Tuesday Sep 07, 2010

I love positive feedback

I always love positive feedback. Last week I discovered a nice blog post Arpit Agarwal's Blog: NetBeans JavaFX Composer - A threat to Adobe FlexBuilder! -mr

Wednesday Sep 01, 2010

TechCast Live: NetBeans IDE 6.9 - JavaFX Composer and OSGi

A little bit late but here is it - TechCast Live: NetBeans IDE 6.9 - JavaFX Composer and OSGi. I did the demo of JavaFX Composer - it shows how to use Ai to adjust existing image, JavaFX Production Suite to export the image as fxd (vector graphics format which can be consumed by JavaFX) and NetBeans JavaFX Composer to make an animated application. Skip to about 6:10 for the demo.

TechCast Live

NetBeans 6.10 M1 available

NetBeans 6.10 M1 is available for download.  JavaFX Composer Data Sources have been significantly improved in NetBeans 6.10 M1
  • The API has been re-written (old API is still available for compatibility reason)
  • Improved Query Language
  • New Data-sources aware components based on original JavaFX 1.3.1 components. Use of new components makes the whole developer workflow more intuitive and faster
  • Write support - it is possible to generate read-write forms and save the data back to the date provider
  • Data validation support
  • Updated samples
Form Design

Read the full story here:

8 Milestones!

8 Milestones of JavaFX Composer so far! Since M3 all public, M5 was the first milestone included in the official NetBeans distribution (6.9 Beta). Thank to all members of the team.

Monday May 31, 2010

Grid container support

JavaFX 1.3 brings Grid container in preview quality and this article summarize how NetBeans JavaFX Composer support this feature.[Read More]

Thursday May 06, 2010

Changing colors of components

There is lot of documents describing how to change the color and look of components in JavaFX 1.3. However is there a simple way how to change it in JavaFX Composer? Of course!

Option 1 - changing a particular component

In component's Properties in Style category, provide the correct snippet of  CSS that modifies this component.

E.g. -fx-background-color: red; for Button

 or -fx-text-fill: red; to change hyperlink color.

Option 2 - provide CSS for whole design

Select the Scene node in Navigator. There is "Stylesheets" property where you can specify the path to your stylesheet.

More informations


Friday Apr 23, 2010

Thursday Apr 22, 2010

NetBeans 6.9 Beta has been released!

Since NetBeans 6.9 Beta, JavaFX Composer is a part of official NetBeans distribution. There have been significant improvements in JavaFX Composer since Preview 2.

  • Support for JavaFX 1.3 
  • More components
  • DataSources Query Language
  • Support for JavaFX Production Suite (FXD/FXZ formats)
  • Many usability improvements

Read more in What's new in JavaFX Composer in NetBeans 6.9 Beta.

Read more about NetBeans 6.9 Beta and download from netbeans.org.

Important master state

JavaFX Composer comes with the concept of application states. State represents a set of property values. If you switch to another state, new values are assigned to all the components. Using states, it is easy to create multiple screens, zoom effects, sidebars, etc. Read more about states in NetBeans wiki. There is always one state - master state (<master> in the list of states). It is a global state and all states inherit values from master until they are re-defined in a particular state. We recommend to do most of the design in the master state, change individual states only if necessary.

 One of the common mistakes is if you are designing an application where individual screens share a lot of components and accidentally switch to another state. Then all changes apply only to this particular state and have to be repeated in other states. To prevent such a situation, the IDE draws a red rectangle around the scene if non-master state is selected.


If you have added or modified the component in a non-master state and now you would like to move it to the master, simply select the component | right-click | Set component to master. In such a case, all property values of the component will be set to the master set.

Set as master

 If only some properties should be set in master state, simply use Set As Master and Reset to Master buttons on the property customizer in property sheet. Set As Master will set the current value to the master state, Reset to Master will make this property value to be inherited from the master state. --Martin

Wednesday Mar 17, 2010

Composer features

I broke my right thumb so I can type too much. I just wanted to answer comments I've seen recently.

