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Bulle Bas
19 Feb 2010, 8:39 AM
Maybe the stupidest question ever asked here, but I am hesitating whether I should buy the product. I am very enthousiastic because it looks cool, but I am questioning myself about what I will gain when using the designer.

For prototyping: sure, that's cool. But I could use the webbased one from sierks too, not a competitive advantage it seems.

Dragging and clicking a lay-out is cool. But my concern is: is instantiating some components really that much of work by hand?
How does the designer handle cases like: "show that window when I click that button".

So 2 questions:

@extjs: what advantages does the designer deliver when it comes to architecture? Is there any architectural intelligence behind it?

@buyers: what and how much do you expect from this product?

smit_al
19 Feb 2010, 2:11 PM
How does the designer handle cases like: "show that window when I click that button".

I'm curious about this also.

mask_hot
20 Feb 2010, 12:49 AM
In my thoughts, the Designer only generates skeletons of code after what you have to code a little bit :D

The pretty cool thing is to quickly produce gui screenshots that you can show to your customers.

By the way, when the first Designer preview was available there was a discussion about the ROI using the Designer for "Old school ExtJS Gurus", you know, the ones who prefer use vi or notepad than an IDE :))
One thing I remember was about Ext.Designer will be attractive for the JS and ExtJS newbies who don't want to get their hands in the engine, but the ExtJS gurus said they will test the Designer but will go on using their favorite text editor...

So, it's about how you work : some guys have their habits, hard to kill, have already tools to optimize code generation (for example there were metdata grids or my CRUD Factory which is by the way not uncompatible with the Designer because in fact my idea was to produce grids to use in the Designer), and the new generation used to have only graphic tools to generate code and use at the minimum their keyboard.

Finally, it looks like a generation fight 8-| the keyboard Vs the mouse >:)

dearsina
20 Feb 2010, 2:06 AM
I was just about to hand over my credit card details, when I started to think that less and less of my time developing in ExtJS is dedicated to GUIs. It seems to me that once you cross a certain threshold, you "get" how GUIs are built and can dish them up pretty quick. The programming logic is what takes time (not to mention backend work), so I'm now a little hesitant to get it, as for me at least, it has become a "nice to have".

abe.elias
23 Feb 2010, 1:03 AM
Using Ext Designer as a productivity tool will save you time and improve your deliverables.

It's not intended to replace any aspect of your existing workflow, just improve it.

As an example, we envision contractors spending their time with clients more productively by building interfaces in real time. The Ext Designer will also empower end users to participate in the planning and maintenance of applications, allowing you to focus on building applications faster.

The Designer is IDE independent, as such, the code generation can output to a directory of your choosing where you and your favorite editor take over.

At the end of the day, the Designer will bring a refined experience to our community, customers, and end users.

Bulle Bas
23 Feb 2010, 12:59 PM
@Abe, sure, sketching an interface while others watch or are able to participate is a real plus.
Thanks for following up.

@mask_hot Hm i myself am an IDE-addict. I want my environment to understand the semantics of my sources. Yet I was not sure if I'd need a ui-tool.

Dumas
24 Feb 2010, 3:11 PM
I think the designer is a nice tool to create a first look and feel of the page, which you then can tweek when writing the app for real. the idea seemed good. But I find the price of 150 bugs pre-order (so you don't have any clue if you really use it) and 300 bugs later too much (for me). As addition to the actual licence fee that seems quite expensive. Especially because mostly newbees would like to use this, and then they have to pay 600 bugs for their first website...hmmm...
Anyway, I won't buy it, but I would probably use it if it would be free or less expensive...
just my humble opinion ;-)

cmendez21
24 Feb 2010, 10:32 PM
My Reason to buy it:

I've followed EXt since it was YUI-Ext and man the progress and capacity it has taken along the years its really awesome..!

But the designer will give for me the chance to create full prototypes faster and easier so my clients could see the final result so ITs kinda useful and faster than creating manually each screen (which by the way are too much complex forms 40 to 70 fields per form) and if i can save the code to take advantage on coding the final app better for me. btw i have already buy it :D

And for last its reasonable that EXtjs staff takes a little bit longer to launch an stable product (despite bugs and so on) but at the end IN EXTjs I TRUST ..! B)

Remy
25 Feb 2010, 1:27 AM
I have also pre-ordered but still not sure if I will actually use it, it's a $150 gamble that the tool will be of use. I won't need it for prototyping with clients, I'm not sure I want them to think I can develop a web app in minutes (makes it kind of hard to justify the fees).

