Limitations of Visual Design

The last example proved that we can create at least a trivial app by hooking beans together in a mostly visual way. In other development environments, this kind of bean hookup would have been even more streamlined. For example, Sun's "BeanBox" experimental Java bean container, introduced with Java 1.1, took a different approach from NetBeans. It allowed the developer to work with "live" Java bean instances, dynamically generating adapter code at runtime and relying solely on object serialization to save the resulting work. This kind of design is, in a sense, the real goal of the JavaBeans architecture. It is true "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) programming. However, pure visual design without the ability to integrate handwritten code, as we can do in NetBeans, has not yet proven to scale beyond these kinds of simple apps, and pure visual coding environments have thus far failed to catch on. Meanwhile, Sun is working on a replacement for BeanBox called BeanBuilder. You can learn more about it at http://java.oracle.com/products/javabeans/beanbuilder/.

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