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Hi there. I wanted to share with you an interesting new little project by Max Rydahl Andersen, a core developer at JBoss (@maxandersen on Twittter).
In short, it's a way to transform an existing dialog built in SWT (the widget framework used in Eclipse based projects such as Flex Builder) into a BMML representation, ready to be imported into Balsamiq Mockups.
Here's Max blog post about the project: Instant Mockup for Eclipse SWT Applications
What I like about this tool is that while a lot of people have been asking for exporters from BMML to various programming languages*, this is the first time I see someone importing from an existing UI into Mockups, and makes a lot of sense!
In the real world, being able to start from a blank slate is a luxury, most often than not you'll be iterating on an existing UI in order to improve it. Having a quick way to import a GUI to Mockups is a huge time-saver.
Anyone up for building an HTML+CSS -> BMML importer? It would be so cool to be able to specify a URL and have a BMML representation of that page returned. Mockups such as this one would take 2 seconds to build! I realize that HTML+CSS is a huge beast, but hey that's what they'll pay you for right? 😉 If you're interested, I have documented the BMML format here (yay for open formats!).
Thank you so much Max for starting this project and I'm looking forward to seeing it grow! The code is all on github so if you're a SWT developer I encourage you to dive in and help out, you'll all benefit from Max's awesome week-end project! 🙂
*I know some of you have already started working on this, and I can't wait to be able to share about your progress! 🙂
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This looks pretty sweet, getting existing sites in to “play around with” is a pain point for sure. This is going in a good direction.
Love the idea of an html >> bmml converter, that would make bidding on projects and doing outlines easier for sure.
I’m looking forward to a good BMML -> Java Swing tool!
What I secretly dream for is a converter from bmml to (html/haml/erb/dryml/LOLml)
I put a link on DZone (http://www.dzone.com/links/balsamiq_mockups_generator_for_existing_swt_imple.html) ;-).