Meet the New Java Store

4 11 2009

The Java Store team at Sun has been busy at work on a new release of the Java Store, which is finally available in Beta.  The easiest way to get it is to go through the Java Warehouse to the developer preview link here:

http://store.java.com/developerrelease

(If you are on Windows 7 or Vista-64, you can still run the store with no problems…  Just make sure you have a 32-bit JRE installed)

The latest version of the Java Store sports a new look and feel that is a dramatic improvement over the early versions.  Some of the new user interface features include:

  • Integrated UI with Featured Apps, Top Downloads, and App Browsing all in one place
  • Free-form text search for finding new applications quickly
  • Improved navigation – New apps listed first, and navigation at all levels

JavaStoreBeta1

Perhaps the biggest change is the ability for developers to charge for applications.  This is provided via integration with PayPal, and currently available for U.S. customers.  Full details on the payment system can be found in this press release.

Of course, the best applications are available for free…  Be sure to try launching WidgetFX from the Java Store and let me know how it works!

JavaStoreBeta2

Congratulations to the JavaFX team on a very nice face lift for the Java Store!

I know that many of the Java Store development team members read this blog, including Joshua Marinacci, so feel free to use the comments section to give them constructive feedback.

(Did I mention Josh has an awesome new design blog?)





WidgetFX 1.2.4 Released – Happy Halloween!

24 10 2009

We have an early Halloween treat from the WidgetFX team… a new software release!  The 1.2.4 version of WidgetFX includes some new functionality and fixes a number of issues that our user community has requested.

New SlideShow Widget

The SlideShow widget was completely rewritten from scratch for this release.  It makes use of the pre-release JFXtras XShelf component for transitions and paging forward and back.  Simply click on the side images to scroll forwards and backwards through your library.

Here is a picture of the new SlideShow widget in action, paging through a set of Halloween pictures (courtesy of Keith Combs):

Happy Halloween from the WidgetFX Team!

Happy Halloween from the WidgetFX Team!

If you are enough of an Anime buff to know which series these pictures came from, be sure to leave a comment below!

Auto-start on 64-Bit and International Systems

WidgetFX-Japan

Japanese WidgetFX Article

The link that gets created to restart WidgetFX now picks up the correct JVM version on 64-bit systems and even handles paths properly for non-US versions of Windows.  This is very important for our friends outsides the US, such as the growing Japanese WidgetFX community.  As an example, check out this translated Japanese article in @IT by long-time WidgetFX developer, Hideki Kobayashi (he is also responsible for the Japanese location of our website).

If you have trouble running WidgetFX on a 64-bit system, make sure you have the 32-bit JVM installed on your machine.  This can be installed side-by-side with a 64-bit JVM, and is required for JavaFX applications to run.

Certificate Update

java-web-start-applicationOur application signing certificate expired, producing warnings upon launch of WidgetFX.  We have generated a new certificate, which should be good for another year.

If you noticed any problems with launching WidgetFX this week, please try again.  We ran into a Webstart bug where it did not correctly update the jar file after the certificate upgrade causing a verification error on start-up.  We were able to fix this by doing nothing but revving the version (missing some great opportunities for bad puns on the intermediate 1.2.3 version number).

And Some Bugfixes…

We are always fixing small bugs or issues as they come up.  One in particular was an infinite loop during start-up caused by some specific network settings.

If you notice any issues with WidgetFX, let us know so we can make it better!





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!





WidgetFX Contest Winners!

27 09 2009

I am pleased to announce the winners of the WidgetFX Developer’s Contest.  There were lots of great entries (22 in total), which made this a very hard decision.  You can browse the full set of entries yourself on the WidgetFX Library page:

http://widgetfx.org/portal/library

To try any of the contest entries below, simply click on the image which will install/open WidgetFX and add the widget to your dock.

1st Place – ScreenshotFX

In first place is Pär Dahlberg with his ScreenshotFX widget.  Pär definitely went above and beyond in all respects, entering a full-blown application for taking screen captures and then editing them in a pop-up window.  Some of the cool features in his application include:

  • A delay timer to give you time to arrange windows and menus before the capture occurs
  • Multi-monitor support via a drop-down (This was sure to impress Keith)
  • Drawing tools to markup the image with annotations
  • Crop/Fill and a whole host of other editing tools

Pär has a great blog on JavaFX, WidgetFX, and other topics of interest, so make sure to check out his contest winning speech.

2nd Place – RadioFX

Second place went to Yannick Van Godtsenhoven for his RadioFX Widget.  In terms of visual design and widget polish, Yannick was head-and-shoulders above the competition.

He built a simple, yet functional widget that streams radio over the internet right to your WidgetFX dock.  No more reaching for a web browser to catch your favorite Belgium tunes on StuBru!

Check out Yannick’s blog to hear about the contest results and his experience with JavaFX.

I am definitely looking forward to more great creations from Yannick!

