Tuesday Jun 30, 2009

Build JavaFX viral application with zembly

Building Facebook applications is not trivial. Most of the content is build in PHP/JavaScript and the challenge is to find hosting for your app. Scalability is another issue once the application becomes viral. There is also the issue of ease of deployment of an app once you build it in one of the traditional development environments.

zembly provides an answer to many of the issues described above. Chris put togher a quick guide on how to deploy JavaFX web applications as zembly widgets. The next step would be to show how to produce a Facebook application (I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader ... until my next blog). Below I am reproducing Chris' blog with minor changes.

Web widgetizing a JavaFX application

\* Using a JavaFX applet in a zembly widget. This approach allows zembly to provide the seamless hosting of the widget and development of a server side mashup (a data service in zembly), while JavaFX provides the rich graphics (JavaScript would be used to communicating with the JavaFX runtime). Embedded a JavaFX applet can be done for both HTML widgets as well as widgets used within application types such as Facebook. There are several steps to use JavaFx in a zembly widget (The wiki contains more information about using JavaFX from zembly) :

         1. Upload the jar file containing the JavaFX code as a widget resource.

         2. In the HTML editor, add a script tag to reference the JavaFX JavaScript runtime.

            <script src="http://dl.javafx.com/1.2/dtfx.js"></script>

         3. In the HTML editor, add another script tag to setup the JavaFX applet. The ${res(’Calculator.jar’)} substitution variable is obtained using the add to editor link from the widget resources panel. This variable ensure the URL link is resolved appropriately throughout the widget lifecycle.

            <script type="text/javascript">

              javafx(

                    {

                        archive: "${res('Calculator.jar')}",

                        width: 221,

                        height: 249,

                        code: "calculator.Main",

                        id: "appl"

                    }

                ;);

            </script>

Consuming zembly services in a Java of JavaFX application

\* Consuming data services (see the growing list of public Web APIs) available from zembly in a JavaFX application (running outside zembly). The zembly platform provides an open source client library which allows secure invocation of data services outside zembly. The client library has language bindings for Java and JavaFX. The wiki contains details on invoking data services outside zembly.


Friday Mar 20, 2009

JavaFX developer challenge

The JavaFX team is ready to deploy the JavaFX developer challenge. Students and developers should already familiar with the concept. Companies such as Google, Adobe and Microsoft have implemented similar contests to get developers to adopt new technologies.

Here are some tips on how to improve your odds of winning:

  • Use NetBeans 6.5 - it will make you more productive
  • Deploy your application on the web, rather than just submitting the sources - JavaFX is all about build rich user interfaces, and the web is the best way to showcase your work
  • Embed you application in a widget that can become viral within social networks. For instance you could use zembly to build and deploy a Facebook application
  • Don't mix and match in your user interface. JavaFX Script provides a different programming model than Java and while you could call Java (e.g. Swing) from the UI, it will likely not look good. The team is building a new set JavaFX UI controls, however this library is not available yet.

 

Thursday Aug 07, 2008

Generation z

Generation z (as in zembly).

I am not going to attempt to define demographically what generation z is, however you should think of folks 16 to 22 who think that email is something their fathers do. Technology is their lingua franca. Many of them are also casual developers. Since most of the gen z folks are highly connected at all times one can easily assume that they'll be looking for a hosted development environment, a place where a browser is both the tool and the platform on which they express their creativity. They will also care about ease of use and virality. Just as the Open Source is the place for most talented hard core developers to earn bragging rights and the respect of their peers, Facebook and the other social networking sites are stages on which gen z technological creativity is on display.

I suspect that many of the gen z casual technologists will use a site as zembly to rapidly and collaboratively build a widget or Facebook app. Moreover, they'll have at their finger tips "handles" to web scale web services (e.g. Flickr, Google, Amazon, etc.) that they could duct tape together. The opportunities seem endless.

Monday Jul 14, 2008

Mix and match

My JavaScript coding skills are not longer that crisp, so I decided to develop a widget using a truly participatory environment such as the one provided at zembly.com. By doing so I put myself in the position to ask for the help of other zembly users. I can grant certain folks the privileges to modify and re-publish versions of the my widget experiment. In the end, I'd like to be able to embed my widget in a more sophisticated application that I'll be developing using NetBeans.[Read More]

Monday Jun 30, 2008

Social web application development

The next generation web application development environments may look a lot like zembly.com. First, no installation will be required and developers will use their browser as a platform. Second, application development will be done in a very participatory fashion, where developers, in your social network, will help you develop and leverage your code. Third applications (widgets, services, etc) will be able to draw into the power of the social graph. Give zembly a try and imagine the future.

While using zembly, I strongly recommend using Firefox 2.0. You'll also have to make sure that the Java is enabled in your browser (it will work without the JRE, however the experience in the editor degrades considerably).

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