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!

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JFXtras 0.5 Release Announcement

22 06 2009

I am pleased to announce the 0.5 release of JFXtras.  This release updates the project with JavaFX 1.2 support, plus includes a major overhaul of the Shapes, Borders, and Layouts.

You can grab the latest bits here:
http://code.google.com/p/jfxtras/downloads/list

And browse the Javadoc online.

Pure JavaFX Shapes

Why should you care that we spent months re-implementing all the Shapes from scratch in pure JavaFX code?  Well, here are a few reasons:

  1. JavaFX 1.2 Compatibility – The JavaFX scene graph was pretty-much rewritten from the ground up in the 1.2 release, so porting the old Shape code was non-trivial.
  2. Mobile Deployment – Yes, you can now draw stars, balloons, and reuleaux triangles on your new HTC Diamond.  (What, you didn’t pick up a JavaFX Mobile device at JavaOne?  Your loss…)
  3. Richard Bair said to do it…  Rich isn’t the sort of guy you say no to, and he was pretty adament about the fact that we shouldn’t be hacking the scene graph directly.  Well, now we aren’t.  (although don’t let him know about our new hack to embed JavaFX in Swing…)

You can try out the new shapes by running the DrawJFXtras sample program from the Pro JavaFX Platform book (which has an entire chapter dedicated to the JFXtras project and other JavaFX FOSS):

Draw JFXtras Sample Application

Draw JFXtras Sample Application

Note:  When playing with the demo be careful using the balloon and rounded rectangle shapes.  They trigger a nasty bounds-detection bug that we still haven’t tracked down.

Thanks to my coworker, Steve Bixby for doing the rewrite in his spare time.  He was looking for a little project to learn JavaFX, and went way above and beyond!

Redesigned Borders

We also redesigned the JFXtras Borders from scratch.  Here are some of the new and noteworthy improvements:





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 »





JFXtras Core 0.4 Release – Borders, Scrolling, Constraints, JSON Handler, and More!

13 04 2009

I am pleased to announce the 0.4 release of the JFXtras project.  This is a pretty significant release for the project, which includes quite a bit of new functionality, as well as a new project subdivision.

The JFXtras project has been split into the following three subprojects:

  • JFXtras Core – Contains everything you need to quickly and easily build rich JavaFX applications.  This includes Layouts, UI Controls, Shapes, Borders, Utilities, etc.
  • JFXtras Test – This provides a comprehensive unit and UI test suite along with wrappers for running from the command line or a visual client (coming soon).
  • JFXtras Samples – This is a new project dedicated to providing high quality JavaFX samples to teach the language and bootstrap innovation.  More on this coming in the next few weeks, but if you are interested in contributing or helping out let me know.

The release today is for JFXtras Core, which is now Java 1.5 compatible, and includes some brand new features courtesy of Jim Clarke.  This includes a wide assortment of styleable Borders:

New JFXtras Borders Support

New JFXtras Borders Support

As well as:

  • Styleable ScrollBars and ScrollViews
  • A JSON Handler to automagically populate JavaFX objects from a remote connection

Which is in addition to a whole slew of other cool features including:

  • A new Constraints system for specifying how nodes are laid out with a uniform API
  • Significant updates to the JFXtras Grid
  • New resizable layouts including: ResizableCustomNode, ResizableImageView, ResizableMediaView, ResizableHBox, ResizableVBox, and updates to ResizableRectangle
  • A new version of the Shapes library
  • An ImageFix class that resolves backgroundLoading issues and an ImageUtility class to help with common operations
  • Defect fixes for Shapes, Dialogs, and others

You can download the latest bits here:  http://code.google.com/p/jfxtras/downloads/list.  And also browse the online Javadocs.

Thanks to the whole JFXtras crew for putting together another huge release!