[isabelle-dev] NEWS: Dockable window "Find"

Makarius makarius at sketis.net
Wed Sep 25 13:27:18 CEST 2013

On Wed, 25 Sep 2013, Holger Gast wrote:

> In reality, due to its long history and high practical relevance, UI 
> programming is one of the best understood areas in software development. 
> The available tool support (Netbeans' Matisse or Eclipse's 
> WindowBuilder) makes it very simple to get panels up quickly. The 
> editing frameworks of both Netbeans and Eclipse are very mature. As long 
> as one adheres conscientiously to the contracts stated in the 
> frameworks' documentation, there's no need to understand the sources.

This is probably quoted from some marketing brochure.

In reality it works differently: guessing how it actually works, Googling, 
asking on forums, asking of stackexchange, looking through sources (if 

The reason why this strange "mainstream" stuff like Java and Swing is 
still being used successfully is the amount of explanations found on the 

> I3P has (long since) become a reality and has actually been used by 
> others, in different environments, and has even been built upon in Matej 
> Urbas' Diabelli project [1].

So is I3P still maintained?  Its latest release is for Isabelle2012 -- 

Since I3P uses "APIs" of Isabelle that were never public, have changed 
several times, and are about to disappear, it is getting more and more 

> Thanks to the well-designed and stable Netbeans infrastructure, there 
> have never been any portability problems.

Netbeans is in the same boat with Swing incompatibilities.  It is actually 
the Netbeans community that is most active to point out to Oracle what is 
still missing to make it half-decent on all platforms.  This is also how 
proper support for Mac OS X Retina displays now got into jdk-7u40 -- only 
with > 6 months delay, so really quick for Java standards.  I think they 
did that relatively promptly, because bad visual quality is immediately 
visible to anybody, without understanding general software quality.


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