3 Replies - 7100 Views - Last Post: 29 April 2012 - 09:38 PM

#1 Ghlavac  Icon User is offline

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Thoughts on JavaFX2

Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:19 AM

I've recently begun looking more into this (Especially seeing as 7u4 includes it) and I'm liking very much what I'm seeing in terms of the nice looking UI's you can pull off relatively easily compared to the swing crap.
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Replies To: Thoughts on JavaFX2

#2 GregBrannon  Icon User is offline

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Re: Thoughts on JavaFX2

Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:31 AM

I explored this myself for about 2 hours just yesterday after one of the help thread posters said he refused to use Swing because Netbeans "no longer supported it" as of version 7.1 (or after 7.1? I forget).

I began by researching the claim that Netbeans would no longer support Swing and learned that's simply not true. I think what the poster meant was that the Netbeans' GUI Builder was being redesigned and renamed, I forget the new name, and that it would generate JavaFX code rather than Swing.

I also learned (or was reminded) that new no Swing development would occur. Swing has been officially in a maintenance-only mode for some time, but no maintenance has occurred since Sun first released JavaFX in 2008. The lack of new Swing development by itself indicates either 1) stagnation of the language's GUI features to the language's eventual decline and abandonment, or 2) that something else must be planned to be Swing's replacement in order to keep the language relevant.

I found grumbling about JavaFX being only released in versions for Windows and Mac, but I found the Oracle JavaFX roadmap that shows the Linux development release combining with the general release within roughly the next year. At that point, I was beginning to think that it was time to try out and learn how to use JavaFX.

I searched for what I could find here on the topic and found almost nothing. pbl had made a comment that (I think) said using JavaFX was like delivering pizzas in Cadillacs, but I didn't quite understand his comment, and I'm sure it was specific to the thread he made the comment in. Frankly, its mention in that thread was the most there was in one place. There were a few other requests for help with JavaFX that went unanswered. I think I found the same thread on StackOverflow where the OP found some help.

I also looked for Eclipse support of JavaFX. There's a third-party Eclipse plugin for JavaFX, somewhat immature in my estimation, but I believe it was only for versions of Eclipse run in the Windows/Mac environments.

Each new search for info outside DIC brought me to the Oracle JavaFX download page which I noticed had only the development release for Linux. I'm not a big fan of development releases, but after crossing the site a number of times and learning what I had above, I thought I'd give it a whirl. While downloading, I followed the link to the Linux installation instructions. It was a circular link that brought me back to the download page where I'd started, and that disappointed me.

After downloading JavaFX, I started a new JavaFX tutorial project in Eclipse, added the JavaFX libraries to my project, and copied and pasted the first lesson from the official JavaFX web site which was a simple "Hello World" frame with a single button. There were no syntax errors in the code and all imports and JavaFX classes were recognized. I ran the code and successfully displayed an empty frame but got an error that prevented the button from being added. The error was an NPE somewhere in the FavaFX graphics rendering code. I searched for info on the error for about 5 minutes, found nothing and gave up. I confirmed why I didn't like development releases and decided to wait for a more mature release.

That was my journey. Though my experience was frustrating and disappointing, I'll resume exploration and discovery when there is a general release of JavaFX that supports the Linux environment. It will then be time for those of us developing in the Linux environment to learn more about Swing's replacement-apparent, and we'll be behind the Windows/Mac crowds (?) or early-adopters who've been using it since 2.0's release in the final quarter of last year.
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#3 Ghlavac  Icon User is offline

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Re: Thoughts on JavaFX2

Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:10 PM

One thing won me over... MiGLayout works with JavaFX2 as well :D
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#4 Feuer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Thoughts on JavaFX2

Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:38 PM

I did some research on the matter in February, and JavaFX2 compared to Swing looked as cool as WPF compared to Winforms in the .NET world. Unfortunately all my projects had already been for Swing for so long that changing the UI library would be stupid, especially since Swing fills all my needs, but if I come up with a new project, I will definitely explore the possibilities of the JavaFX2.
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