The Java Studio Creator 2 is a good rapid application IDE with features like WYSIWYG page edit. However I have some concerns regarding its ‘user friendly-ness’.
First and foremost is its WYSIWYG feature. I am for the WYSIWYG because it really helps the developer get a feel on how the page would be rendered after. But JSC’s solution to use absolute positioning can be somewhat limiting and disadvantageous. I am no expert in HTML but I believe that an absolute positioned element in an HTML would not be part or will not dynamically change during resizing-no wrap-around and might very well overlap in cases of static label/element and a database driven label. JSP files rendered can be a little bit whacked-off in the ordering. Since it implements absolute positioning, the ordering of the elements in the JSP file does not follow the screen layout. In the JSP, the elements are arranged in the order of how you inserted it in the page. An example is inserting 2 buttons, with ids button1 and button2 inserted in that order. You decide that you want button2 to appear above button1 and dragged it in the design view to make it so. In the JSP page, button1 will be the first element follow by button2 despite that button2 appears above button1. Unless you will be using JSC again, you might be confused reading the JSP file in a text editor when compared to the rendered page.
JSC also limits architects and developers. With its wizard like approach in creating components, a lot of work is abstracted from the developer. This is good in theory but bad in practice. It has abstracted much of the work that it gives little tweaking for the architecture-JSC have implemented the architecture for you-to implement enhancements and design implementation. With this, implementation of business requirements might be more complex rather than straight forward. If you are planning to align/extend the JSF framework to add and/or implement business requirement, JSC is not capable of plugging-in your new architecture, because it has its own.
The solution to integrate the page elements with business services is a very controversial move. The IDE, having been developed by Sun Micro System, Sun mind you, breaks the paradigm of MVC. This translates that JSP files have business calls-not future proof, or would I say, WHAT THE F*CK?!?!? This would be very challenging to maintain much so in migrating to a new business implementation. A lot of effort would be needed to update each page to use the new business implementation. As oppose to implementing a DataBean that decouples business calls from the JSP page and implement it on the backing bean (command class). Although effort would still be needed to update the backing beans to the new business implementation, it would not be as difficult compared to page-to-page update. JSC has this capability/approach to create application, session and request scope data beans and make the proxy calls to the business services but giving the developer an easier, quicker alternative (though not entirely the ‘right’ approach) would be tantamount to rework and is not really the selling point of the IDE.
JSC is a good tool to create web application that requires little to no change to the JSF framework.
Here’s an article regarding the Java Studio Creator. It was written last 2004 but still holds true when it comes to the positioning and features of JSC.