Scout goes Java and HTML5

As announced early this year there are big news for the Scout framework with then Eclipse Neon release: Scout becomes a plain Java application framework and gets a completely new HTML5 rendering component.

With the Eclipse Neon release the Scout project addresses two pain points that many Scout projects experienced in the past years. The integration of Scout applications with Java enterprise technology and the rising standards of web applications regarding styling and usability.

Over the upcoming milestones we will report about our progress and talk about the most prominent changes and all the new features of the Scout Neon release. With Neon M4 we are proud of what has been achieved so far and would like to share our current state of development.

A new HTML5/CSS3/JS Renderer

Scout comes with a completely new HTML5 renderer that offers support for styling and theming of Scout applications. 

The styling of Scout applications is based on CSS3 and Less preprocessing. Out of the box the new renderer offers a default styling that can be adapted to a customers CI/CD scheme using project specific less files. 

Styling

Properties like colors, fonts and sizes of user interface (UI) components may be changed globally in a few central styling files.

For more advanced use cases it is also possible to style individual Scout UI components with project specific less files for individual components.

Theming

To build applications that offer the user a choose of different styling options the new Scout renderer also supports theming. This feature may be used to define high-contrast themes or individual themes for multi-tenant applications.

Scout also allows to switch between different themes at runtime as implemented in the Neon version of the Scout "Contacts" application

Java Platform and Building

As Scout applications are becoming plain Java applications Maven can be used for building alone (no more Tycho needed). 

Consequently, the creation of a new Scout Hello World application with the Scout SDK package is now based on a Maven archetype and the Scout SDK now comes with the Maven support offered by the M2Eclipse project.

Checking out the structure of the Scout Hello World application shows that it is organized as a classical Maven multi module project that may be built within the Eclipse IDE or on the command line using 'mvn clean install'.

Documentation

In parallel of developing the Scout Neon release we are also updating the documentation using our new Asciidoctor toolchain.

The first priority was updating the Scout installation guide and the Scout Hello World tutorial. Updating the documentation for the Neon release will require larger than usual efforts.

As the complete documentation including code examples is hosted on Github you are of course more than welcome to boost our efforts to complete/improve on the current state :-) 

Feedback? Please use this forum thread.

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