In his blog Lars started a series of articles about using the builder pattern (read here and here). He describes the main benefits of using this pattern for creating simple and complex data structures.
I'm asking myself: why is this pattern so rarely used? In my opinion this is due to the fact that it really bloats your code. I surely agree that the domain model classes are one of the most important parts of an application. But writing builders for each of these model classes is plain boring.
Fortunately IDEs are the lazy developers best friend. There is a tiny little Eclipse Plugin out there to let us auto-generate builders for arbitrary classes. The plugin works fine with the latest Eclipse Galileo. After installing the plugin from the update site you just have to open the desired class in the editor and then press Right-Click -> Source -> Generate Builder Pattern Code at the editor. Don't be surprised not to find this command neither in the menu-bar (Source) nor in the ALT + SHIFT + S source context-menu.