A public beta of the LWUIT Designer now be tested via Java Web Start by clicking here, we intend to update the JWS version more regularly than we do the LWUIT released in the future. This in itself is a huge improvement since it will allow the LWUIT designer to track current LWUIT development closely.
So what is new? Too much to mention but I'll try to give out some highlights.
We now have a new resource file format (which is documented within our drops docs directory), this will require modification to existing resource files and recreation of fonts however the benefits are huge!
- Export to Ant script - includes generating the files representing the entries within the resource file. This was often requested, however impossible with the previous file format.
- The code of the Ant task (ResourceBuilder) is now unified with the resource editor increasing portability and reducing potential bugs in both. In fact we found quite a few bugs in both as a result...
- When adding images to the resource editor they won't be reencoded as PNG anymore, this will allow you to shrink your images with existing tools or even use JPEG's.
- A major animation bug was fixed, this should now reduce the size of animated GIF's considerably (they should be added again to see the difference).
- The Selected/Unselected/Pressed styles allow simplified and far more powerful themeing of LWUIT code.
- Gradient background support allows for very powerful UI's without much overhead.
- Memory overhead estimate provides some ballpark figure regarding the amount of RAM a given theme should occupy for the current screen.
- Fonts are now far more elaborate and easier to manipulate. They should work better on additional platforms as well and you can disable bitmap fonts on a specific platform by using a boolean flag in Font.
- Image alignment and background type behavior allow further background customization.
For the next drop we plan to add SVG support that will allow keeping a bitmap fallback for every image thus provide full portability for devices with weak/problematic SVG support with a single binary.