Yakov Fain, a fellow Java Champion and Managing Director of Farata Systems, has wondered publicly what many other developers and IT decision-makers are privately wondering: If I may paraphrase, the question is: "Can JavaFX be used for development of applications that real-world software developers can relate to?" To quote Yakov's article referenced above, "Enough of the demos of bubbles moving up and down in a glass with water. Can’t recall any application in my rather long career that would require to program something like this." In this article, Yakov indicated that he has started looking into JavaFX and plans to publish a couple of articles (in Java Developer's Journal) going through development of an application that real-world software developers can relate to.
Yakov gave similar feedback to a blog post that I wrote to demonstrate JavaFX data binding, in which I used a slider to control the diameter of a circle. I was very grateful for this feedback, which helped focus my attention on perhaps the most important criterion for widespread adoption of JavaFX: its ability to be used for developing rich user interfaces for real enterprise systems.
As a result, I recently began creating a "proof of concept" application to prove this capability. This application will have a rich-client user interface that communicates with Amazon web services. Many of you know that I don't have the graphics gene, so I asked someone that does (Casper Hamlet) to create some graphic comps in Adobe Photoshop. I then used the JavaFX Production Suite to export the layers directly into a NetBeans project, where Dean Iverson and I began developing that application. Yesterday at the Jfocus Java Conference in Stockholm I demonstrated the JavaFX Production Suite and the humble beginnings of this proof of concept. The screenshot above shows its capability so far, which is to cause brief info about JavaFX books to be transformed in various ways as they revolve in and out of view (when the right and left icons are clicked). Also, when the Details button is clicked, more information about a book is displayed in the details area, which includes a scrollable area. Currently, the book data is represented only in the model classes, but we plan to communicate with the Amazon web services shortly. You can try the existing functionality out by clicking on the Web Start link below.
Shown below is the original graphic comp for this screen. I obviously have some more work to do on this page to make it match the comp, particularly in the scrolling table:
Here is as a screnshot taken of NetBeans rendering the FXZ file that was exported from Photoshop after tagging the layers that I wanted and deleting the rest:
Please join me in watching for Yakov Fain's JavaFX articles in JDJ. It has been encouraging to see interest increase in JavaFX among those that I hold in high regard in the Java community.
As always, please leave a comment if you have any questions,