WidgetFX Contest – Finish Line

30 08 2009

Tomorrow is the last day for the WidgetFX Contest! We don’t have as grand of a finish line as IRONMAN in Germany, but I am sure there will be some excitement as we get down to the last couple hours.

It is a little too late to start a new Widget from scratch, but still plenty of time to wrap an existing JavaFX application as a Widget and submit it. (By the way, if you have trouble uploading a widget, drop an e-mail on the WidgetFX Users List.)

Best of luck to all the WidgetFX Contest Entrants!


Auto-Completion on the Test Test Train

30 08 2009

The Sun training department just put out an update to their Tech Test Train application.  Even if you tried it before and were put off by bugs or the absurd level of difficulty, it is definitely worth another look!

Here are some of the improvements I noticed:

  • The questions now auto-complete after 3 letters.  This makes it much easier to type the answer within the time limit, and also helps make it possible to get the answer if you can come close.
  • The training team did a great job of updating the questions and answers on several of the more ambiguous questions that I submitted bug reports for.  If you notice anything else that seems incorrect, make sure to file a bug in JIRA!
  • The final answers are now do-able.  Previously it was virtually impossible to enter the correct answer for the final question, but I am now able to hit it successfully on several different tracks.

Kudos to Anatoli, Cindy, and the rest of the Sun training team on making some excellent updates that improve the playability and fun of the application!

So what is your score?  Here is the best I have gotten so far (for the GUI track):

Tech Test Train Winning Score

Tech Test Train Winning Score

Respond in the comments section with your best track and score!

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:

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!

JFXtras Team Grows Up

9 08 2009

We have had quite a few additions to the project team over the past couple weeks.

JFXtras Team Grows Up

The JFXtras Team - Ninjas... of JavaFX

Please join me in welcoming the following folks:

  • Jonathan Giles – Jonathan is best known for his weekly Java Desktop Links of the Week, and recently (yesterday) contributed a very high quality JavaFX menu bar component to the JFXtras project.  Here is a link to his most recent blog entry on the subject:
  • Rakesh Menon – Rakesh, a member of the Sun JavaFX team, has been building out a set of standard JavaFX parsers for various services such as Twitter, Yahoo, and Flickr.  He will be contributing these to the JFXtras project for incorporation in a future release.  You can read more about his JavaFX exploits on his blog:
  • Jeff Friesen – JavaJeff is a developer and educator who wrote the very first article on JFXtras for JavaWorld.  He has agreed to contribute his Custom Cursors and Custom Paints to the JFXtras project from his popular java.net articles.  There is some documentation and testing needed before this is ready for release if anyone is interested in volunteering.
  • Till Ballendat – Till created some great widgets for the WidgetFX Contest, and graciously offered to submit some of his components to the JFXtras project.  He has already checked in his MultiLineTextBox component from his Twitter widget.
  • Liu Huasong – Liu (a.k.a. goodsforyou) has started contributing some of his code from real JavaFX projects.  His most recent check-in included some advanced gradients including an HSB variant for Linear and Radial gradients.
  • Simon Morris – Simon, author of the upcoming JavaFX in Action book, has contributed a wipe transitions library.  It needs a little bit of documentation and work, so if anyone is interested in helping to productize this, let me know!

And also the following contributors to the JFXtras Community Site:

  • Carl Dea – Carl was winner of the “Dude, Where’s My Pass?” JavaOne contest, and has become a JavaFX community champion.  He has taken the JFXtras Links page and run with it, so please be sure to check out his latest work.
  • David Armitage – David contributed his JFXMines application to the JFXtras Samples library.  He also prodded me to get the Community Forum going.
  • Sten Anderson – Sten is winner of the JavaFX 25K Challenge, and has released the full source code for his winning entry, Music Explorer FX, to the JFXtras Samples repository.
  • Mark Macumber – Mark is one of our first project members who did early work on charting.  He recently contributed a Hudson charting mash-up to the JFXtras Samples library.

And of course our long-time contributors including: Jim Clarke, Dean Iverson, Keith Combs, Steven Bixby, and Jim Weaver.

If you are interested in joining the JFXtras team, we have plenty of work to go around.  Please drop a note on the JFXtras Developers mailing list and let us know what you are interested in helping out with.

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 Test and FEST Unite!

2 08 2009

I put together the JFXtras Test 0.5 Release today.  This release includes full support for JavaFX 1.2, new comparison expectations (thanks to Peter Pilgrim!), and asynchronous testing support.

You can download JFXtras Test 0.5 here:

This will be the final release under this name as the codebase is merged with the FEST project.

So what do you get when JFXtras Test and FEST Unite?

JFXtras Test and Fest-JavaFX Unite!

JFXtras Test + FEST = FEST-JavaFX

Here is what you might want:

  • A super-sonic drill that pulverizes Gunmen
  • An extra face growing out of your stomach with cool shades and a wicked smile
  • A special attack with a killer name like “Giga Drill Breaker!”

But you will have to settle with:

  • Tests for JavaFX, written in JavaFX
  • Behavior-Driven Development
  • Fluent Assertions
  • Parameterized Tests
  • Declarative Unit Testing
  • JavaFX UI Testing
  • JUnit Integration


Enjoy the final release of JFXtras Test, and look forward to some exciting new work from the FEST-JavaFX project in the months to come!