SvJugFx Streamed Live with Richard Bair

8 12 2009

For those of you who don’t know, SvJugFx stands for the Silicon Valley JavaFX Users Group.  We will be holding our very first meeting this coming Wednesday with a live, streamed presentation from the world renowned Richard Bair (who is now infamous for divulging JavaFX secrets at Devoxx).

Richard Bair Presenting at Devoxx 2009

Yes, I said streamed live…  for those of you who are not fortunate enough to live in Silicon Valley, you can still participate in realtime by doing the following:

  1. Sign-up for the SvJugFx meetup group.  This is the primary communication vehicle we will use to announce last-minute changes:
    http://www.svjugfx.org/
    (Note: Everyone can sign up for the group, but please only RSVP for the event if you are physically attending)
  2. For the video feed, please go to the following ustream channel:
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/silicon-valley-javafx-user-group
  3. And to participate, please log on to Google Moderator at the following URL:
    http://moderator.appspot.com/#16/e=d528e

The in-person meeting will start on: Wednesday at 6PM PST
The online streaming will start at latest by: 7PM PST (possibly earlier)

Please leave enough time to login on both sites and test your internet and video playback capabilities.  You will be able to watch the live video stream on ustream and respond with your own questions (as well as vote other participant’s questions up and down) via Google Moderator, which we will be monitoring during the presentation.

This is the first time we are trying this format, so we apologize in advance for technical glitches or issues that we are sure will arise.

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

–Winston Churchill





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!





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:

javafxgroup

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.





First SvJugFx Meetup – JavaFX with Richard Bair

28 10 2009

I am pleased to announce the formation of a new Silicon Valley JavaFX User Group.  While this group is rooted in the SF Bay Area, we also plan to make it easy for remote attendees to watch and participate by doing live streaming of our meetings via USTREAM and allowing remote participation through Google Moderator.

richBairFor the initial launch meeting on December 9th we are fortunate to have Richard Bair as the presenter.  For those of you who don’t know him, he is a JavaFX lead developer, JavaOne Rockstar Speaker, has an awesome blog, and will be talking about JavaFX at Devoxx (where I am also presenting).  He is also a great sparring partner on almost any technical topic (speaking from experience), so Q&A should be lots of fun!

The SvJugFx Homepage is on Meetup.com where you can sign up to become a member and register for the December 9th session with Richard:

svjugfx

This is the first JavaFX User Group in the U.S. to my knowledge.  Although Japan has the title of world’s first JavaFX User Group as reported on Jim Weaver’s blog.

javafxUsersGroup





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!





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





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!