I'm hoping it will save some time internally, using it to wire-up some stuff and also to help develop a ui, seems it would be much easier to play around with the interface to see exactly what works best.

I think $300 is way too much for the tool and am a bit disappointed that a lot of folk out there won't get the chance to use it as the pricing is prohibitive.

abe.elias
27 Feb 2010, 2:38 AM
My Reason to buy it:

I've followed EXt since it was YUI-Ext and man the progress and capacity it has taken along the years its really awesome..!

But the designer will give for me the chance to create full prototypes faster and easier so my clients could see the final result so ITs kinda useful and faster than creating manually each screen (which by the way are too much complex forms 40 to 70 fields per form) and if i can save the code to take advantage on coding the final app better for me. btw i have already buy it :D

And for last its reasonable that EXtjs staff takes a little bit longer to launch an stable product (despite bugs and so on) but at the end IN EXTjs I TRUST ..! B)

Thanks for the vote of confidence. We want to make sure we don't let you down.

Once we release Ext Designer, we will be aggressively pushing updates based on feedback we receive.

Animal
27 Feb 2010, 2:02 PM
$150 or even $300 is cheap! I can't believe anyone is baulking at that. That almost gets you 2 hours of consultancy work in the Ext JS open market.

Drakkhen
1 Mar 2010, 4:09 AM
First time I ever pre-order anything in my life (always thought itwould be be a video game and not a work tool;)).
I am using Extjs for almost 3 years now, and I am very happy to finally contribute financially to the compagny.

As I am curently working on 2 big projects, and coding it the usual way, I immediatly saw all i could gain from Ext designer.
I would really appreciate to have an estimated date of release to know if I could afford waiting for it for my current projects.

Anyway, greetings from France, hope to use your product for many years.

abe.elias
1 Mar 2010, 6:21 AM
Thank you for your support. We are looking at March 21, 2010 or earlier.

Remy
1 Mar 2010, 7:23 AM
I vote earlier ;)

fongg
1 Mar 2010, 11:47 AM
Can the Ext designer be used stand alone? We are using Ext in a closed environment... no internet access.

aconran
2 Mar 2010, 12:49 AM
Can the Ext designer be used stand alone? We are using Ext in a closed environment... no internet access.

The designer initially needs an internet connection to be downloaded, installed and registered.

Afterwards you can use the product without a connection although in this type of environment you will not be able to take advantage of the automatic update functionality. (You would have to download the latest and greatest from our site manually.)

Andreas Franke
2 Mar 2010, 1:12 AM
$150 or even $300 is cheap!

150$ would be ok. 300$ is realy to much. Especially there was a time, where it was pronounced to come free with Ext 3.x. If I remember that right. So I have to preorder in time...

Andreas

Sean Connelly
2 Mar 2010, 5:14 AM
Mine is on pre-order. I’m normally too busy to post but the designer is significant for me. Here is why...

I’m not a big fan of abstracting frameworks within other frameworks (GWT/Coolite). Things always get lost in translation.

Hence why I prefer to hand craft most of the JavaScript and use design time code generators for common tasks.

Developing the layout from hand is always one of the first tasks in a new development. I’m happy to do this by hand but being able to use a designer is a much more streamlined process. I’m confident that Jack’s designer is going to produce code exactly as intended and that I will be able to drop this directly into my dynamic solutions.

I don’t tend to use mainstream technologies so I have needed to develop a number of MVC frameworks around EXT widgets for my own personal use. I’ve played around with various options for constructing EXT code from config data and server side glue code. The config data turns out to be tedious to manage, I’ve tried JSON, XML and OO config approaches. None of them work satisfactorily (IMHO). In particular I’ve had many instances of medical forms that have 200+ fields. The config data for these gets really fugly to manage. Especially if you are using absolute positioning.

I want to work in the other direction. Design and manage a complex form and its config data using the designer. A utility will pick this code up and drop it into a manifest for preload. Optionally I will generate glue code from this designer built form code to simplify some of the back end work.

Here is the thing. I was developing front end applications back in the 90’s using VB and studio designers. I then spent most of the 00’s developing web applications without designers. Now we have a real desktop killer (EXT-JS) it makes sense to have a designer for some of these things.

So, whilst I will still hand craft glue code and generator code I will use the designer for prototyping, designing viewports / layouts and for designing and maintaining complex grids and forms.

What I’m hoping is that I can extend the designer or drop it into my own AIR/EXT application so that I can develop a basic IDE around the designer and the backend utilities that I develop.