First - limited set of components. We started with existing components in JavaFX 1.2. We quickly discovered that the set of components is limited. So we had two options - either start creating or own components but we would not have time to improve the tool itself or to work with the SDK team to get more and better components. We chose the latter one, now we're integrating the new components in our development builds, provide our feedback, test it on samples. You should see the new components as soon as the new SDK is released.

 Drawing/manipulation tools - why are they missing? Initially we wanted to focus on working with UI controls only (Matisse like). Soon we got feedback from various people to support also graphics shapes. We spent few days before Preview2 release adding these into the model, just to see what applications we could build using it. We didn't have time to do more - this has to happen in future milestones.

 There are more such complaints which will be addressed soon. In general we believe it is better to release previews frequently and getting comments from users rather than building something for years. Step by step. We started the work on Composer in September last year, with first preview in December so it is still a young product. --Martin

Saturday Mar 13, 2010

Only one file for your design

In the Preview1 and Preview2 of JavaFX Composer, you've probably noticed that there are two files created - {DESIGN_NAME}.fx and {DESIGN_NAME}_run.fx. As you can see at the screenshot

in preview2

If you'll look at your filesystem (or into Files view) you'll notice that there are actually three files. The third is {DESIGN_NAME}.fxc. This .fxc file contains the model of the Design. And you should NEVER edit/modify it. It is used only by the JavaFX Composer - it means you don't need it in final application or if you are moving the sources out of NB IDE.

As we are improving thing (continuously) in the development builds the two visible files were merged into one. It's simpler, understandable and even easier to maintain. The _run.fx file contained a few lines anyway.

after preview2

Friday Mar 12, 2010

[BUG in preview2] Blank document when you use Text Fill of Label

Unfortunately, we discovered serious bug in the Preview2 of JavaFX Composer. Thank you, v.petrovic.rs for discovering and reporting the problem. As there is a workaround to this problem and the JavaFX Composer is still in Preview "only" we will not provide a patch for this bug.

 Problem description:

If you set any value to a "Text Fill" property of any Label component, then first you will start seeing the IllegalStateException in the
console. If you save and close such a design, then you will NOT be able to reopen it anymore.The design will open as empty / blank


  1. Open your Main.fxc file in an external file editor.
  2. Find all lines that starts like this:  <Reference name="textFill" >
  3. Delete all these lines and save the file.
  4. Now you should be able to open the design file in NB IDE again.
  5. Do NOT set any "Text Fill" property on any Label component using a specific value.
  6. Instead open the property editor for the property. In dialog, check "Use Text Fill resolved from field:" radio-button and enter your color into the text-field below. The color must be entered as a custom-code e.g. javafx.scene.paint.Color.BLACK
  7. This way the "Text Fill" color will NOT be visualized in the design view and you will be able to open your design.  

Friday Feb 26, 2010

Weather app

Today I've discovered JavaFX Weather app done in JavaFX Composer by Rakesh Menon. I like it very much and I also like the fact the composer made the development much easier. I even downloaded the source of the application to see how much has been done visually comparing to amount of user code - kind of usability study for me :). Perhaps we should start a contest - best sample application for the next release. Come on - send us your applications and feedback, help to make Composer better.

Tuesday Feb 23, 2010

Designing even "small" components

A while ago I blogged about small problem in JavaFX Composer Preview1. That was solved in the Preview2 (of course). If you want to edit the "scaled" components you can dive into it. The JavaFX Composer will then show the particular container. Zoomed.

A picture is worth thousand words...

So we have to zoom in...

and we can zoom in even more

Double click the container to zoom in. For zoom out, use the hyperlinks in title bar of the Design area.

Tuesday Feb 16, 2010

Magic Label

This is my favorite sample. Well as of Preview2, it will likely change in the future ;-)

The NetBeans logo consists of lines and circles. It is new in Preview2 - our main focus is still on components rather than on graphics shapes. It also uses states - for instance the explosion is represented by two states - original logo and circles and lines somewhere beyond the visible area. As I've have set an animation on the states, the transition between the states is animated. Click on the image to see the result. --Martin


NetBeans JavaFX Composer blog


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