JavaFX Mobile Ready for Primetime!

29 07 2009

I was the very first person to buy an HTC Diamond at JavaOne.  (Jacob Lehrbaum probably thought he was about to be mugged as I stalked him into the Java Store.)  It worked out great for my presentations, but I had to tip-toe around some issues that showed up only on applications deployed to the phone.

However, the latest JavaFX 1.2 EA release is ready for primetime!  The installation was a breeze and all of the JavaFX applications I have tried on it so far have worked great.  This includes:

  • Hello Earthrise – Starter application from the Pro JavaFX book
  • DrawJFX – Draw on your phone using the touchscreen, also from the Pro JavaFX book
  • Nabaztag widget – I demonstrated this at JavaOne; now is your chance to impress your co-workers with silly bunny tricks

Hello Earthrise on the HTC Diamond

Here is what to like about the latest JavaFX Mobile release running on the HTC Diamond:

  • Excellent resolution – It takes advantage of the native 480×640 resolution of the Diamond HTC device, allowing for some very detailed graphics.
  • Improved performance – Startup time and application performance are orders of magnitude faster than with JavaFX 1.1.
  • Some cool demo apps – TwitterFX Mobile takes the cake as the most interesting and useful app, and is bundled with the JavaFX 1.2 EA Release. Kudos to Liang Zhu and Jungeun Woo on the port and Steven Herod on inventing TwitterFX!
  • Available for download – Unlike previous JavaFX Mobile releases, which were Sun internal or pre-installed on a device, this is a free download from the JavaFX website.  While it is only officially supported on the HTC Diamond and LG Incite, it reportedly works on other Windows Mobile devices, such as the XPeria X1.

If you have a Windows Mobile 6 or 6.1 device available, it is definitely worth giving this early access release a try.  Who knows, your JavaFX applications may already be mobile ready!


2009 JavaOne Rock Stars Announced!

26 07 2009
Sun finally announced the Rock Stars for JavaOne 2009.
Duke Rocking Out

Duke Rocking Out

Joshua Marinacci and I received the Rock Star award for our “Getting Started with WidgetFX” session.  If you haven’t already, check out my post-session blog with pictures and the full presentation.  Thanks everyone who came to the session and made it a success!

This was a huge year for Java client technologies.  Congratulations to all the JavaFX and Java Desktop winners this year:

  • Hinkmond Wong – After presenting at 10! JavaOne conferences he has finally joined the JavaOne Rockstar ranks.  Find out more about converting Midlets to JavaFX Mobile in his presentation.  Congratulations!
  • Kirill Grouchnikov – The stalwart desktop champion, Kirill, proved that Swing still has some kick!  He unveiled a full-featured ribbon component for Swing that gives Office 2007 a run for its money.
  • Deane Richan – Deane showed that Swing apps don’t have to look like “Something my Cat Coughed Up” with a visually inspiring Gradebook application design.  Learn his design and architecture secrets in the presentation.
  • Chet Haase & Romain Guy – Chet and Romain had the guts to talk about animation for 45 minutes and it paid off with a great presentation!  Learn animation principles from the masters that apply to any platform you are working in whether it is Swing or JavaFX in their presentation.
  • Jasper Potts & Rich Bair – Last, but not least, Jasper and Rich should have been given their own advanced JavaFX track at the conference.  They presented in multiple sessions, revealing all the secrets of the JavaFX 1.2 release.  Find out more about Graphics, Animation, and CSS in this presentation.

Also, congratulations to all the JavaOne Rockstars!  You are the guys who will keep the Java platform running successfully into the next decade!

JFXtras Community Site Launched!

21 07 2009


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 –


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 –


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!

Nabaztag Visits the Oakland Java SIG

17 07 2009

I had the pleasure of presenting on WidgetFX and JFXtras last night for the Oakland Java SIG.  It was a small, but very engaged audience, and Chris Richardson was a great host!

As usual, Nabaztag was a huge hit.  He got a little upgrade to WidgetFX 1.2 and is now available to try on the WidgetFX Library site:

Nabaztag Widget

Nabaztag Widget Speaks!

Note: Make sure you enter the serial number and token of your rabbit in the config dialog of the widget or it will not work.

All the other samples including the MediaExplorer, DrawJFXtras, Spheres Demo, and JFXtras Shelf are available on the new JFXtras Community Site (more on this in a few days):

Shelf Demo on JFXtras Community Site

Shelf Demo on the JFXtras Community Site

There was a lot of new content on JFXtras that I put together just for this event, so I have posted the presentation in two parts as PDF documents here:

Part A (JFXtras): SuperchargingWithJFXtras

Part B (WidgetFX): SuperchargingWithWidgetFX

I hope you enjoy the demos and slides!

Learn WidgetFX with Passion!

7 07 2009

Sang Shin has included WidgetFX as part of his 15 week JavaFX Programming Course that is currently underway.  This is a free online course that you can take at your own pace based on his excellent training materials.

Sang Shin, Java Passion instructor

Sang Shin, Java Passion instructor

The scheduled date for the WidgetFX module is July 25th, and will feature an online lab and homework to teach basic widget development.

Sign up at and sharpen your skills on JavaFX and WidgetFX for free!

While you are learning WidgetFX, this is a great opportunity to toss an entry into the Widget Developer Contest that is running until the end of July.

WidgetFX Developer Contest

WidgetFX Developer Contest

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!