Eclipse WindowBuilder 1.6.0 Release Review

End Date of the Review Period: 

Reviews run for a minimum of one week. The outcome of the review is decided on this date. This is the last day to make comments or ask questions about this review.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


We had the following major themes for our Kepler release:

Ensure that WindowBuilder works great with Eclipse 4.3

As the Kepler simultaneous release is going to be based on Eclipse 4.3, WindowBuilder needs to work properly when installed as a feature in an Eclipse 4.3 IDE.

Better support for non-Java UI frameworks

WindowBuilder needs to provide better support creating creating non-Java UI frameworks. The core Java support is built into the core WindowBuilder libraries and needs to be extracted into its own plugin. This will leave the core WindowBuilder API agnostic to language and make it much easier to create UI builders for non-Java UI frameworks.

Community support

The WindowBuilder team needs to continue supporting users who wish to use WB to create their Swing and SWT user interfaces as well as developers wishing to use WB as a base for creating their own custom UI builders.

API Certification: 

The project leadership certifies that the APIs in this release are "Eclipse Quality".

Architectural Issues: 
  • There are no architectural issues for this project
Security Issues: 
  • There are no security issues for this project
Non-Code Aspects: 
  • User Documentation
    • 250+ pages of user documentation available as Eclipse Help or on-line
    • Customization API doc available for adding new components to the palette
  • Tutorials:
    • Adding New Components
    • SWT/RCP/Swing Databinding
  • All strings externalized to resource files and localization ready (English resource files only)
  • Presentations
    • Building GUIs with WindowBuilder at EclipseCon Europe 2012
    • Building Amazing GUIs with WindowBuilder at Eclipse Day at the Googleplex 2012
Usability Details: 
  • WindowBuilder based tools widely used by >200K developers world wide since 2003
    • SWT Designer released in 2003
    • Swing Designer released in 2004
    • GWT Designer released in 2006
  • GWT Designer embedded in Google Plug-in for Eclipse (GPE)
  • Swing Designer embedded in Embarcadero’s JBuilder
  • Portions of WindowBuilder toolkit used in Google’s ADT UI tools
  • Eclipse Magazin (Germany) Reader’s Choice Award in 2006 for “Best Eclipse-Based Commercial Software Solution”
  • Eclipse Community Award in 2009 for “Best Commercial Eclipse Development Tool”
End of Life: 
  • No features were removed
  • No API was deprecated or removed
  • WindowBuilder requires Java 6 or later
  • Supports SWT, RCP, eRCP, XWT and Swing
  • Supports Swing JSR 295 and 296
  • Active committers from Google (3) and Instantiations (2)
  • Bugzilla is in active use by users and contributors.
  • Eclipse WindowBuilder forum very active
    • 156 threads and 572 posts since Juno
    • Committers active in most threads
    • Lots of questions about how to extend the tool
  • Presentations by committers at:
    • EclipseCon Europe 2012
    • Eclipse Day at the Googleplex 2012
  • WindowBuilder framework in use by:
    • Google – GWT Designer, Android ADT UI tools
    • Embarcadero – UI Builder in JBuilder
    • Unnamed Cell Phone Manufacturer – UI design tool for proprietary UI toolkit
    • Open source Android Designer
This release is part of Kepler.