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Further Refined Cross Platform Mobile GUI Builder

The new GUI builder is coming together
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Further Refined Cross Platform Mobile GUI Builder

Chen has been working quite a bit on the new GUI Builder and made some significant changes both to it’s look and functionality. These changes are wide reaching covering the appearance, functionality and stability of the GUI Builder.

Starting page after recent changes see if you can spot them all...
Figure 1. Starting page after recent changes see if you can spot them all…​

Palette Relocation

The component palette is using an accordion now and was relocated to the right side of the UI. It is also available as a popup below the tree…​

If you select a node in the tree and press the + sign below the tree you will see the palette entries and you can click one of them to add it into the given node as such:

New popup palette UI
Figure 2. New popup palette UI

Up/Down Move

Entries in the tree can now be moved up/down the tree even between container boundaries. You can do this by selecting an entry and pressing the up arrow ^ or similar down arrow next to it below the tree.

This is useful for simple reordering without drag and drop. Ideally we wanted to enable drag & drop in the tree but this collides with the scrolling functionality to some degree so we took the lazy approach.

Material Icons Support

You can now pick a material design icon directly from the designer. When you click any icon property you will see this dialog

Pick material icon or image from the resource file
Figure 3. Pick material icon or image from the resource file

If you choose to pick an image from the material design icon font you will be presented with a dialog like this coupled with a search field:

List of material design icons
Figure 4. List of material design icons

Missing In Action

As part of these changes we removed a couple of features, let us know if they matter to you.

  • Multi Select - This was a very powerful feature that allowed editing multiple entries at once & enclosing them in a parent Container. It had confusing usage and a few lingering bugs

  • Palette Search - When migrating the palette from a Container to an Accordion search was removed. I personally liked that search a lot and used it quite a bit as I prefer typing

We have internal debates on whether these features are "really" needed/used. If you used them and want them back let us know!

Moving Forward

We hope to release a plugin update this coming Friday which will include all of these changes…​

Where do we go from here is very much up to you!

We need your bug reports, suggestions and requests to tune the designer to match your workflow. Naturally we can’t entertain every request/suggestion but we try to listen and base our work on your needs.

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Posted by Shai Almog

Shai is the co-founder of Codename One. He's been a professional programmer for over 25 years. During that time he has worked with dozens of companies including Sun Microsystems.
For more follow Shai on Twitter & github.