Or maybe the designer will be released as an Ecipse plug-in at some point?

Price wise, $300 is about right. This is a complex tool and I want it to be well supported!!!

Personally I will make this back many times over being more efficient with my time. So the current $150 is dirt cheap. I think I just spent more on a new arc keyboard and mouse!

Sean.

boban
2 Mar 2010, 11:54 AM
I just Pre-order Ext Designer. Reason is simple: to improve my productivity!
Greetings from Serbia

danutungureanu.dgs
3 Mar 2010, 10:47 AM
Hi,

IMO the designer is not very usefull as it is right now.
It's like designing your components(basicaly forms I think) in one place, and then put them all together in another place...
It would have been much better something more like an IDE, similar to Visual Studio, so Ext would evolve to ecome industry standard...

But, than again, it' s just my opinion.

bkraut
11 Mar 2010, 2:55 PM
I agree. I wanted to preorder a designer, but changed my mind. I think the price is ok as 300$ really is not so much money.

What bothers me is the design of the tool. If I create a user interface and depploy it into some folder, where I can then code some specifics, I'd like to import the enriched version back into the designer. If this is not possible its wast of time, as you never design everithing at once.

I think it will be a great learning tool, but it is far from a tool that can be seriously used by professional team. I have to join Animal opinion that for real apps you - currently you have to use other dev tools. Personaly I use Eclipse or Aptana (with subversion or CVS) - we currently have more than 3000 classes. This works great for us.

U don't wan't to disrespect the ExtJS team as an effor to create an ExtJS framework and designer tool is imensive.

Grolubao
12 Mar 2010, 5:47 AM
In my case doesn't make much sense to buy it. I would love it if it was more like other Mockup tools that is just drag and drop which is fine to show mockups to the clients, but in this case you need to configure layouts, etc, which is fine to generate code but not to agile mockup creation, and to generate code I still prefer to do it myself (I already do it since Swing times)

surfyogi
13 Mar 2010, 10:02 AM
Turns out, getting the interaction between components and their various ownership of elements in the layout can be tricky. If you have a lot of forms to layout, and especially if you have a nitty UX/graphic designer on your butt, telling you they need some pixel perfect layout, this thing is going to really come in handy.

Also, if you have dialogs to lay out, where everything goes into a window, it can help with that as well. Previously, I'd have to do everything outside a window, then pop the whole thing in a window (because layout inside a window often fails and the entire window would fail to render) and pray it looks the same when it's in a window/panel container.

So layout in Ext is not really that easy, and the Designer addresses that directly, making it really fast to try out various different interactions between components, and see what settings are necessary to get the layout conforming to what I had in mind from a mockup, etc.

I would compare this in some respects to the first HTML WYSIWUG editors. I was completely lost first few times I tried to layout an HTML page by hand. Then I tried DW, Front Page and a few other HTML drag and drop editors, would get a layout I liked, then view the HTML. After seeing how various different editors composed the HTML, I had a decent style myself in a text editor, over time. But having a tutor really helped out, especially at first. Or when I tried something new I'd never done before. Or when I found myself stuck and needed a solution fast. :D

surfyogi
13 Mar 2010, 10:07 AM
There was a designer for Ext 2.0 I think, I found on a web page at one time, but forget the URL. A few years ago I was prototyping a large form set, presented as a single page, with radio buttons changing out the form views.

Turned out, just getting all the objects to nest quickly and get all the braces and commas sorted out was a real task; the object nesting was very tricky with several levels invovled. The fastest way to prototype was to just nest the whole thing as one giant object, then later surgically identify and take out objects I could create classes for.

Having the drag and drop editor really helped me get a prototype together without sweating that I was going to miss a brace or comma and the whole thing would just fail, and I'd spend lots of time looking for my own errors...

markov
15 Mar 2010, 3:57 PM
My company just pre-ordered me a copy today! I can't wait, can't wait and also can't wait!

cicbob
23 Mar 2010, 10:09 AM
In my case, I am primarily (have been, always will be) a perl developer. Circumstances put me in the position of using and maintaining ExtJS code over the past 2 years, and much to my surprise, I have come to actually enjoy it.

Once of the biggest challenges I have come across with ExtJS, however, is that the client I work with is extremely visually oriented. He always wants to see what the application is going to look like before he makes up his mind about what direction to go with the project.

