BT

New Early adopter or innovator? InfoQ has been working on some new features for you. Learn more

Introducing the Mono for Android UI Designer

| by Jonathan Allen on Mar 26, 2012. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Mono for Android will soon have its own visual UI designer. Currently a private beta is available; developers interested are encouraged to sign up for the Mono for Android Designer Beta program. We spoke with Lluis Sanchez, the UI designer architect, for more information.

InfoQ: Will this tool work with AXML or does it have its own file format?

The designer works with the standard Android xml layout format.

InfoQ: How are you rendering an Android UI inside the IDE? Is it hosting a variant of the emulator or did you have to reimplement the UI stack?

The Android UI is rendered in an external Java process, using the installed Android SDK. MonoDevelop talks to this process to obtain an image of the UI every time something is changed in the layout XML. All the mouse handling and the selection decorations are done in MonoDevelop.

InfoQ: Are you looking at a Visual Studio plugin or will this be only for MonoDevelop?

We are already looking at this. We hope to provide a designer beta for VS soon.

InfoQ: Will the design tool support custom written child views or only the ones offered by the Android SDK? By that I mean can I take a view that I've created for my project and use it inside another view in the same project?

Custom views can be used but they won't be rendered, a mock view will be shown in their place. We'll look into rendering custom views, but that's not in the short term plan.

InfoQ: Are there any plans to offer XAML-like data binding?

We haven't considered it, but we are open to suggestions. One of the goals of the beta program is to know more about what people need and how can we improve the designer to support it.

Rate this Article

Adoption Stage
Style

Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Tell us what you think

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread
Community comments

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Discuss

Login to InfoQ to interact with what matters most to you.


Recover your password...

Follow

Follow your favorite topics and editors

Quick overview of most important highlights in the industry and on the site.

Like

More signal, less noise

Build your own feed by choosing topics you want to read about and editors you want to hear from.

Notifications

Stay up-to-date

Set up your notifications and dont miss out on content that matters to you

BT