4MyEclipse tools is to help you work quickly and efficiently by providing tools that allow you to visually edit your forms while also allowing you to dig deep into the code and tweak any behaviors you want to customize.

4. Custom Palette Components

Matisse4MyEclipse also supports the use of Custom Swing Components in the Matisse Palette. New components can easily be added by opening the palette's management tools:

and then selecting the type of component you'd like to add to it:

From then on you will have access to your custom components directly from the Matisse Palette. They can be dropped into any form you are working on or properties edited using the advanced form design tools.

5. Feedback

We would like to hear from you! If you liked this overview, have some suggestions or even some corrections for us please let us know. We track all user feedback about our learning material in our Documentation Forum.  Please be sure to let us know which piece of MyEclipse material you are commenting on so we can quickly pinpoint any issues that arise.