Using Designer, I can now rapidly prototype new aspects of his application without spending enormous amounts of my extremely valuable time doing it by hand. I can get enough functionality in place to let him see how it will work, how it will look, so he can make a decision as to whether or not it will be worth the time and expense to flesh out fully.

Keep in mind, folks - if you are doing this as a business, this is a business tool. That means this is a business expense (at least in the US, I don't know about international rules) that you write off on your taxes as "tools of the trade", just like any other business software.

$150 for a tool that saves me countless hours of hand-coding so I can make more money? Hell yes it's worth it!

Bob Parker
Complete Internet Consulting
http://www.completeinternetconsulting.com

realjax
23 Mar 2010, 11:49 PM
Our company pre-ordered too, but now that the initial release is out I'm serously thinking about requesting a refund. This product is obviously far from finished and the initial discount offered feels more like a 'file as many bugreports as you can and get a 50% discount!' to me. I feel had.
And as per usual, it is a total mess with the bugreports in the forums. I (and several others) have mentioned a number of bugs in there that I doubt will even be addressed.

So there you have it; a reason NOT to buy it. I recommend everyone to wait for at least a couple of new releases, before you even test it out.

garyk
24 Mar 2010, 1:01 AM
I would have to agree with RealJax, I'm not underestimating the complexity of the designer or the hard work that has gone into it but it does seem to have been a rushed release. There are fundamental bugs that even basic testing I'm sure would have detected but its some way from a finished product at the moment. I can't do anything useful with it at the moment.

vladcd
24 Mar 2010, 6:11 AM
Hey,

I just gave the designer a go and first of all I'd like to say I appreciate the development team for this good start.

I like the design and the fact that you can get the JSON for your an object there. I don't like the fact you can't add listeners to buttons.

However, I can't think how this tool might be appropriate for making real-time demos to clients. For example, if I want to make a form with 2 columns, I have to make a form, then set its layout to column, then add some containers, set their columnWidth attribute, then I have to set the layout to form for each of the cotainers and finally add the fields and set the labels. What I'm trying to say is that this process is very close to the programming steps I have to undertake, instead of being closer to the thing I'm trying to accomplish. For this specific example, it would suffice to have some smart 'defaults': like when I drag a field next to an existing one, assume I want a column layout, and don't bother me with adding everything manually.

I realize this is just version 1 and that's why I hope that the future will bring substantial improvements.

Vlad

Grolubao
24 Mar 2010, 6:23 AM
For me Ext Designer tries to do 2 things at the same time:



A Mockup tool for non developers to work on mockups to show to the client
A tool to agile development of ExtJS applications.

I think the biggest problem is that it doesn't do both, nor even it could do one day. We are talking about 2 different target groups:

Business people will never understand what border layout is, let alone set different properties, this is too development focused, and for that I still prefer to write my own code because that way I can choose variable names in a more ease way.


Developers are not concerned about drag and drop applications, they would prefer to write it themselves, they would have more control.


IMO Ext Designer should have gone the route of Mockups design period. Everything drag and drop similar to what Balsamic Mockups do, but much more fancy as ExtJS already showed us they can do.

steven-fernandez
15 Jan 2011, 1:10 AM
A bit expensive for a sample making tool, in my opinion.

j-joey
16 Jan 2011, 11:22 AM
do you know what, i've pre-ordered the designer when it was available, and since then i'm actively using designer. and i'm leading to a developer group for a large-scale project. without designer i couldn't make so far on this project. even i'm the only designer in the group, i just saved lots of design time, its exported codes forced us to write better code. i'm going to buy 5 more licences soon, as soon as my budgets gets available, to share the work-load.

and i can tell that designer isn't for beginners. imo, it's for intermediate and professionals. if you're not familiar with extjs itself, designer doesn't provide you anything.

ssamayoa
18 Jan 2011, 8:50 AM
A bit expensive for a sample making tool, in my opinion.

Yes and no.

There is a lot of IDE which does a lot more that just UI design so compared to them yes, it is expensive.

BUT think on how many time you spend writing and testing code just for the UI?

Time is the most scarse resource so is not about ABSOLUTE COST but RELATIVE VALUE: It reduces time in a specific task of UI design which, for me, has a high value than the $300. Intead of writting boilerplate UI code manually, designer does for me so I can spend more time in more important parts of the system such business logic code.

Regards.

ssamayoa
18 Jan 2011, 8:53 AM
and i can tell that designer isn't for beginners. imo, it's for intermediate and professionals. if you're not familiar with extjs itself, designer doesn't provide you anything.

Well said.