After lots of experiences with Swing and GUI Builders like Netbeans Matisse and the jigloo Eclipse Plugin at my duration of study I wanted to follow new trends and started trying JavaFX and Scene Builder. These experiences I want to record in this blog post.
Installing Scene Builder is pretty easy. You simply have to follow Oracles well written Tutorial. In case that you are a Debian based Linux User like me, you only have to download and install a .deb file. After that the Scene Builder can be used within Netbeans and also as standalone application.
Working with Scene Builder
After starting the Scene Builder you can start working straightforward. Adding a layout to the stage or directly adding text. There are no limits to the imagination. The learning curve is pretty steep.
Generally working with Scene Builder is pretty easy for experienced Swing Developers. Nearly everything which was possible using Matisse or jigloo is possible with Scene Builder, too. Additionally Scene Builder offers some more features and comfort.
My Experiences with Scene Builder
Some months ago, I saw a JavaFX video by Gerrit Grunwald aka @hansolo_ on YouTube. In this video he showed his programmed calculator with JavaFx running on different devices like Raspberry, Android and so on and I wanted to do the same. So I started to design a calculator based on my Ubuntu pre-installed one. Thanks Gerrit Grunwald for this great inspiration :-)
Designing the calculator with Scene Builder took 35min at my first try of using. In my opinion the result is pretty acceptable for the first time using Scene Builder.
In comparison: The right one is the pre-installed Ubuntu calculator and the right one is mine. Okay.. the Ubuntu calculator delete-symbol is looking nicer than mine, but otherwise they are pretty similar. ;-)
In my opinion, re-programming the Ubuntu Calculator was pretty fast and it didn't need much time to work efficiently with Scene Builder. Known issues from the Swing GUI Builders which lead to a crash of the Builder were not present while my time of using Scene Builder. Nevertheless the Scene Builder isn't completely without childhood diseases at present. A listing with all known issues and workarounds is available here.
The work on Scene Builder will go on and lots of additional cool features will be released. Therefore this subject stays present in the next java releases, blogs, conferences, magazines and so on and every Developer should write a simple "Hello World" GUI Application in JavaFX and Scene Builder at least. I hope that I wake up your interest on JavaFX and especially Scene Builder. Have fun with this great tool :-)
PS: A nice basic tutorial for JavaFX and Scene Builder is available here.