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JavaFX: I'm Starting To Believe

04.27.2009
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It always takes some time for new technologies to prove themselves, and JavaFX is no different. It still gets more than it's fair share of bad press, but as more examples using JavaFX appear, I'm starting to believe that it has it's place for Java developers. I'm sure we'll see a lot more examples of what JavaFX can do at JavaONE this year. Here are some examples that caught my attention.

One of the main strengths of JavaFX is the type of user interfaces that are possible - and one of the most popular interface types of the moment is the image flow type, that Apple look. This image viewer looks great, and gets it's images from Flickr through web services. 

 

Of all the different mashups that you can create, location based ones along with Google Maps are the most popular. This example shows how this can work (I would really like to see the source code for this!).

Mashups become even more useful with JavaFX mobile. I really liked this application built on top of the Yahoo Shopping API. 

 

 

Moving away from mashup side of things, Rhythm Box is a fun drum simulator written in JavaFX. Maybe we'll see a version of something like Guitar Hero written in JavaFX soon?

 


It's not the mose diverse or complete list of examples, but it's a start. Are there any examples of JavaFX applications that you would like to share?

Don't forget that the JavaFX Coding Challenge is still open for entries, until May 29. 

Comments

Jan Anderson replied on Wed, 2009/04/29 - 8:17am

I am a good software developer - so employers and users say. Decades of experience, bla bla.

What I am not is a good graphics designer. And this is my issue with JavaFX.

I write user interfaces for controlling equipment and I get them right (the users like what I build) with Swing or other GUI toolkist in other languages. I don't have the talent to somehow draw that equipment and to meaninglessly animate operations on that equipment with JavaFX, creating all kinds of cool special effects. And my users don't want or need image viewers, mashups or drum simulations. They need to get their data into the equipment, they need to get data out of it in a non-distractive (no flying spaghetti monsters delivering some information in a twisted animation), most smooth and clear way. The user interface should not push itself in the foreground, loudly "shouting" LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, AIN'T I SHINY?

What  would I gain from JavaFX? I don't have the graphics designer talent, so my interfaces will become worse. My users don't want anything distractive. So I would gain nothing.

JavaFX is wrong because it overloads Joe Programmer  with tasks outside of his/her expertise, and because it targets a type of user interface not suitable for heavy-lifting applications.

Paulo Pinto replied on Wed, 2009/04/29 - 8:55am

I do not belive. JavaFX has so much to catch up that Oracle is likely just to drop it.

It lacks the proper tooling that developers and designers have come to expect from Flash/Flex. Even Silverlight offers better tooling. The plugins that are currently available are a joke compared with the other RIA solutions do offer.

 Sadly I think JavaFX has only been money thrown out the window, and it has helped Sun to be in the situation they are currently.

Erik Martino replied on Wed, 2009/04/29 - 10:33am

There are some really nice features in the javafx language that I would like to see in Java 8. My favorite being statically typed binding. I would like to see javafx features creeping into Java. Also the syntax seems to be more clean than javas.

 My dream scenario would be that Java and JavaFX could be used interchangeably or perhaps converge.

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Wed, 2009/04/29 - 1:27pm

While the tooling is behind, the other RIAs simply can't compete with the fact that JavaFX is backed up by Java. Tons of libraries, frameworks, whatever, just available as native JavaFX objects, without the need of any adapter.

@user1024: you're right in saying that there is a segment that won't get much advantages in screamingly fine looking applications. I'm much into this business and I see myself using Swing for a long time. But I'm glad I can mix it with JavaFX for the end-user targeted applications, and mobile applications, where look matters. As a final word, the fact that JavaFX aims to compelling graphics doesn't mean you are forced to use compelling graphics; so the average programmer is not overloaded. 

 

Amin Mansuri replied on Wed, 2009/04/29 - 2:05pm

Installation continues to be the problem.. when I went to the image viewer.. I saw the loading java page, then I got prompted twice to view the control.. That's ridiculous. For it to be an effective competitor w/flash it needs to be more transparent on web pages.

Pavan Kumar Sri... replied on Wed, 2009/04/29 - 2:59pm

Its been over an year since javfx was announced and...yet...

1: There are  no widgets for tables/trees  in the standard sdk

2: No way to communicate b/w swing(java)  & javafx seamlessly 

...which is shocking

 

Jose Jeria replied on Wed, 2009/04/29 - 3:38pm

I don't doubt what JavaFX can do technologywise, what I doubt is its implementation. The fact that all demos I seen on the web are way too big (in size) for the web. Other things that kill the user experience are security dialogs and a bubble appearing in the taskbar informing that Java is running (WTF). the user experience is even worse on the mac. Any page containing a Java applet is sluggish and the applet redraws slowly when scrolling.

Rael G.C. replied on Wed, 2009/04/29 - 7:15pm in response to: Sergey Surikov

Applets can't access filesystem.

This is the reason why all JavaFX demos throws a lot of security popups to user accept.

