This is a story about my disappointment in modern GUI editors for desktop applications.

Well, first of all, I grew up with Delphi 5. Delphi has an awesome form editor. It's intuitive and works without any problem. It always does what you want it to do. Prototyping is really a problem of seconds here, even for people that never used it (I guess).

But the problem is that it is Delphi. Its so old, bloated, and most problems you'll ever have have been solved (through a hack) 20 years ago in some weird forum.

So I looked on and tried many other drag'n'drop gui editors.

The one for java is the biggest pile of crap I've ever seen. It slows down eclipse /intellij and does almost never do what I want. At least its not really intuitive.

Right after that, the one for C# (this xml Designer ) is okay-ish, but it's also not really intuitive and does not always what the user wants.

I also tried other ones. But I still miss an intuitive one that works without weird side effects.

I now can understand why the Web dev stack grows in the region of desktop apps. I can prototype stuff even faster in angular than in Delphi.
But shouldn't we improve the desktop stack instead of taking some bloated stack using a language that should have never existed?

  • 2
    And I tried some more.
    Out of curiosity I did a small study (only 24 people so I would not call it a full qualified quantivie study). I prepared the java editor, the XML-Designer and Delphi. Now I drew a small ui and let the people build it in the designers. 24 people, 3 groups, 3 editors.

    I selected people that know how to turn on a computer but that have never seen a GUI Editor.
    And the group using Delphi was really the fastest, followed by the XAML editor group..

    As I said, not a full qualified study. But I still think we need a modern GUI editor with usability in focus.
  • 1
    @irene I'll take a look this afternoon, but I think I tested it too.

    And Delphi.. Yes it's ancient. I would not use it for any real project.

    Fun fact (or sad fact) : there are universities still teaching Delphi as main programming language. But whyyyyyy
  • 4
    WinForms is the true descendent of the Delphi forms editor. Just gets simple tasks done with minimum fuss.
  • 1
    @irene wow. I needed to look twice. Good one 😂
  • 0
    Ah Delphi 4/5 ... now that brings back some fond memories .... I was a Delphi (object pascal) developer from version 1 until version 7.
  • 0
    @Emphiliis actually ... they teach programming in object pascal, using an IDE called ‘Delphi’
  • 0
    Welcome to the one occupation where the managers constantly tries to break you, where the customers rarely ever know what they want, and even your tools does it's best to work against you.

    Welcome 😎
  • 0
    I miss the Winforms days...
  • 0
    Visual Basic was also great for quickly hacking some smallish GUI thing together. It seems that nothing afterwards was ever that simple.
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