JavaOne Tutorial Report - JavaFX 2 – A Java Developer’s Guide

Oracle Java Technology Evangelist Stephen Chin and Independent Consultant Peter Pilgrim presented a tutorial session intended to help developers get a handle on JavaFX 2.

Stephen Chin, a Java Champion, is co-author of the Pro JavaFX Platform 2, while Java Champion Peter Pilgrim is an independent consultant who works out of London.

NightHacking with Stephen Chin

Before discussing the tutorial, a note about Chin’s “NightHacking Tour,” wherein from 10/29/12 to 11/11/12, he will be traveling across Europe via motorcycle stopping at JUGs and interviewing Java developers and offering live video streaming of the journey. As he says, “Along the way, I will visit user groups, interviewing interesting folks, and hack on open source projects. The last stop will be the Devoxx conference in Belgium.”

It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. His trip will take him from the UK through the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, and finally to Devoxx in Belgium. He has interviews lined up with Ben Evans, Trisha Gee, Stephen Coulebourne, Martijn Verburg, Simon Ritter, Bert Ertman, Tony Epple, Adam Bien, Michael Hutterman, Sven Reimers, Andres Almiray, Gerrit Grunewald, Bertrand Boetzmann, Luc Duponcheel, Stephen Janssen, Cheryl Miller, and Andrew Phillips.

If you expect to be in Chin’s vicinity at the end of October and in early November, by all means get in touch with him at his site and add your perspective. The more the merrier!

Taking the JavaFX Plunge

Now to the business at hand. The “JavaFX 2 – A Java Developer’s Guide” tutorial introduced Java developers to the JavaFX 2 platform from the perspective of seasoned Java developers. It demonstrated the breadth of the JavaFX APIs through examples that are built out in the course of the session in an effort to present the basic requirements in using JavaFX to build rich internet applications.

Chin began with a quote from Oracle’s Christopher Oliver, the creator of F3, the original version of JavaFX, on the importance of GUIs:

“At the end of the day, on the one hand we have computer systems, and on the other, people. Connecting them together, and allowing people to interact with computer systems in a compelling way, requires graphical user interfaces.”

Chin explained that JavaFX is about producing an immersive application experience that involves cross-platform animation, video and charting. It can integrate Java, JavaScript and HTML in the same application. The new graphics stack takes advantage of hardware acceleration for 2D and 3D applications. In addition, we can integrate Swing applications using JFXPanel.

He reminded attendees that they were building JavaFX apps using pure Java APIs that included builders for declarative construction; in addition, alternative languages can be used for simpler UI creation. In addition, developers can call upon alternative languages such as GroovyFX, ScalaFX and Visage, if they want simpler UI creation.

He presented the fundamentals of JavaFX 2.0: properties, lists and binding and then explored primitive, object and FX list collection properties. Properties in JavaFX are observable, lazy and type safe. He then provided an example of property declaration in code.

Pilgrim and Chin explained the architectural structure of JavaFX 2 and its basic properties:

JavaFX 2.0 properties – Primitive, Object, and FX List Collection properties.
* Primitive Properties
* Object Properties
* FX List Collection Properties

* Properties are:
– Observable
– Lazy
– Type Safe

Chin and Pilgrim then took attendees through several participatory demos and got deep into the weeds of the code for the two-hour session. At the end, everyone knew a lot more about the inner workings of JavaFX 2.0.

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