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InfoQ Homepage News Gluon Releases SceneBuilder 16

Gluon Releases SceneBuilder 16

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Gluon has released Scene Builder 16, a graphical design tool that helps teams create cross-platform graphical interfaces that work on computers and mobile devices with a single codebase.

The work follows recent work from Gluon as they continue enabling developers to write fully cross-platform applications that are available inside common app stores. Scene Builder enables developers to combine Integrated Development Environments like Apache NetBeans or IntelliJ with a graphical layout tool that simplifies the creation of FXML screens. Through Scene Builder, developers or designers can adjust the visual layout and manage the UI elements’ association to code bindings.

InfoQ spoke with Ionnis Hadjipanayis, the developer behind Watchdog, an ebay price-watching application written in JavaFX that is available in Apple’s App Store. "Watchdog for eBay is fully designed in SceneBuilder and this monitoring tool is currently published on the App Store."

Hadjypanayis expands on his rationale for building mobile applications with JavaFX and the benefit that SceneBuilder provides:

JavaFX platform is an excellent solution, as it offers all the UI aesthetics that recent applications need to be attractive to users.

In JavaFX, developers can easily create UIs with the use of FXML language, an XML-based user interface markup language written specifically for JavaFX, and feed each of their written FXML files to their application and load the GUIs.

And this is where Scene Builder comes. Without a single line of FXML code, you can create complex GUIs by simply dragging and dropping any JavaFX UI component to the scene area, apply custom CSS styles on each component and save the result into an FXML formatted file.

Scene Builder goes even a level beyond where you can load custom JavaFX UI Components and enhances the idea the of MVC ( Model-View-Controller) architectural pattern, as each FXML View is associated with one controller (Java Class) where the implementation of events take place.

With Scene Builder, what you see is what you'll get in the final application. Straight forward, very easy and definitely a great designing tool for Java.

The work by Gluon expands beyond interface design, offering a common hardware abstraction layer that enables developers to leverage mobile hardware. This layer, Gluon Attach, provides a common set of APIs for interacting with common mobile hardware and features, such as Bluetooth beacons, sharing functionality, and orientation. Developers of mobile applications can leverage this hardware in code and reflect any relevant information through the UI that was built with Scene Builder.

JavaFX applications run as native cross-compiled applications for the target platform. The binaries are natively built through GraalVM to handle support of platform-level details, such as iOS bitcodes.

HTML compatibility layers can be leveraged through online systems such as JPro. When combined, development teams can simplify development by having a single application with its single UI, written in JavaFX, that runs across computers, tablets, mobile devices, and web browsers.

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