Update

JavaFX Gluon Scene Builder Tool appears in version 8.1.0

Michael Thomas
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The Scene Builder Tool, considered by many JavaFX friends as indispensable, is currently available in version 8.1.0. What has happened since the last release?

Some people, such as ex-Sun employee Shai Almog, recently predicted a not so rosy future for JavaFX. Others, such as JAX speaker Alexander Casall (Saxonia Systems) cannot quite see the point of such pessimism and point to the strengths of the framework, such as for example the development of hybrid desktop applications.

One way or the other: many JavaFX fans consider the Scene Builder as an indispensable tool. The tool allows for UI development with JavaFX using simple drag-n-drop operations. FXML and CSS code are automatically generated and UI changes are shown immediately without code compilation.

Scene Builder, once developed by Oracle and in the meantime significantly improved by Gluon, is currently available in version 8.1.0. Aside from a few bug fixes, such as for example a number of patched memory leaks, the update brings with it a few new features and general improvements. These include the more or less optimized import statements in FXML, as well as the possibility of calling up java.bean.Beans.setDesignTime. The Release Notes for Gluon Scene Builder 8.1.0 offer an overview of all changes.

Quo vadis, Scene Builder?

In the course of the release of version 2.0 at the end of 2013, the independent Scene Builder application, as well as the Scene Builder API was made open source. In March 2015, the next big step for the project followed: together with the release of Java 8 update 40, Oracle informed that Scene Builder would be released in the form of source code only as part of the OpenJFX project; an installer would no longer be provided in the future.

At that moment, tool supplier Gluon stepped into the picture and took Scene Builder under its wing; in the process, the name of the tool was changed to “Gluon Scene Builder” and a jump to version number 8.0.0 followed. Since them, the expansion of the functionality of the JavaFX developer tool was expedited in a public repository, whereby Gluon also targeted the creation of an active Community around the project, among other activities.

At least as far as the popularity of Scene Builder is concerned, the company can hardly complain: as can be taken from the release notice of Gluon Scene Builder 8.1.0, the tool has been downloaded around 205,000 times since March 2015. Moreover, other companies, such as Saxonia Systems AG, have meanwhile been looking after its further development.

The release of newer versions is done in semi-annual cycles, we can expect version 8.2.0 in July 2016.

Author
Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas studied Educational Science at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and has been working as a freelance author at JAXenter.de since 2013.

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