3rd Place – Infix WeatherWidget

Finally, third place went to Larry Dickson for his Infix WeatherWidget.  Besides his Weather widget, he also submitted 3 other widgets including a Clock, Calendar, and G-Mail widget, although his original creation was still the judges’ favorite.

By the way, Larry submitted this widget before the start of the contest, which was perfectly valid.  Similarly, if you submit a widget anytime between now and the start of our next contest you will automatically be entered to win!

Congratulations to all of our winners!!!  I have already sent them their prizes, which were contributed through a generous donation from my publisher, Apress.

WidgetFX Developer Contest

WidgetFX Developer Contest





WidgetFX Contest Heating Up!

18 08 2009

With only 12 days left in the WidgetFX contest, there are a bunch of new entrants.  You can see them all on the Widget Library page:
http://widgetfx.org/portal/library

This includes Till Balendat’s TwitterFX Widget:

Takaaki Nakamura’s Bookmark and ColorPalet Widgets:

          

Henry Zhang’s Pac-Man Widget:

And also 4! widgets submitted by Larry Dickson:

       

      

Just as a reminder, here are the judging criteria:

  • Effective use of WidgetFX features and APIs.
  • Practical utility of the widget as a pervasive prescence on the user’s desktop.
  • Broad use of JavaFX libraries and APIs.
  • Technical difficulty of implementation.
  • Community features of the widget that tie in with social networking or online services.
  • Originality of the submitted widget.
  • Quality of widget functionality and dock integration.

(Also found on the contest details page: http://widgetfx.org/portal/contest)

Good luck with the contest, and thanks for supporting WidgetFX!





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!





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!





WidgetFX 1.2 Release Announcement

30 06 2009

I am pleased to announce the 1.2 release of the WidgetFX project.  This brings the project up to speed with the latest JavaFX 1.2 release, and includes many bugfixes and improvements to the framework.

I want to thank all the widget authors who made an extra effort to port their widgets during the beta period so they would be available from day 1 on the new version.

So what are you running in your dock?

WidgetFX 1.2 Widgets
WidgetFX 1.2 Widgets
(from left-to-right: Clock, DiskSpace, WebFeed, Weather, SlideShow, Pac-Man, World Clock, Calendar)

All these widgets are available and working today on the WidgetFX 1.2 release.  To run WidgetFX, simply go to the WidgetFX home page and click on the Launch Dock link: http://widgetfx.org/

Here is a list of the major changes in this release:

  • Improved Performance – The widget dock, as well as all widgets will benefit from performance improvements in JavaFX 1.2.
  • Built-in Layout – Widgets now have an onLayout() function that can be used to layout the top-level nodes.
  • Signed Widgets – Widgets can now be signed with certificates to get out of the sandbox and gain access to system resources.
  • Additional API Hooks – New event handlers for onShow and onHide.
  • Macintosh Bugfixes – Transparency now works with the latest JDK (1.6.0_13), and dialog interaction issues have been fixed.

You too can be a widget author and win some free prizes in our widget development contest.  The deadline is July 31st with a grand prize of a year’s worth of free books donated by my publisher, Apress.

WidgetFX Developer Contest

WidgetFX Developer Contest

Happy Widget Hacking!





WidgetFX 1.2 Beta Announcement

17 06 2009

Update: I have added in some references to WidgetFX 1.2 tutorials below.

We are proud to announce the 1.2 beta release of the WidgetFX framework.

Here are some of the new and noteworthy features and changes:

  1. JavaFX 1.2 Support – You can finally take advantage of all the new features of JavaFX 1.2, such as Controls, Layouts, and Charts in your desktop widgets!
  2. Built-in Layout - Widgets now have an onLayout() function that can be used to layout the top-level nodes.
  3. Improved Performance – The widget dock, as well as all widgets will benefit from performance improvements in the framework.
  4. Signed Widgets – Widgets can now be signed with certificates to get out of the sandbox and gain access to system resources. 
WidgetFX Info Dialog

WidgetFX Info Dialog

We will be adding more goodness before the official release, but wanted to get the major features implemented that would have API impacts on widget authors.  Any changes from this point will be API compatible with the final 1.2 release.

The beta version of the WidgetFX dock can be launched via the following URL:
http://widgetfx.org/beta/launch.jnlp

IMPORTANT: If you are an existing WidgetFX user, please delete your widget configuration prior to launching the new dock. This will ensure that the 1.2 versions of the built-in widgets will be loaded.  Your widget configuration directory is under $USER_HOME/.WidgetFX.

We will release the final WidgetFX 1.2 version at 11:59PM PST on June 28th.  If you have widgets that are available to the general public, please upgrade and test them in advance of this date, and push your 1.2 compatible widget out at approximately this time.  This is required, because the 1.2 release is not binary compatible with 1.1…  *sigh*

Upgrading an Existing Widget

So, you have a Widget that you would like to upgrade to 1.2 and don’t know where to start…  Here are the basics:

Read the rest of this entry »








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.