Gluon has been the unofficial shepherd of Scene Builder for most of 2015, and while some in the community think Scene Builder is a lost cause (and are spreading a lot of FUD about it and JavaFX), we feel that with our closer relationship to the JavaFX community and OpenJFX development, we understand the importance of it for the many JavaFX developers out there.
Scene Builder, the JavaFX UI builder that generates FXML, receives a massive number of downloads every week from our servers, and this shows no signs of slowing down. Here’s a screenshot we just took of the downloads for the various Scene Builder releases:
Summed up, that means we’ve had 206,054 downloads of various versions of Scene Builder (between 25th March 2015 and 12th January 2016)! We couldn’t quite believe it, but we have the log files and can’t see anything odd going on – to our best efforts we are unable to find any form of IP address duplication or skewed download timings. Once you think about it though, it makes a bit more sense – in our consulting we see companies with teams of a dozen or more developers, each using Scene Builder to achieve their work. Similarly, many universities are now teaching JavaFX for GUI development papers. This means many graduates every year come to the industry with skills in JavaFX.
We have to admit, every time one of our team goes in to a clients workplace and we see the Gluon Scene Builder logo in their task bar, we are always a little bit proud 🙂
There is a bigger point to all of this: JavaFX struggles to get out from behind the corporate firewall. It is incredibly easy to assume that silence means no one is using JavaFX, but we at Gluon are in the fortunate position of having a very large number of consulting customers who are actively engaged in building exciting and extremely nice JavaFX-based applications in a variety of industries. We can tell the community from first hand experience that these companies exist, but they normally operate in secret, as it is not in their corporate interest to discuss their technologies publicly. More often than not JavaFX is an implementation detail – a means to an end – and not something they need to tell their customers. They choose JavaFX for its features, its cross-platform support, the fact it is Java, and so on. We have come to realise that this lack of insight into corporations using JavaFX has an adverse impact on peoples impressions of JavaFX, so we will be working with members of the community to show that JavaFX is strong and vibrant. Dirk Lemmerman has already done an excellent job discussing many of his customers (on his website and even at JavaOne recently). For our part we will reach out to customers and clients and try to get their stories published on GluonHQ. We hope others in the community will do this too, as together we can work to prove the point that our community is far bigger than anyone ever expected, and what we see going on behind closed doors is absolutely mind-blowingly cool!
If you are a corporation that wants to showcase its JavaFX apps, please blog about it, or get in touch with us or whichever other member of the community you feel closest with, and we can work to showcase your work to the world.
Lastly – if you’re familiar with our release schedules, you’ll notice that Scene Builder 8.1.0 is due out this week. We can’t wait to get that out to the community, and we already have a lot planned for the 8.2.0 release in July. Gluon believes in Scene Builder and the mobile Java community – our efforts on these tools aims to help the entire ecosystem grow. Mobile Java is only just getting started!