Hot on the heels of the 8.20.7 release, I am pleased to announce the release of ControlsFX 8.20.8. This release is primarily a bug fix release (to smooth some of the rough edges from 8.20.7), but there are also a couple of new features in this release to keep things interesting. The main bug fixes include:

  • ControlsFX 8.20.7 only worked on JavaFX 8u20. This has been fixed so ControlsFX 8.20.8 works on JavaFX 8u20 and later (such as the just-released 8u25).
  • ControlsFX-Samples was not executable because we changed our build scripts in 8.20.7 and forgot to include the relevant manifest attributes. This has been fixed.
  • SpreadsheetView continues to receive bug fixes (and unit tests).
  • It was not possible to use the Notifications API in an OSGi environment – now it is.
  • And of course a bunch of other useful bug fixes!

The two main features in this release were both contributed by Dirk Lemmermann. They are:


TaskProgressView
The task progress view is used to visualize the progress of long running tasks. These tasks are created via the Task class. This view manages a list of such tasks and displays each one of them with their name, progress, and update messages.

An optional graphic factory can be set to place a graphic in each row. This allows the user to more easily distinguish between different types of tasks.

task-monitor


ListSelectionView
A control used to perform a multi-selection via the help of two list views. Items can be moved from one list (source) to the other (target). This can be done by either double clicking on the list items or by using one of the “move” buttons between the two lists. Each list can be decorated with a header and a footer node. The default header nodes are simply two labels (“Available”, “Selected”).

list-selection-view


If you are unfamiliar with ControlsFX, you can get an overview of the main features. As always, you can download the latest release from controlsfx.org, as well as find the latest release and hourly snapshot builds on Maven Central.

A heap of links this week, enjoy! :-)

That’s all folks – back to work for me! Catch you next week :-)

Sorry for the few weeks of radio silence – I had the JavaOne distraction followed by a week of catching up on everything that needed me during the JavaOne week. I’m only just surfacing again now, and there are a huge number of links to cover, so pardon the succinctness – we have a lot to get through! I’ll also note that I’ve bound to have missed some links, so apologies for that. Now, on to the links – enjoy :-)

Phew! That took a while to write out! I hope you enjoyed the links from the past few weeks – and I’ll catch you again next week! :-)

It’s time for another ControlsFX release, this time taking the version number on another jump up the scale and finally settling on version 8.20.7. What this version number represents is the fact that this release requires JavaFX 8u20 and will not work with earlier versions. If you want to use ControlsFX with JavaFX 8.0, you will need to use ControlsFX 8.0.6.

Why the delay?
This release has been brewing since 8.0.6 was released on May 29th – so basically four months. This is not typical for us (we normally have much quicker releases), but Eugene and I were both distracted on a major undertaking – elevating the ControlsFX dialogs API and implementation into the next release of JavaFX itself (it’ll be appearing in JavaFX 8u40, although the API is vastly different than what you see in ControlsFX 8.0.6). The end result is that we iterated through a bunch of API design work (see RT-12643) and none of that benefited ControlsFX, but it took up all our time.

Once JavaFX 8u40 dialogs were API complete (which was only mid-August), we developed a plan for how to proceed with ControlsFX dialogs. In essence we didn’t feel that it was wise to maintain a dialogs API in ControlsFX that was so divergent than what will ship in JavaFX 8u40. Therefore, the plan that we developed was to deprecate the old ControlsFX API, fork the JavaFX dialogs API into a new project called openjfx-dialogs, and to recreate the additional features that ControlsFX includes (but are lacking in JavaFX itself) using the new API (this includes dialogs like progress, font chooser, command link, login, etc). The end result is two-fold:

  1. ControlsFX 8.20.7 has an external dependency on openjfx-dialogs, but this will only be the case until we baseline on JavaFX 8u40, at which point it can be removed.
  2. ControlsFX 8.20.7 ships with two dialogs APIs! The saving grace is that the old one is still fully functional but deprecated – hopefully that will give you enough of a hint that the old API will go away in a future release.

