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JavaFX: Developing Rich Internet Applications

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Published by: Prentice Hall
ISBN: 013701287X

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One Minute Bottom Line

Since JavaFX was released back in December 2008, developers have needed a professional reference for the language. This book delivers by covering a wide range of topics relevant to JavaFX showing you how to get started to creating RESTful applications in JavaFX. The Code Recipes section in particular deserves praise, as it shows you how to get around some common problems when using JavaFX.

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Getting Started does exactly what you'd expect - it shows you where to get JavaFX, how to use the NetBeans IDE for development, while also showing you the alternatives (Eclipse and command line).

The next chapter deals with JavaFX for the graphical designer, showing how to creating graphical assets using the JavaFX Production Suite. Development with both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CS3 is covered here, along with details on SVG utilities.

Following this is the key chapter for anyone new to JavaFX - the JavaFX Primer. This is a well written chapter describing JavaFX Script syntax and operators. Binding is the other key concept in JavaFX, as it enables your UI layer to interact with the program logic. As well as explaining how binding can (and can not) be used, triggers (which you can think of as action handlers) are also described.

The next two chapters are dedicated to the user interface and special effects. As well as describing the stage, scene and node concepts in detail, you'll see how to create your own custom controls. The Swing Extensions are also included in the user interface chapter - allowing you to use Swing controls in your JavaFX application. The chapter on special effects is straight to the point, keeping things simple so that you can understand the concepts here well. 

Animation and motion is covered in the next chapter with some nice examples. Following that we get to see more complete multimedia, such as images and videos. 

Having learnt all the basics of a JavaFX application, you get the chance to put this knowledge into action with the next part which deals with deploying your application as a JavaFX Applet, or through Java Web Start. While remaining on the web theme, Creating RESTful Applications, shows how a JavaFX application can become a good REST client. This is illustrated nicely with a weather application.

One of the most powerful aspects of JavaFX is that it can take advantage of the entire Java platform. You can find out more about this in JavaFX and Java Technology

One of the chapters that really stood out for me was the Code Recipes chapter. This is essential for those who are serious about JavaFX development. It's interesting to see how JavaFX can interact with JavaBeans. There is also recipes concerned with Server Side Callbacks, Wizard Framework, Node Effects such as fading and magnification and dealing with matrices.

The book finishes off with a case study of a Sudoko application, where you can put all you have learned into practice. 

As you can see, the book is fairly complete - if you want to get a real headstart in JavaFX, it's well worth getting your hands on this book.