I downloaded Sun One Studio a while back but only checked it out yesturday after the really cool flash demo started making rounds on the internet. I liked the old version as well although it was fragile and buggy which I hope this version fixes (I haven’t tested it much), but the main problem I have is with the layout. There are two layout types I can see: grid which is the default and is absolute pixel based and flow which is just left to right component layout.

This was excusable for a 1.0 version, for the current version it is just ridiculous and makes the tool useless for anything other than prototyping applications which is a valid use of its own but really not on par with tools such as Delphi and even VB. BTW VB uses absolute positioning but in a different setting than a web browser so it isn’t as bad.

Absolute positioning is bad for many reasons, there are the well known obvious problems of different fonts on different systems. But accessibility and i18n are even bigger problems since people with bad eye sight would want to zoom in (thus breaking the layout) and languages such as German (with very long words) would just break out of the word boundries. Bidi languages like Hebrew, Arabic and Thai would further complicate things by looking “odd” with a layout designed for other languages.

Anyway I still plan to use this tool but I know that its GUI builder will become mostly useless once basic prototyping is done which is a huge limiting factor for me.