The nice thing about openjfx-dialogs is that people wanting to use the new JavaFX dialogs API in 8u20 can do so – just download the jar (or set it as a dependency) and you can use the API (and implementation) exactly as it will be in 8u40. This is great for me – it gives me more testers of the JavaFX dialogs API and implementation – hopefully you can file bugs if you run into them.

What else is new in ControlsFX 8.20.7?
On top of the already mentioned dialog classes, the major new features in ControlsFX 8.20.7 are a new Wizard API (again, built using the new dialog API) and a StatusBar control:

Wizard
The wizard was implemented by Eugene and myself. I think it strikes a really nice balance between simplicity and flexibility, but I am sure that over time we will continue to tweak the API as we get more user feedback. The thing I like most about the API is its simplicity. In the common use cases, you can simply specify the pages you want to show, and that’s it. Once the dialog is closed by the user (or in fact, at any time), you can query a Map to retrieve the input that the user has put into all fields of the wizard. The Wizard knows how to extract values from most commonly used controls, and if it can’t, you can easily add support for custom value extractors. On top of this, the wizard supports linear and conditionally branching page flows. Here’s a screenshot from our simple test wizard:

wizard

StatusBar
The status bar control was contributed by Dirk Lemmermann. It is normally placed at the bottom of a window. It is used to display various types of application status information. This can be a text message, the progress of a task, or any other kind of status (e.g. red / green / yellow lights). By default the status bar contains a label for displaying plain text and a progress bar for long running tasks. Additional controls / nodes can be placed on the left and right sides.

The picture below shows the default appearance of the StatusBar control: statusbar

The following picture shows the status bar reporting progress of a task:

statusbar-progress

The last picture shows the status bar with a couple of extra items added to the left and right:

statusbar-items

Miscellaneous Improvements
Of course, on top of the major new features / changes, there is a bucket load of small improvements, including the following:

  • Improved glyph font support, including support for the latest FontAwesome release.
  • Improved build system – we now have just one gradle project that can work with ControlsFX, ControlsFX-samples, and FX Sampler.
  • Action and Dialogs API refinement, based on our work moving dialogs up to JavaFX 8u40.
  • New CSS tab in FX Sampler – now FX Sampler can not only syntax highlight the code of a sample, it can also syntax highlight the CSS of the control.
  • The validation API now supports regular expressions and predicates.
  • Improved internationalisation support – we are fully integrated with Transifex, and the community is always welcome to help translate.
  • Big performance improvements in SpreadsheetView.
  • Support for any span in SpreadsheetView fixed row/columns
  • RangeSlider is now a lot less finicky about setting min / max / high / low values.
  • Lots of bug fixes, particularly in Dialogs, Actions, SpreadsheetView, as well as the Check* controls (CheckListView / CheckTreeView / CheckComboBox).

That’s all for this release – we hope you appreciate all the hard work that the team is putting in to ControlsFX, and that you might consider offering bug fixes or bug reports. If you want to get involved, check out our documentation that describes everything that you need to know to get started.

It’s been a really long time in the making, but I’m pleased to announce the final release of Scenic View 8.0.0. This release is the culmination of a huge amount of work, and whilst not perfect, is a good starting point for further discussion and refinement. The other big aspect of this release is the fact that Scenic View is now open source – yay! :-)

scenicView

Given the large number of developer preview releases there should be no surprises as to what to expect in this release – it is just bug fixing at this point. However, now that 8.0.0 is out I hope that we can accelerate the development of the project by getting more people into the code base and helping to refine, improve, and simplify it. Please, take it for a spin and be sure to file bugs over at the new bug tracker.

Finally, here’s a sneak peak of what might be coming up in a future release of Scenic View:

scenic-view-3d

 

Go forth and download! I know the release isn’t wart-free, but I need your help to diagnose and resolve the issues. Thanks!

