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JavaFX Scene Builder: Release Notes

1 JavaFX Scene Builder 2.0 Release Notes

The JavaFX Scene Builder 2.0 is a design tool for the JavaFX API classes that are included with the Java Platform 8, Standard Edition (Java SE 8) release. The tool can assist you with the visual layout of an application's user interface that is linked to the application logic. You simply drag and drop graphical user interface (GUI) components onto a JavaFX scene and the FXML source code for your layout is automatically generated.

What's New in This Release

The JavaFX Scene Builder 2.0 release adds support for the JavaFX API libraries delivered with the Java Platform, Standard Edition 8 (Java SE 8), as well as important new features and usability improvements made since the Scene Builder 1.1 release.

This release also brings a major refactoring of the JavaFX Scene Builder architecture and code base in order to break down the Scene Builder tool into components that can be directly integrated into a larger application, such as an IDE.

This release includes the following new or modified features:

  • JavaFX Scene Builder Kit. JavaFX Scene Builder Kit is an API that allows the integration of Scene Builder panels and functionalities directly into the GUI of a larger application, or a Java IDE, such as NetBeans, IntelliJ, and Eclipse. See Working with the JavaFX Scene Builder Kit for more details.

  • Ability to add custom GUI components to the Library. Custom components imported from a third party JAR file can now be added permanently to the Library of available GUI components. See Adding Custom Components to the Library for more information.

  • Support for new JavaFX 8 UI components. The new UI components, TreeTableView, DatePicker, and SwingNode, that were introduced in the Java SE 8 are now supported in Scene Builder 2.0. To see the list of JavaFX 8 UI components that are available, type FX8 in the Library panel's search text field.

  • 3D Support. FXML documents containing 3D objects can now be loaded and saved in the Scene Builder tool. You can view and edit properties of the 3D objects using the Inspector panel. You can not, however, create new 3D objects using the Scene Builder tool. See JavaFX Scene Builder User Guide for more information.

  • Support for Rich Text. A new container, TextFlow, is now available in the Library of GUI components. You can drag multiple text nodes and other types of nodes, into the a TextFlow container. You can also directly manipulate the text nodes to re-arrange them in the container. Inline and property editing features are also available for each text node.

  • Library Panel Improvements. The default viewing option for the Library panel is a new feature that gives you the option to view all the component categories as collapsible sections.

  • Hierarchy Panel Improvements. It is now more flexible to re-parent objects from one container to another container. It is also possible to drag and drop an object from the Hierarchy Panel to the Content Panel, and vice versa. You can also now select multiple objects in the Hierarchy Panel in order to re-parent them.

  • Content Panel Improvements. You can now manipulate the components of an HBox, VBox, FlowPane, or Toolbar container directly in the Content Panel to re-order them. You can also insert a new component at any position in the container. Note that this direct manipulation is currently not available for the TilePane container.

  • Inspector Panel Improvements. Many property editors in the Inspector panel use the Suggested List dialog window, which displays a list of selectable values from which you can make a selection instead of manually entering them. For example, the CSS Style editor provides a list of applicable CSS properties, based on the currently selected object(s). List handling has also been simplified. Multi-selection of components of different types (i.e. Button + TextField) is now supported. In addition, the usability of many of the property editors, such as AnchorPane Constraints, Rotate, and Padding, have been improved.

  • Preview Window Improvements. The content in the Preview window is now automatically refreshed as the current FXML document is being edited. Hence, there's no need to use the Refresh command in order to preview the modified UI layout.

  • Change in the Include FXML Command. When you click File from the Menu bar and then click Include, you can only select the FXML menu item if the current FXML document you are editing is saved on your system's disk and is not empty.

System Requirements and Installation

See the JavaFX Scene Builder Installation Guide for information about the system prerequisites and also instructions on installing JavaFX Scene Builder.

Getting Started

To get started getting familiar with JavaFX Scene Builder, read through the following documentation that can be found at http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/javase-clienttechnologies.htm.

Known Limitations

The following issues are known to exist. The numbers leading each item refer to reports in the JavaFX Scene Builder issues dashboard in JIRA. To see a complete list of open issues, log in to the JIRA project for JavaFX Scene Builder at http://javafx-jira.kenai.com/browse/DTL. You must be a registered JIRA user to access the reports.

  • DTL-6670 - The Content panel may become unusable and throw exceptions when moving the FXML document's root component that is a custom component.

    Description: If the root component of your FXML document is a custom GUI component (i.e. its class is customized and implemented in a JAR file added to Scene Builder library), attempt to drag that component from the Content panel may break, throw exceptions, and leave visual artifacts (yellow shadow).

    Workaround: Close and re-open the FXML document window.

  • DTL-6664 - On the Windows platform, importing a JAR file may fail if it was previously imported already.

    Description: When on the Windows platform, dropping a JAR file in the Library panel may sometimes fail if the JAR file already exists in the Custom Library folder. An error dialog window appears to indicate that the action to copy the JAR file has failed.

    Workaround: Close the error dialog window that appears and exit Scene Builder. Manually copy the JAR file into the Custom Library folder and restart Scene Builder. To determine the location of your Custom Library folder, select Custom Library Folder from the Library panel's menu and select Reveal in Explorer on the Windows platform, Reveal in Finder on the Mac OS platform, or Reveal on Desktop on the Linux platform.

