Hello from JavaOne Japan, where Jasper, Jonathan and I find ourselves seated in the opening keynote of the morning. One of the big announcements is the public beta of the JavaFX Scene Builder, our new tool for laying out and creating JavaFX content. The Scene Builder is the start of a more comprehensive RAD (rapid application development) tool for JavaFX, with drag-and-drop GUI building and eventually data binding.
At its heart, the Scene Builder is really a layout tool. One of the most difficult aspects of building apps (and something we see very frequently in the JavaFX OTN Forums) is doing layout and constructing the UI, and this is what Scene Builder needs to be really, really good at.
Our experience of the last six months has been that the scene builder in general is very stable and the team has done a lot of work on usability. We’re really hoping for feedback on the user experience, especially as you attempt to use it anger. We’ve done a lot of work trying to figure out what you might naturally want to do when building a form, but really it is your feedback and experience that will either validate that design or give us the input we need to make the tool even better.
The SceneBuilder is basically an editor for FXML files. We’ve been working with the NetBeans team as well so that when you double click an FXML file in NB it should open up the scene builder and allow you to edit it. The FXML file is essentially our documented serialization format for the UI. Your event handlers and so forth will be in the Java Controller associated with the FXML file.
From a technical perspective, SceneBuilder is built entirely in JavaFX. A new stylesheet for Scene Builder was developed that we think looks quite nice :-). It really shows what you can do with JavaFX!
You can download the Scene Builder on OTN, and read more about it on the JavaFX Docs page. To give us feedback on JavaFX Scene Builder, go ahead and leave comments here on this blog and we’ll let you know when we’ve got an official channel setup!