Part one discussed Open Solaris. Part Two is all about what is new with JavaFx and the Java Store.
I have talked about, and been impressed with JavaFX since its debut at JavaOne 2007. It was a key part of my presentation to Cincinnati area application development members that year. For those application development people who don’t know what JavaFx is, I blogged about it here. So what’s new really with it? The JavaFx in 2007 was JavaFX script. JavaFX was limited in where you could run the script. In January, JavaFX released its first runtime, and now JavaFX 1.2 is out. You can have graphic designers create media for your application using JavaFX production and easily import them into JavaFx. The JavaFx language can now be run on the desktop, web page or mobile device. JavaFx has been integrated with the new version of web start, but more on that later. New widgets have been created, and third-party widgets are being created at JavaFx widgets. There still are issues, though. Some swing like widgets like menus and tables have not been completely done. You can create a wrapper around Swing components, but it’s not the same as a native widget. Integration with NetBeans 6.7 isn’t there because of the new designer isn’t ready, but an update is scheduled at the end of July The reason I think application development teams should use JavaFX, is that the same code can run in multiple areas. I can now create a desktop application and have it run on the web and mobile devices without having to rewrite my code.
The JavaFX designer will help in a wider adoption rate of JavaFX for the things it can do. A big part of JavaFx is making animation simple to create. With the timer piece of designer, it’s a breeze. In the demo here, (starts 10:25 in) you can take an image, give it a starting point, and pick intermediate points and the times and the designer creates all of timings for you. You can bind media and widgets to data or events. For example you can drop a video and some buttons on the scene. You then drag a link from a button to the media, and all available actions popup (play, pause, etc.). Select the action in the popup and it’s done. Application development guys can create a media player in minutes. You can open different windows with different screen sizes, and all of the children inherit their changes from the parent. You can edit each screen though, and those changes are kept for that window.
What is the Java Store, and why do I need it? The Java store is a warehouse for free, and for fee Java applications. Right now, everything is for free while the community decides the best way to charge (or not) for applications. If you need an application quickly, you can check the store without having to do extensive searching, or worse, recreating the wheel. The cool thing about the store is its use of the new Web Start technology. Users can preview the application before keeping the application. If you decide to keep the application, just drag it to your desktop. It’s just that easy.