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?)

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:


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.


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


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!

JUGSpinner Premieres at SVCodeCamp

7 10 2009

Keith Combs and I did a presentation on JavaFX and WidgetFX at Silicon Valley Code Camp this past weekend to a packed room (see below for the slides).  This was my first time visiting SVCodeCamp and I was very impressed…  With a 2 day total of over 1700 attendees, it was the place to be in the Bay Area!

The highlight of our presentation was a new secret project I just finished (literally 1 hour before the presentation started).  It is called the JUG SpinnerWheel, and is a complete rewrite of Jim Weaver‘s classic Java User Group Prize Wheel:

Clearly this is not rigged if I had to spin it 26 times!

Clearly this is not rigged if I had to spin it 26 times!


The revamped JUG SpinnerWheel includes a pseudo-3d rendered prize wheel, web service integration to meetup.com to retrieve event participants, and a winner display featuring the prototype JFXtras Table component.

We used this for the first time, and successfully gave away 3 copies of the Pro JavaFX Platform book to audience members eager to learn more about JavaFX!

You can find the full slides from the presentation (including details about the web service implementation of the JUG SpinnerWheel) on SlideShare:

Happy JavaFX hacking!

Hanging out on the Ranch

30 09 2009

All this week my co-author Dean Iverson and I will be fielding JavaFX questions on the Java Ranch.  Drop by and ask a few questions yourself and you may win a free copy of the Pro JavaFX Platform book!

The promotion ends this Friday in case you are interested in participating.