Note 1: I am following Jim Weaver’s lead, since he discovered JavaFX 1.2 is downloadable from javafx.com. Enjoy the new release!
Note 2: I have updated the section below on nativearray. Please use with caution!
The JavaFX 1.2 release is a huge upgrade from 1.1, both in terms of functionality and API improvements. This means there are lots of cool new things to take advantage of, but at the same time you will spend quite a lot of time migrating your applications.
Fortunately, after upgrading JFXtras, WidgetFX, and dozens of sample applications for the Pro JavaFX Platform book, I have this all down to a science. In the rest of this blog I will take you through a whirlwind tour of the relevant new features, and most common migration hurdles so you can be up and running in record time!
First the fun stuff… new features. Here are the top 10 features you should start using today:
1. Skinnable UI Controls
It is great to have some pure JavaFX controls, such as Button, ListView, ProgressBar, and Slider that don’t rely on Swing peers underneath. An added advantage is that they are fully skinnable to match the fonts and color palette of your application.
2. New Layout Classes
The new layout classes including Tile, Stack, Flow, ClipView, and Panel are a very welcome addition! The layout API has also gotten a lot cleaner, which makes it easier to write your own layouts, such as the JFXtras Grid.
3. Charting Support: Area, Bar, Bubble, Line, Pie, Scatter, X/Y
Now I can compete with my Flex buddies on business oriented RIAs! The new charting and graphing support is a must for any enterprise applications, so I am glad to see it made the cut.