JFXtras 0.6 Preview Available!

25 11 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from the JFXtras team!  While everyone else is celebrating the holiday with friends and family, we are going to be busy finishing up the 0.6 release.

Wild turkey in LaConner, WA taken by stevevoght

In case you have some spare time between meals and celebration, you can join in the fun too by trying out the JFXtras 0.6 preview release, which can be downloaded here:

http://code.google.com/p/jfxtras/downloads/list

There is a whole slew of new functionality including the following under Common:

  • Layouts – Changes to the Grid API in preparation for inclusion in the JavaFX Soma release, and also added animation support to all the layouts.
  • Sphere – Pseudo 3D sphere created for the Groovy showdown with Andrey Almiray.
  • Gear – New shape from Steve Bixby.
  • ManualResizableRectangle – Very useful shape from Yannick’s post.
  • JXScene – Pedro’s improved API for Swing integration.
  • PaintUtil, HSBColor, new gradients – Liu’s magic paint classes
  • Custom Paints – From Jeff Friesen’s excellent article on Custom Paints.
  • Custom Cursors – From Jeff Friesen’s excellent article on Custom Cursors.
  • Wipe Library – A transition library from Simon Morris’ JavaFX in Action book.
  • XMap – A bindable Map implementation for JavaFX.
  • XStore – David Armitage’s simple persistence for JavaFX variables using dependency injection.
  • ImageCache – Caching of JavaFX images for building high performance applications contributed by Joshua Marinacci.
  • XEDT – Simplified event thread mangement for JavaFX infrastructure classes (Warning: Use the JavaFX Task API instead unless you know exactly what you are doing)

And the rest under a new Controls jar:

  • XTableView – I am still working on this, but it is very useful already as demonstrated by Jim Weaver’s SpeedReaderFX application.
  • XTreeView – Jim Clarke’s Tree Control.
  • XCalendarPicker – Tom’s excellent calendar control.
  • XPane – A titled region with rounded corners developed by Dean Iverson.
  • XPicker – David Armitage did some great work on this…  Check out his demo on the JFXtras website.
  • XShelfView – A high performance Display Shelf control implementation with support for reflection, titles, and a scrollbar as showcased on JFXStudio.
  • XSpinnerWheel – A prize spinner wheel that makes use of pseudo 3D effects as showcased in the JUG Prize Spinner application.
  • XMenu – Pure JavaFX Menu developed by Jonathan Giles (this version will be replaced by the official Sun Menu control when it becomes available).
  • XPasswordBox – Control from Liu to create a password field.
  • XMultiLineTextBox – Till’s control for editing multiple lines of text.
  • XSwingTable – From John Freeman, this gives you all the power of a JTable directly from JavaFX code.

For this release we decided to go with a new naming convention to differentiate our classes from the built-in JavaFX layouts and controls.  Most of the classes are now prefixed with an “X” for jfXtras.  This will make migration slightly more painful now, but prevent future collisions and name changes down the road.

There is also a new version of JFXtras Test.  This is the final version that will be released under this name (it is being merged with FEST-JavaFX), but it required an update to work with the new naming convention and to add some much-needed JUnit Runner support (see my Devoxx Conference Presentation for more details).

I probably missed a few things along the way here.  You can find the definitive list in the online JavaFXDoc:

http://jfxtras.googlecode.com/svn/site/javadoc/release-0.6/index.html

Please feel free to download the jars and give the preview release a try.  We are putting the finishing touches on several of the layouts and controls, so expect a final release in a week or so.

Happy Thanksgiving!





Devoxx Conference Session Slides

24 11 2009

Overall I was very impressed with Devoxx.  Everything including the movie theater venue, quality of the speakers, and professionalism of the attendees was top-notch.  Stephan Janssen definitely puts on quite an amazing show!

As a follow-up to my second Devoxx session, here is the full slide deck I presented:

Both this and the university session will be available on the Parleys.com beta site shortly, so you will be able to watch both sessions from the comfort of your home.

