Wednesday Nov 21, 2012

Get Started with JavaFX 2 and Scene Builder

Up on otn/java is a very useful article by Oracle Java/Middleware/Core Tech Engineer Mark Heckler, titled, “How to Get Started (FAST!) with JavaFX 2 and Scene Builder.”  Heckler, who has development experience in numerous environments, shows developers how to develop a JavaFX application using Scene Builder “in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee, while learning your way around in the process”.

He begins with a warning and a reassurance: “JavaFX is a new paradigm and can seem a bit imposing when you first take a look at it. But remember, JavaFX is easy and fun. Let's give it a try.”

Next, after showing readers how to download and install JDK/JavaFX and Scene Builder, he informs the reader that they will “create a simple JavaFX application, create and modify a window using Scene Builder, and successfully test it in under 15 minutes.”

Then readers download some NetBeans files:
EasyJavaFX.java contains the main application class. We won't do anything with this class for our example, as its primary purpose in life is to load the window definition code contained in the FXML file and then show the main stage/scene. You'll keep the JavaFX terms straight with ease if you relate them to the theater: a platform holds a stage, which contains scenes.

SampleController.java is our controller class that provides the ‘brains’ behind the graphical interface. If you open the SampleController, you'll see that it includes a property and a method tagged with @FXML. This tag enables the integration of the visual controls and elements you define using Scene Builder, which are stored in an FXML (FX Markup Language) file.

Sample.fxml is the definition file for our sample window. You can right-click and Edit the filename in the tree to view the underlying FXML -- and you may need to do that if you change filenames or properties by hand - or you can double-click on it to open it (visually) in Scene Builder.”

Then Scene Builder enters the picture and the task is soon done.

Check out the article here.

Tuesday Aug 14, 2012

Enterprise JavaFX Deployment with LightView: Part 3 now on otn/java

A new article by Java Champion Adam Bien, now up on otn/java, titled “Enterprise JavaFX Deployment with LightView: Part 3,” explores ways to use Maven 3 to build and deploy the LightView application in all available deployment modes. In addition, Bien shows how to sign and deploy LightView with a Java EE 6 application.

Bien explains the basics:

“LightView uses the HTTP (REST) protocol to communicate with the back-end server. For the realization of back-end communication, an external library—the Jersey client—is used. LightView connects with the back end (LightFish) at startup time, so it is not suitable to lazy-load the Jersey dependencies for optimization purposes. Furthermore, multiple JAR files are hard to handle for standalone applications; you have to set up the class path correctly and keep all the moving parts consistent. The most convenient way to deploy Java (and JavaFX) applications is simply by starting them with java -jar my-killer-app.jar and deploying a single file that contains all the dependencies.”

He shows how the class files are packaged with the javafxpackager, which is shipped with the JavaFX 2 SDK, using the exec-maven-plugin and explains the core tasks achieved by Maven and describes the what javafxpackager does behind the scenes. He then shows how the LightView application operates and interacts with LightFish.

Bien concludes by emphasizing that the richness of JavaFX lies in the fact that it is another Java library. “Because JavaFX is ‘just’ an additional Java library, all of the established build, test, and deployment infrastructure can be reused. You can develop JavaFX applications using any integrated development environment (IDE) you like. And best of all, you can use a single language in a project, from the Java EE back end to the JavaFX front end.”

Check out the article here.

Tuesday Jul 03, 2012

The Enterprise Side of JavaFX: Part Two

A new article, part of a three-part series, now up on the front page of otn/java, by Java Champion Adam Bien, titled “The Enterprise Side of JavaFX,” shows developers how to implement the LightView UI dashboard with JavaFX 2. Bien explains that “the RESTful back end of the LightView application comes with a rudimentary HTML page that is used to start/stop the monitoring service, set the snapshot interval, and activate/deactivate the GlassFish monitoring capabilities.”

He explains that “the configuration view implemented in the org.lightview.view.Browser component is needed only to start or stop the monitoring process or set the monitoring interval.”

Bien concludes his article with a general summary of the principles applied:

“JavaFX encourages encapsulation without forcing you to build models for each visual component. With the availability of bindable properties, the boundary between the view and the model can be reduced to an expressive set of bindable properties. Wrapping JavaFX components with ordinary Java classes further reduces the complexity. Instead of dealing with low-level JavaFX mechanics all the time, you can build simple components and break down the complexity of the presentation logic into understandable pieces. CSS skinning further helps with the separation of the code that is needed for the implementation of the presentation logic and the visual appearance of the application on the screen. You can adjust significant portions of an application's look and feel directly in CSS files without touching the actual source code.”

Check out the article here.

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