Monday Aug 10, 2009

Interview with Evgeni Sergeev, JavaFX Coding Challenge Third Prize Winner


Reviews Interactive recently talked with Evgeni Sergeev, developer of the ShiningEtherFX application that won third place in the JavaFX Coding Challenge. Evgeni is a student at the University of Western Australia, where he is working on an Honors project in computer vision, having recently earned degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Computer and Mathematical Sciences. Evgeni just started learning JavaFX in May and commented on the short amount of time it took him to learn the program by noting “it's a fast learning process.” Evgeni taught himself JavaFX by using a number of different articles he found online, shown in the full interview below, as resources.

Evgeni said he found the combination of instance initializers and bind semantics in JavaFX to be the most useful aspect in creating his ShiningEtherFX application. He stated: “The binding concept is beautiful because you can have a UI element that is actually bound to the underlying model...it is actually bound, because as a programmer, you don't have to worry about refreshing the view or updating the model – there is no way it won't be updated or refreshed, given the JavaFX way of doing things.”

Evgeni explained how JavaFX made it easy to develop ShiningEtherFX with helpful features for the end user. For example, to make the workplace draggable Evgeni said “it only took five lines of code or therabouts,” saying “implementing that was a dream.” In general, Evgeni noted that JavaFX “makes it easy to take care of a lot of this sort of functionality that users nowadays expect to see everywhere,” noting that just because a user expects something, doesn't mean it is easier to write, and credits JavaFX with anticipating many common use cases.
Evgeni Sergeev
Evgeni Sergeev

As a developer, Evgeni said he appreciates that JavaFX “is not trying to be some kind of a minimalist language.” With regard to the rapid release cycle and the recent introduction of JavaFX 1.2 Evgeni noted “The fact that you are not afraid of introducing changes that are not backward-compatible is great because RIAs are here to stay for a long time, and we want a tool that is the best it can be.” Overall, Evgeni said: “JavaFX has many positives, not to mention being free for the developer, and it is just the barrier of learning something new that it must help developers overcome.”

The complete interview with Evgeni can be found here.

Wednesday Jul 29, 2009

Interview with JavaFX Coding Challenge Winner Sten Anderson


Reviews Interactive recently sat down with Sten Anderson, developer of the grand prize winning JavaFX Coding Challenge application, Music Explorer FX. Sten has been working with Java since the late '90s and is currently a Senior Consultant for the software consultancy, Citytech, in Chicago. Sten began working with JavaFX at the time of the preview release, in August 2008. Sten said he learned JavaFX through trial and error, but claimed “I found it fairly easy to get up to speed in the new language, which is more of a testament to the language design than it is my ability to learn new things.”

Through his years of experience as a developer, Sten has grown convinced that applications are “all about end-user experience,” noting that users will not use any application that isn't perceived as usable. Sten said one of the highlights of JavaFX is its ability to excel “at creating rich, interactive, visual user interfaces which I think are ultimately easier to use.” He described JavaFX as “a DSL for creating compelling user interfaces,” pointing out that “JavaFX makes it easier for a developer to create something good.”
Sten Anderson
Sten Anderson
Sten found that the most useful aspect of JavaFX in developing Music Explorer FX was “its near-seamless integration with the Java language and platform.” Sten also pointed out that he “would not have been able to write the application in the same time-frame without being able to lean on my existing Java knowledge.” Sten noted that as a Java developer he “found the syntax of JavaFX a welcome respite from the more verbose Java language.”

As a career Java developer, Sten noted when comparing RIA platforms, that “Java FX is 'better' simply because it's Java.” He said it all boils down to that fact being JavaFX's winning differentiator: “Since JavaFX plays so well with Java, its newness is compensated by the extreme age and maturity of the core Java platform.” He said it also gives Java developers a way to utilize their existing skill set when developing RIAs, by letting them stay “closer to home,” giving them the option to stay within the “Java Ecosystem.”

The complete interview with Sten can be found here.

Monday Mar 23, 2009

Know JavaFX? Get $25,000!


JavaFX Coding Challenge
We just announced a new contest...

Develop an innovative rich media application using JavaFX 1.1 and NetBeans 6.5.

And you can win up to $25,000!!!

If you are a student, the deal gets even better...

In addition to the top prizes, there are three prizes @ $1,500 each for the top three student submissions.

Get going, the contest has already started and submission closes on May 29th.

Check out all the details at JavaFX Coding Challenge.

Have the thinking buds stir up, crank the code, submit the application and get great prizes and recognition.

Happy coding!

Good luck to all of you!!!
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