Now back to coding on the JFXtras 0.6 release with an announcement to be posted here very shortly…





Devoxx University Slides

18 11 2009

My Devoxx university session yesterday was packed, which was awesome!  It was 3 hours of hard-core JavaFX knowledge, and almost everyone stayed for the duration.  Aaron Houston got a great shot of the venue (more on the Java Champions site):

JavaFX University Talk at Devoxx

I posted my slides on SlideShare, so check it out when you get a chance.  Special thanks to my co-authors, Jim, Weiqi, and Dean for help with the content.

For those of you at Devoxx, I also posted a new LearnFX question.  Please launch it with the link below and respond before or during my conference session tomorrow at 1:30PM to be eligable to win a prize!

More updates after my conference session tomorrow!





JUGSpinner Premieres at SVCodeCamp

7 10 2009

Keith Combs and I did a presentation on JavaFX and WidgetFX at Silicon Valley Code Camp this past weekend to a packed room (see below for the slides).  This was my first time visiting SVCodeCamp and I was very impressed…  With a 2 day total of over 1700 attendees, it was the place to be in the Bay Area!

The highlight of our presentation was a new secret project I just finished (literally 1 hour before the presentation started).  It is called the JUG SpinnerWheel, and is a complete rewrite of Jim Weaver‘s classic Java User Group Prize Wheel:

Clearly this is not rigged if I had to spin it 26 times!

Clearly this is not rigged if I had to spin it 26 times!

webstartsmall2

The revamped JUG SpinnerWheel includes a pseudo-3d rendered prize wheel, web service integration to meetup.com to retrieve event participants, and a winner display featuring the prototype JFXtras Table component.

We used this for the first time, and successfully gave away 3 copies of the Pro JavaFX Platform book to audience members eager to learn more about JavaFX!

You can find the full slides from the presentation (including details about the web service implementation of the JUG SpinnerWheel) on SlideShare:

Happy JavaFX hacking!





Watch WidgetFX and JFXtras at the SDForum

5 08 2009

Last night I presented at the SDForum Java SIG to a very engaged and enthusiastic crowd.  This was the longest presentation to date, but the audience was great, and even stayed afterwards to ask questions.  Also, Rich Rein was an outstanding host, inviting us out to drink beers until midnight after the event (I hope his wife wasn’t upset!)

This is my last presentation gig until Devoxx at the end of the year, but I was able to get a great screencast recording of the session, which you can watch in full resolution on blip.tv:

Note: The end of the presentation got cut off due to a technical glitch in Camtasia, but to their credit it recovered the bulk of the recording on restart.

You can also browse the slide decks at your own pace in PDF format:

Part A (JFXtras): SuperchargingWithJFXtras-SDForum

Part B (WidgetFX): SuperchargingWithWidgetFX-SDForum

I hope you enjoy the video and slides!





JFXtras Community Site Launched!

21 07 2009

jfxtras_portal_mockup_community_version_03

I am proud to announce the official launch of the JFXtras Community Site.  This site is a resource for the entire JavaFX community, and open for participation by all.

Just like the JFXtras open-source library has been helping improve the JavaFX Platform, this site is focused on helping to expand and grow the JavaFX Community.  Some things you can do on the site today include:

Explore -

Boundisizer-screenshot-300

The JFXtras Samples section is the largest JavaFX example repository outside of Sun, and is specifically focused on teaching JavaFX concepts from beginner to advanced.  Some of the featured samples include:

  • Amy Fowler’s Boundisizer – Learn how to transform and manipulate nodes like a champ from Amy Fowler, the acclaimed layout expert on the JavaFX team.
  • Music Explorer FX – You may not have won the 25 thousand dollar prize, but you can learn from the expert.  Sten Anderson has posted his winning entry, and promised to share the full source code shortly (no pressure, Sten!)
  • Particle-O-Rama – Josh Marinacci, JavaFX evangelist and Rockstar1, creates another visual extravaganza with his super-customizable particle demo.
  • Generating Graphs from Hudson – Mark Macumber posted a great mash-up of the JavaFX 1.2 Charting support to display Hudson build status.

The site is completely self-service, and provides free hosting of open-source JavaFX samples, so create an account and start contributing your own samples to grow the community!


1. Yes, it is official, Joshua Marinacci and I are JavaOne Rockstars!  Josh and I received the JavaOne Rockstar award for having a top ranked JavaOne session this year (thanks to everyone who attended our WidgetFX Session!)