  • DTL-6661 - The zoom command does not work well when Scene Builder tool is using the software pipeline.

    Description: When hardware acceleration is not available on your system, clicking View from the Menu bar and then selecting Zoom does not work properly. The outlines of the objects on the Content Panel are affected by the Zoom command, but the objects themselves retain their original size. To check that your system is not using hardware acceleration, click Help from the Menu bar and then select About Scene Builder. In the resulting dialog window, scroll to the JavaFX section, where it should display Hardware acceleration DISABLED.

    Workaround: No available workaround.

  • DTL-6659 - On the Linux platform, it is difficult to use some of the Inspector editors when selecting from a list of available values.

    Description: When using some of the Inspector editors on the Linux platform, it is difficult to select a value from the list of available values. This affects, for example, the list of font sizes in the Font editor, as well as a given number of lists when editing the properties of several Effects.

    Workaround: Once the list of available values is displayed, do not move the mouse cursor at all. Use the keyboard arrow keys to navigate through the list of values.

  • DTL-6636 - On the Linux platform, the Close Window command does not work correctly.

    Description: When you press Ctrl+W, or click File from the Menu bar and select Close Window, the command does not close the window.

    Workaround: Use the native close button on the window to close it.

  • DTL-6620 - The Paste Into command is unavailable from the Edit menu when you are working with a TitledPane, Tab, or ScrollPane container.

    Description: Copy any existing GUI element from your current layout. Then drag and drop a TitledPane, Tab, or ScrollPane container from the Library panel into the Content panel and keep it selected. Try to paste the copied GUI element into the selected container by clicking Edit from the Menu bar and select Paste Into. You are unable to select the Paste Into command because it is greyed out and unavailable for selection.

    Workaround: Paste the copied GUI element somewhere in the Content panel other than the intended TitledPane, Tab,or ScrollPane container, and then reparent it to the intended container using the drag and drop actions.

  • DTL-6393 - On the Mac OS platform, the drag gesture is sometimes ignored in the Content panel.

    Description: On the Mac OS platform, it is not possible to perform two successive Drag-and-Drop operations in the Content Panel without moving the mouse.

    Workaround: If you want to move an object immediately after dropping it on the Content panel, move the mouse for the second drag to be taken into account.

  • DTL-6137 - Setting a property value using the Inspector panel may not have any effect on the current layout displayed in the Content panel.

    Description: After you set the JavaFX Theme to the Caspian theme by using the JavaFX Theme command from the Preview menu in the Menu bar, setting a property value in the Inspector panel may not have any effect on the GUI layout currently displayed in the Content Panel.

    Workaround: Select the Show Preview command from the Preview menu in the Menu bar to view the actual rendered layout, including the property setting that you had applied via the Inspector panel.

  • DTL-6033 - Using the Trim Document to Selection command on a selected GridPane element causes the grid pane's selection handles to appear somewhere other than around the grid pane.

    Description: After clicking Edit from the Menu bar and selecting the Trim Document to Selection on a selected GridPane element, the selection handles that surround the rows and columns of the GridPane can temporarily be off the actual location they should be around the GridPane element.

    Workaround: Resize the Scene Builder window to refresh the view of the layout and replace the selection handles to their correct location around the Grid Pane element.

  • DTL-5924 - If a version of the JavaFX Scene Builder 2.0 is already installed in your system, you will be unable to install Scene Builder 1.1 unless you remove the Scene Builder 2.0 installation first. You can, however, install Scene Builder 2.0 if you have Scene Builder 1.1 already installed.

    Description: The JavaFX Scene Builder 1.1 installer refuses to install the product if it detects the Scene Builder 2.0 product is already installed in the same system. The installer complains that a newer version of the application is already installed.

    Workaround: Uninstall the JavaFX Scene Builder 2.0 product from your system first before proceeding to install JavaFX Scene Builder 1.1 product.

Working with the JavaFX Scene Builder Kit

The Scene Builder Kit includes the following components:

  • The SceneBuilderKit.jar file included in the JavaFX Scene Builder 2.0 application bundle. When Scene Builder is installed, the JAR file is installed in the following locations:

    • Mac OS X: <install_dir>/Contents/Java/SceneBuilderKit.jar

    • Windows: <install_dir>\app\SceneBuilderKit.jar

    • Linux: <install_dir>/app/SceneBuilderKit.jar

  • The javafx_scenebuilder_kit_javadoc-2_0.zip file, which contains an API javadoc for the JavaFX Scene Builder Kit. To download the kit, go to the Additional Resources section of the Java SE downloads page at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html and locate the JavaFX Scene Builder section.

  • The javafx_scenebuilder_kit_samples-2_0.zip file, which can be downloaded from the JavaFX Scene Builder 2.0 section under the Additional Resources category in the Java SE Downloads page at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html. The javafx_scenebuilder_kit_samples-2_0.zip file contains the SceneBuilderHello and SceneBuilderHelloSW samples. The SceneBuilderHello application shows a minimal Java source code example of how the Scene Builder Kit API can be used. The SceneBuilderHelloSW is a variation of SceneBuilderHello sample. It shows how the Scene Builder Kit API can be used from a Swing based application. The samples are delivered as NetBeans projects.

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JavaFX Scene Builder: Release Notes

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