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:


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:


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!

LearnFX and Win at Devoxx

13 11 2009

Next week I will be giving two talks on JavaFX at Devoxx in Belgium.  The first is a university session on Tuesday at 13:30 called The JavaFX Platform – A Java Developer’s Guide.  The second is a technical session on Thursday at 14:00 entitled Pro Javafx – Developing Enterprise Applications.

Leading up to both these sessions I will post a question via the LearnFX application.  To win a prize, all you have to do is:

  1. Answer the question correctly using the LearnFX client (see below)
  2. Come to the next Devoxx session I am speaking at
  3. Winners will be selected by a random drawing from all the correct responses

Here is the LearnFX client displaying the first question.  To run it, make sure that you have a recent version (update 14 or later) of Java SE 6, and simply click on the launch button:


Please don’t ruin this for others by mentioning the answer!

The prizes include several copies of Pro JavaFX Platform and a limited edition WidgetFX T-Shirt.  I don’t know about you, but I know which prize I would pick:


WidgetFX Limited run T-Shirt - original artwork by Keith Combs (WidgetFX Developer)

There will also be an opportunity for audience members to answer simply by using a laptop or mobile Twitter client (more details on this at the start of the session), so you don’t have to respond in advance to win.

Thanks to Jim Weaver for the excellent LearnFX application, and I look forward to seeing you at my Devoxx talks!

Announcing the JavaFX Twitter Group

7 11 2009

JavaFX has a very active Twitter community.  Some have even said that the best way to get help with your JavaFX app is to ask on Twitter first.  But how do you know who to follow?

To make it easy to hook in to the JavaFX Twitter community, I put together a JavaFX Twitter Group using the new group support.  To subscribe, simply follow @steveonjava/javafx:


The JavaFX Twitter Group Stream

So who will you find on this list?  Some big names in the JavaFX Community, including:

  • Richard Bair, Joshua Marinacci, and Jonathan Giles from the JavaFX team
  • JavaFX book authors such as Jim Weaver, Weiqi Gao, Dean Iverson, and Simon Morris
  • JavaFX evangelists such as Maijaliisa Burkert, and Anatoli Fomenko
  • JavaFX early adopters such as Peter Pilgrim, Sten Karl, Steven Herod, Carl Dea, William Antonio, Pär Dahlberg, Mark Macumber, Tom, Enrique Garcia, Eric Wendelin, Hideki Kobayashi, and many, many others

I tried my best to dig in a few levels deep on the twitter lists of folks I know are active in the JavaFX community so I would get pretty good coverage.  The basic criteria I used for selecting folks was percentage of tweets dedicated to JavaFX discussion.  Most of the folks on the list talk about JavaFX in 50% or more of their tweets, although there are a few notable exceptions (ahem..  Steven Herod).

Please follow the new JavaFX Twitter Group, and if you would like to be followed by the list, tweet me a direct message @steveonjava.

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:


(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


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!


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?)