Learn -

Through a collaborative effort from all the JavaFX book authors, we will be able to bring you the full set of samples from all 5 of the JavaFX books.  All the source code will be made available under a commercial-friendly open-source license, and the samples will be easily browseable online categorized by topic.

cover-100 JavaFXRIA-cover-100EssentialJavafx-cover-100 JavaFXInAction-cover-100JavaFXDevGuide-cover-100

What is on your bookshelf?

This includes all of the samples from Pro JavaFX Platform, which is finally out in print! — The full realization that I was an author didn’t come until this morning when my copies arrived… for a brief moment the gaping hole in my life for the past six months seemed (almost) worth it.

The Sun JavaFX and Essential JavaFX books have been out since JavaOne and are great references to get started coding in JavaFX.  These samples should be available within the next couple weeks.

Finally, the JavaFX in Action and JavaFX Developer’s Guide books are both due out later this year, and will post samples as soon as it makes sense to.

Research -

jfxtras_portal_mockup_community_version_22

There is also a new section called JFXtras Links brought to you by Jonathan Giles, famous for his weekly desktop links of the week feature on his blog.  The plan is to aggregate and categorize all the best JavaFX links and resources in a single place.

This section is still in its infancy, so please give us feedback and contribute links that you find valuable.

About the Site -

The JFXtras Community Site is built on the principles of collaboration and agility, and is backed by technologies that make this possible.  Everything is 100% Java from the application server (Tomcat) to the portal engine (Liferay).  Also, wherever possible customization and design was done via the online portal user interface so that future changes to the site (both minor and major) can be done by the community.

Most importantly, the JFXtras Community Site will be what you make of it.  Just like everything else we do on the JFXtras project, we are open to new ideas and ways of doing things.  If you have a great idea for how to improve one of the existing sections, or something else we should add to the site, let us know, or better yet, help us make it happen!





Speaking at the Oakland Java SIG

6 07 2009

I will be presenting at the Oakland Java SIG on July 15th.  The topic is “Supercharging Your JavaFX Programs with WidgetFX and JFXtras,” and will include some brand new content based on the WidgetFX 1.2 and JFXtras 0.5 releases.

As usual, I will incur some significant demo risk for the sake of showing some jaw-dropping demo awesomeness!  You will either be totally impressed or get a good laugh at my expense…

If you are in the SF Bay Area, be sure to drop by and check it out!





JFXtras 0.5 Release Announcement

22 06 2009

I am pleased to announce the 0.5 release of JFXtras.  This release updates the project with JavaFX 1.2 support, plus includes a major overhaul of the Shapes, Borders, and Layouts.

You can grab the latest bits here:
http://code.google.com/p/jfxtras/downloads/list

And browse the Javadoc online.

Pure JavaFX Shapes

Why should you care that we spent months re-implementing all the Shapes from scratch in pure JavaFX code?  Well, here are a few reasons:

  1. JavaFX 1.2 Compatibility – The JavaFX scene graph was pretty-much rewritten from the ground up in the 1.2 release, so porting the old Shape code was non-trivial.
  2. Mobile Deployment – Yes, you can now draw stars, balloons, and reuleaux triangles on your new HTC Diamond.  (What, you didn’t pick up a JavaFX Mobile device at JavaOne?  Your loss…)
  3. Richard Bair said to do it…  Rich isn’t the sort of guy you say no to, and he was pretty adament about the fact that we shouldn’t be hacking the scene graph directly.  Well, now we aren’t.  (although don’t let him know about our new hack to embed JavaFX in Swing…)

You can try out the new shapes by running the DrawJFXtras sample program from the Pro JavaFX Platform book (which has an entire chapter dedicated to the JFXtras project and other JavaFX FOSS):

Draw JFXtras Sample Application

Draw JFXtras Sample Application

Note:  When playing with the demo be careful using the balloon and rounded rectangle shapes.  They trigger a nasty bounds-detection bug that we still haven’t tracked down.

Thanks to my coworker, Steve Bixby for doing the rewrite in his spare time.  He was looking for a little project to learn JavaFX, and went way above and beyond!

Redesigned Borders

We also redesigned the JFXtras Borders from scratch.  Here are some of the new and noteworthy improvements:








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