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!!!

Tuesday Nov 25, 2008

Second Student Reviews Contest Winners Announced


Today we announced the winners of the second Student Reviews Contest, where students developed innovative applications using MySQL 5.1 and GlassFish v2 UR2.

Contestants from USA, Brazil, India and China submitted their coding projects via java.net and wrote their experiences about using MySQL and GlassFish in the reviews.

The winning entry in the general students category created a hotel reservation application using VoiceXML (web pages accessed by voice) -- the judges had a good experience using it via Skype. A resource sharing application for social networking sites won the first prize in the Sun Campus Ambassador category.
Sun MySQL
GlassFish
Other interesting entries included a fully integrated contest management application, a system authentication application for wireless networks, test taking and test management application, a "short URL" project and a small online store.

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners and thanks for participating.

Tuesday Sep 02, 2008

Calling All Students -- Your Chance to Win $500


We just announced a new student contest today...

Students can develop a web application using MySQL database and GlassFish application server and write a review for a chance to win a grand prize of $500 in Visa debit card, and five chances to win a prize of $250 in Visa debit card.
Student Contest
The details are here.

Wednesday Jul 30, 2008

Student Perspectives on Open Source


Ashwin Bhat and Ritwik Ghoshal, the two winners of the previous Sun Student Reviews Contest, were recently invited by the Sun News Radio to discuss their views on open source. Check out Sun News Radio to listen what their experiences are so far, what open source community activities are happening at their universities and a whole lot more.

The segment is located here.
Sun News Radio

Tuesday Jul 01, 2008

Winners announced -- Sun Student Reviews Contest


This morning we announced the winners of the Sun Student Reviews Contest. Check out the winning submissions here -- those were excellent OpenSolaris and NetBeans reviews.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners!!!
Sun Student Reviews Contest Winners

Monday Jun 09, 2008

Student Product Reviews Contest Update


Last month we launched the Student Reviews Program aimed at promoting hands-on experience of open-source products for students around the world. Students can post their reviews to give feedback, discuss cutting-edge technologies, get connected with experts, as well as participate in student contests to win cool prizes.

The program started with a OpenSolaris 2008.5 and NetBeans 6.1 product reviews contest .
Student Reviews
48 students from 14 different countries -- Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Moldova, Pakistan, Romania, Sri Lanka, Sweden, USA and Vietnam -- have submitted 78 technical reviews during the contest period.

Check out the detailed contest update here.

Monday May 05, 2008

Launching a new program...


Today we are launching a new Student Reviews Program. Here students worldwide can get hands-on experience on Sun offerings, post their reviews of Sun products, discuss the cutting-edge technologies, give feedback to Sun, get connected with technical experts, participate in contests, and win cool prizes!

The companion Student Views and Reviews site is also up and running with the inaugural blog post.
Sun's Student Reviews Program
The first student reviews contest has also been announced. Students can review OpenSolaris OS and/or NetBeans IDE 6.1, and get upto $250 in debit cards.

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