First impressions of Maqetta

I will start off by saying first off this is an excellent first drop. I was a little frustrated with FireFox 4 as I could not get Maqetta to work at all so I immediately tried Chrome and voila, things started to work. It looks like the tool has a lot of function but still needs a lot of fine tuning…

Maqetta is very easy to follow and use; but like most tools, once you get passed the drag and drop pieces you have to start coding. The UI is very similar to the Eclipse IDE, and I wonder if Orion will eventually have any part of this project. I was a little frustrated working with panels – it was very difficult to figure out where to drop stuff when you have multiple panels but I figured out once you selected them in the tree it was easier. They really need to support dragging and dropping on the tree. I can’t tell the extensibility of the tool but it would be really nice to upload your custom dijits and controls to the palette, or even upload other dijits from the open source community – I will have to dig more and see if that is possible.

The tool looks like it supports a couple different UI frameworks – YUI, Dojo, and some jQuery. Clearly the most supported framework is Dojo as it has the most elements to play with – did you expect anything else from IBM?

You also get a lot of mobile support right out of the gate, with 14 controls you can see the direction it’s heading.

Maqetta Play

I really like the concept of “coding in the cloud” as you may have seen from my previous posts, this is a great step in that direction. Maqetta is an excellent visual tool to quickly lay out a Dojo based form or screen, for that it gets an A for effort. If they really want this to “stick” then they they need to take it to the next level. Maybe offer custom property panels for different types of widgets – once again, not sure how extensible the tool is so it may already be there…we will see…

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