News from the Java World

As expected at JavaOne some news were released. Blogs and development portals are full of it. In short:

  • Netbeans 6.9 becomes 7.0 in order to be aligned with the Java platform itself. (more info here)
    I am fine with that, seems Oracle is still serious about Netbeans.
  • JavaFX Script is dead but the features will be available as API. (more info here)
    OK, the scripting was a bit cumbersome. But you could get used to it using Netbeans.

JavaFX Composer Out !

I was not looking at JavaFX for a few months and the latest rumors on the potential death of the RIA product under the new owner did not make me spend time learning more, even I believe it might be the missing piece for some boring Java (Swing) enterprise applications. Yesterday the plugin that finally supports the visual creation of JavaFX was released. (Go for plugins,reload catalog and select the version 1.0 of JavaFX plugin)

JavaFX Plugin

Once the download is finished you can start creating JavaFX applications

New JavaFX Project

JavaFX Skeleton Project

I cant judge yet the composer or rather non-manual (full control) way to create a fx stage. The composer creates the code (similar to Swing) in the background and you cant touch it without screwing the fx file. I will try on a few samples.

First Remark: The preview pane renders useless now, it does not work with the composer anyway.

More infos on the JavaFX Composer

Daily Thoughts 4

  • 100,000,000th JavaFX
    Last week Jonathan Schwartz celebrated the 100,000,000 download of the JavaFX runtime on his blog (link). I share his excitement about JavaFX technology out now to conquer the field of Silverlight and Flash. If not I would not invert time in picking it up ! But to paint a bit more realistic picture, there is no dedicated JavaFX runtime installer. It is included with the regular, actual JRE installer, or to quote from “JavaFX runtime is integrated with Java download. During the installation of Java 6 update10 (jre6u10), users will also be installing JavaFX runtime.” (link). JavaFX piggyback in a way (a smart way), but thats fine, this way as a solution provider you dont need to struggle with extra plugin installer, your customer or user already has it (at least with an up-to-date JRE).
    The JavaFX SDK has supposingly 100,000 downloads.
  • Netbeans 7 turns 6.7
    Release was initially the next release planned to hit the community, but the development team decided to release a version 6.7 in June (milestone release in next few weeks) and 7 at a later stage. I guess JEE6 support is among the reason to wait for 7. More info at (link).
  • Android versus JavaFX
    The more I read about the background of the 2 technolgies, even they are very close relatives, the more I doubt there will be a JavaFX running on Android anytime soon. My personal guess: Some folks will offspring a project on Kenai or Sourceforge to get it running.
  • Buying Android in Singapore
    One day after I ordered the dev phone from US, Singtel started to sell the HTC dream, which is an Android phone, here. Guess like the T-Mobile G1 it is locked. Good timing though. Lets see what is the retail price without contract (maybe not available).

Future of JavaFX

I guess 2009 will be a very important year for JavaFX to get rolling faster. Most important milestones for this year:

  • JavaFX for Solaris and Linux (no news on this since about 2 months on this, link).
  • JavaFX 1.1 with the first version of JavaFX Mobile (planned to be released in February at Mobile World Congress, link)
  • JavaFX 2.0 (at JavaOne 2009?)

You noticed there are hardly (new) books on JavaFX ? I guess publishers want to avoid sitting on books like Silverlight 1.0 which is pretty useless once newer version were released. Some titles are announced for mid year release.

Starting with JavaFX

For 2009 I decided one of the new technologies to poick up would be JavaFX. Always interested in RIA, only now I can stay in the Java family creating fancier applications than with Swing only. JavaFX is not matured yet, even it is released for production as version 1.0. I guess there is lot of stuff coming up with future releases. On of the catches currently is th elack of IDE that lets you visually creates JavaFX applications, you still need to create more or less manually the objects (buttons, textbox,..) on the screen. But I am 100% sure that some upcoming release of Netbeans or a plugin will allow this similar to place javabeans on a JSF page.

How to get started ? There are some pages with downloads and tutorials that I already listed in earlier posts (JavaFX 1.0 released, JavaFX Get Started ). Today I want to highlight 2 additional resources that are worth visiting.

  • James Weavers JavaFX Blog (link)
  • The JavaFX Online Seminar (free) by Sang Shin and James Weaver on (link).
    A very different approach of training because it is rather online and not with fancy webinars or webcasts, but providing all materials allowing you work at your own pace anytime. I will try this !

JavaFX 1.0: Get Started

The few steps it took me to get started with JavaFX. I am using Netbeans 6.5, so the only thing to do is to select the plugins under Tools and reload the catalog for available plugins. Search for “javafx” and install the 4 plugins/packages.


Install JavaFX Plugins

You might run into this network related problem. It can be annoying because you eventually have to start the 45MB download again (and again), but that applies to all plugins.
Not all of the plugins have been successfully donwloaded..


Network Problem

After downloading and restarting the IDE you find 2 new sections in the “new peoject” screen. One for a skeleton JavaFX application and under samples a rather big number of preloaded samples to get you running. Continue reading

JavaFX 1.0 released

The battle of RIA platforms goes on and SUN finally released (4th Dec 2008) the first version 1.0 after announcing and previewing it first time at JavaONE in May 2007. FX is the JAVA way of doing thing you are used to see in Adobe Flash/Flex and Microsoft Silverlight targeting integration of video, images, sound and 2D graphics (3D supposed to be in the roadmap). One of the main difference to competitors: Key elements of JavaFX are open source.

I find this an exciting step and it dont force me walk to far away from my JAVA platform environment to create more exciting frontends than standard Swing look-and-feel. It is integrated into Netbeans !

The programming language is JavaFX Script, some mixture of Javascript and Java (spiced with some python look-alike features).

It is not supporting all OS yet (only Windows and MAC OS X) and there is no need to install another plugin (unlike Silverlight), Java JRE just needs to be updated to unleash its power in and outside the browser !

The JavaFX website (link)
SUN one page summary (link)
OpenJFX on (link)
JavaFX Blog (link)
JavaFX Script Tutorial (link)