Honey Monster replied on Thu, 2009/04/30 - 10:22am in response to: Fabrizio Giudici

the other RIAs simply can't compete with the fact that JavaFX is backed up by Java. Tons of libraries, frameworks, whatever, just available as native JavaFX objects, without the need of any adapter.
That may be true versus Flash, but Silverlight is based on the DLR which can be targeted by a host of languages, including C#. Which means that pretty well all libraries (minus the server ones) can also be used by Silverlight. There's not even the need for two languages, so there's no "one-way integration" like with Java and JavaFX (it is considerably harder to use JavaFX objects from Java). Indeed, C# 4 is just around the corner with new dynamic features for seamless integration with DOMs and dynamic languages like Ruby, Python etc.

Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Thu, 2009/04/30 - 3:58pm

Has anyone seeing this JavaFX design tool? Interesting background these people have...

JavaFX Rio

http://www.reportmill.com/rio/

Reminds me of Squeak, the visual smalltalk designer...

 

Casper Bang replied on Mon, 2009/05/04 - 8:57am in response to: Honey Monster

That's true. Now what I find to be the really interesting part is that Silverlight and Moonlight are perfectly capable of compiling JavaScript thanks to the DLR. That means potentially we have a small runtime system with migration path from JavaScript to... whatever language of your chosing.

It's my interpretation that JavaFX only exists because it gave Sun a way to innovate on top of a frozen/stale Java. Unfortunately this does nothing for the bulkiness of the plugin and runtime as evident by each and every JavaFX example I have tried.

Adam Malter replied on Wed, 2009/05/06 - 11:36pm

JavaFx, the answer to the question nobody asked...

The real deal is that Sun saw their license revenue for JavaME (Probably the only area of Java that they actually monetized to any real degree) going down the drain, with iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, etc...

Additionally, remember that Java's great-grandfather language is Oak, an attempt to create a common language to run cablebox style software.

I think Sun wanted to provide a next-gen mobile platform, fulfill James Gosling's television convergence wet dream, and maybe muscle in on the RIA space at the same time.

But, as with all Sun projects launched after 1996, we all knew it was doomed from get go. It was too much, too ambitious, too broad, too arrogant (and the real problems, too slow, too big, and too buggy). Sun went shooting for the stars when all we wanted (and would have paid for) was for them to evolve and improve.

So, now we're stuck with a new jdk that looks nice, but that coulda been, shoulda been better. And the fat lady has sung. Daddy Larry is here, and Netbeans, JavaFx, OpenOffice, Virtualbox and all the other spread thin and wide projects should been taken out behind the shed.

Nmatrix9 Nmatrix replied on Wed, 2009/05/13 - 11:45am

Sun is putting the cart before the horse.  It's all about deployment, deployment, DEPLOYMENT!

 Even if the technology is in the beta stages at the very least make the deployment as seamless or transparent to the user as possible.  This is something that both Adobe and Microsoft have figured out early and quickly.  But for some reason Sun seems to have it's head so far up it's butt it doesn't seem to realize it will not succeed on the desktop market if it's deployment is anything but straightforward. Security prompt dialogs?  5-10 minute downloads for a 800kb webstart demo? 5 years ago this would have been acceptable but come on Sun you keep hyping up these technologies yet you consistently fail to deliver.  

Is it incompetence?  Arrogance?  Lack of Vision? Or maybe it's just lack of good leadership where sun has now inevitably slid into the abyss?  It's 2009 now and Sun has been bought out by Oracle.  I would of prefered IBM but something tells me that at the very least Oracle won't hype but actually implement technologies they are committed too whatever they may be.

Sergey Surikov replied on Tue, 2009/05/26 - 3:20am

Glenn Wiens replied on Mon, 2009/09/07 - 12:54pm

Well, there has been a lot of discussion on JavaFX here. My main interest is in getting a database application (using SQLServer as the db) up and running ASAP. I have written quite a bit of java stuff, but it has been infrastructure stuff (monitoring and sending alerts/pages when things go awry, writing historic metrics to databases, etc).

I admit I am somewhat challenged when it comes to building GUI applications, yet this is what I need to do now.

 My question is: what is the most direct route to building a database application using NetBeans? after looking through this thread, I am thinking that JavaFX is not the way. 

 Any suggestions for a relative GUI newbie?

 Thanks.

pedro lastorgas replied on Tue, 2009/10/13 - 9:02am

Amazing how far java has reached.

john green green replied on Fri, 2009/10/23 - 5:54am

There are some really nice features in the javafx language that I would like to nike shoes discountsee in Java 8. My favorite being statically typed binding. I would like to see javafx features creeping into Java. Also the syntax seems to be more clean than javas.

john green green replied on Sun, 2009/10/25 - 8:48am

What would I gain from JavaFX? I don't have the graphics nike shoes chinadesigner talent, so my interfaces will become worse. My users don't want anything distractive. So I would gain nothing.

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Carla Brian replied on Tue, 2012/05/29 - 9:13am

JAVA FX is really efficient. That are good lists of applications. I wanna learn how to this one. - James P Stuckey

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