I downloaded the 147MB Java Studio Creator tonight to see what all the hype is about. The install goes without a hitch, it found my JDK, chose /opt/creator (where I would’ve put it anyway), and offered to start Creator automatically after installation.
Just to let you know what type of machine I’m working with, it’s a PIII 650MHz with 512MB RAM and two – 18.4GB 15,000 RPM SCSI-3 drives running Fedora Core 1 Linux with JDK 1.4.2 installed and Mozilla Firefox.
Back to my initial review, I choose to start Creator after the installation. I go through the wizard to create my first WebApplication (aptly named WebApplication1). I add a page (aptly named Page1.jsp). I drag over two “Component Labels” one named User Name the other Password. I add a TextField, and a Secret Field. I save the file. NOTE: The WYSIWYG view is ok especially for JSPs, but I’ve seen better HTML ones.
I’m happy with what I have, a basic JSP page with 4 “components” on it. I proceed to “Run Project”. Now bear in mind I have no idea what appserver is running (assuming one that came with Creator or what’s going on, I know RTFM, but if I have to RTFM to get my own hello world, I don’t want to use it). The first time, it complains that it can’t run Mozilla. Which is a good thing since I don’t have it installed. I go the the Options menu to select my Web Browser. In the command I specify, /opt/firefox/firefox-start which is a script I have to start multiple Firefoxes. I click Run Project again, and get NOTHING. Nothing happens. No browser, no nothing. I start up Firefox, try yet again. Still nothing. I change the program to /opt/firefox/firefox (which is the main script) no change.
So at current, I’ve got a really basic page, with a monstrous IDE that I can’t seem to connect to my Mozilla Firefox installation.
Also, it’s written in SWING! With ghastly fonts. See Java Studio Creator and Eclipse below:
Java purists love Swing (because it’s pure Java, can change look and feel, blah blah blah). I’m an SWT fan myself (no really I am). Too me, the tools I use should look like the OS, I’m running on. I don’t want my IDE to look and feel like a Windows IDE on my Linux box.
Another tool tried this look and feel the same on all platforms, IBM’s VisualAge. It looked the same on AIX, OS/2, and Windows. How many developers switch OSes while developing projects? I mean how many of you actually develop on multiple OSes? I would venture a guess that not many. Most Java developers either develop using Windows or using Linux. You might deploy on both, but develop on one.
I will continue to give Java Studio Creator a try, but I doubt it will win over my heart. Plus I’m determined to get it to recognize Firefox.