Thanks for the praise, Dion!
All good points, and I'd love to have the user interface be a bit smoother! I used Java Swing, but maybe there are newer technologies that are easier to use, and result in a slicker UX...! However, I want to stress that DrawFBP has been evolving for at least a decade and a half, and has a lot of function (probably not all working perfectly yet!).
DrawFBP is intended to be language-agnostic, so the idea is to do your design in English (or the language of your choice), and then fill in component or subnet names, refining the design progressively until all blocks are assigned. It is hard for me to see how you could assign a component to a diagram block with fewer keystrokes, as components or subnets have to be selected, so it seems reasonable to walk a tree of directories (or folders in a jar file).
Re "well-typed" networks, I tried that in DrawFBP, but ran up against the problem of type-agnostic processes (like merge, sort, display, etc.) in the middle of a network... How do you check "across" such a component? Suggestions would be welcome!
I have heard of NetBeans, but don't know what they are, or how they would fit in with this design technology - could you share your experience in this area with us? I didn't use Ant either - would that make the setup easier?
Thanks again for the feedback!