Blogs: A Small but useful IDEA plugin
In "JExplorer: The power of Internet Explorer in your Java application," JetBrains marketing director Alex Tkachman announces the release of an IntelliJ plugin named HTML Previewer. What Alex has done is created a means to embed Internet Explorer in IDEA using JExplorer, a companion product to IDEA.
- Posted by: Joseph Ottinger
- Posted on: February 13 2006 06:37 EST
JExplorer provides an efficient way to integrate Microsoft Internet Explorer into Java Swing applications using the JExplorer API. This library is intended for those who need a seamless integration with MSHTML and DOM functionality.
In ending his blog Alex thanked the development team for creating an easy to use product. Alex uses the fact that it only took him a couple of hours to complete the integration into IDEA as an indication of the ease of use of both products. If you have experience writing a plugin for either IDEA, Netbeans, or Eclipse (or all three, or more), we’d like to hear from you.
It's actually easy to build a pluggin for idea... if you know what you are doing. The documentation its quite an issue, I've actually need to use a downloaded pluggin pluggin to understand de psi model so I can made my changes.
I believe that is in the best interest of IDEA to invest in some tutorials and documentation in how to write a pluggin. It take about 8 hours to complete this small task; but one of my bottle necks was to learn how to write it.
Congratulations to the IDEA people for such a great product.
This is joke - isn't it? Why would an architect try to develop java application with Internet Explorer integrated into it?
1. There are easier ways to make software for windows platform, with better performance.
2. Generic swing html viewer is not good anymore? Well, then probably there are few questions about html front-end of whatever website you are trying to show using html browser in your java app.
3. Common sence question - what is the difference between IE in separate window, or IE inside your magic java app? Which one do you think is easier to use from usability point of view?
Summary: idea in principle is not new; it doesn't bring any useful features; good for school project "make a bridge between technologies", but with limited application
PS Oh, and what's that? JExplorer is not FREE component. Personal license costs 149 usd. But who cares about money, anyways... :)
If you want to communicate with a webpage, JExplorer is a very fine product. At first the idea of wrapping a browser (IE) doesn't seem like the first thing you would do when you can simulate browser-functionality directly in Java using e.g. HttpClient, HtmlUnit, HttpUnit etc.
However when using these "native" Java-products and simulating browser-functionality you quickly come to realize that handling non-valid HTML, cookies, frames etc. is a very challenging and sometimes impossible task. The catch in wrapping a browser is that these problems are handled entirely by the browser (guess that e.g. a lot of non-valid HTML is handled inside IE). On top of this the JExplorer is extremely easy to use and the documentation is pretty good.
That said, I think one should have a look at JDIC (https://jdic.dev.java.net/), which offers some of the same functionality. However at the moment JDIC doesn't seem to be as mature as JExplorer. A very significant difference is, that JExplorer supports DOM-operations, which JDIC doesn't yet, as far as I know. Furthermore I feel that the progress of JDIC is a little slow. E.g. the draft for DOM-support is dated in 2004.
Further experiences and comments around JExplorer and JDIC are very much appreciated.