It’s one week until JavaOne kicks off – I can’t wait to get over there and to catch up with a bunch of you. This week there are a bunch of good links too, so enjoy! :-)

That’s all folks. If everything goes to plan, the next post will be done from San Francisco sometime around the start of JavaOne. For those that are attending – safe travels and I look forward to seeing you there. For those that are not, follow along on twitter :-)

Today I have an interview with Sean Phillips. For those new to this series, here are the people who have been interviewed so far:

seanPhillips
Hi there. Thanks for taking the time to do this quick interview. Can you please introduce yourself?
Hey I am Sean Phillips and I live near Washington DC, USA. I work for a.i. solutions inc and we are a major NASA corporate partner. Additionally I am the founder of the free open source JavaFX 3D library F(X)yz. I received a 2013 Duke’s Choice award for my GEONS Ground Support System software.

Recently I contributed, along with Gerrit Grunwald, Mark Heckler, Jose Pereda and Carl Dea, to the book titled ‘JavaFX 8 Introduction by Example‘ by Apress publishing.

Is this your first time presenting at JavaOne, or are you a JavaOne veteran?
This will be my third JavaOne and second presenting. I suppose that makes me a veteran… I still have a free t-shirt with SUN logos on them from my first JavaOne. I presented at several sessions last year and was extremely fortunate to present live during the community keynote.

What was presenting at the keynote like compared to the technical sessions?
Well we had rehearsal and practiced our timing the night before. Henrik Stahl was the host for my portion and he’s great. Really sharp and quick on his feet up there. I was presenting NASA mission software so I thought I would have the coolest section but I was bookended by James Gosling’s Underwater Robots and Aditya Gupta’s exploding flying Minecraft Pigs. I had no chance! How can you compete with that??

What are you going to talk about at JavaOne this year?
This year I have a mix of sessions, ranging from JavaFX 3D to Lessons Learned in Mission Critical systems.
I am excited by my NASA Software Development on the Eights session where a team of my colleagues and I will be discussing and demonstrating some of the software we develop for our NASA missions.

What type of missions are you working on?
The team I am bringing and my company a.i. solutions provide support for a long list of missions and launches ranging from James Webb Space Telescope to the International Space Station. A strong cross-section of those missions will be discussed at JavaOne by us this year.

Do you have any big announcements or releases planned leading up to (or at) JavaOne? Can you give any hints?
No hints, I will just tell you. Jason Pollastrini (@jdub1581, Co-founder of F(X)yz) and I have just open sourced our JavaFX 3D library. Unfortunately Jason couldn’t make JavaOne this year but I will be demonstrating the new features that provide a lot of support that JavaFX 3D does have within its base packages. We are really proud of the work and we moving ahead towards making everything from better 3D data visualizations to all the basics of a 3D Game engine. A shout out to Jason: He’s really bumped the project forward. Anybody on the west coast in need of a graphics/3D guy he’s fantastic!

Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?
Find me at the Taylor Street cafe after 2pm!

Today I have an interview with Hendrik Ebbers. For those new to this series, here are the people who have been interviewed so far:

Hi there. Thanks for taking the time to do this quick interview. Can you please introduce yourself?
Sure :)

I’m Hendrik Ebbers and live in Dortmund, Germany and work for Canoo Engineering AG. In addition I’m the lead of JUG Dortmund. My main focus is primarily in the areas of JavaFX, Middleware and DevOps. I have a website (www.guigarage.com) on that I try to blog about UI related topics. In the last time most of the post are about JavaFX and enterprise development. If you are interested in this you should visit my blog or follow me :) (@hendrikEbbers)

For JavaOne 2014 JavaFX is my core topic. As a Featured Speaker I will have 6 talks at JavaOne this year. Next to this Oracle Press released my “Mastering JavaFX 8 Controls” book this summer.

Is this your first time presenting at JavaOne, or are you a JavaOne veteran?
No to both :)

I was speaking at JavaOne last year the first time. I had 3 talks about JavaFX. It was an awesome week and I can’t wait to be there again.

What are you going to talk about at JavaOne?
As already said my main topic will be JavaFX. I’ve prepared some talks that introduce different subtopics like JavaFX enterprise development or styling with CSS. A complete list of all my talks can be found at my blog: http://www.guigarage.com/2014/08/javaone-2014-sessions/

In addition I try to give some previews and sneak peek of my talks at guigarage. Currently there are two previews:
http://www.guigarage.com/2014/09/javaone-2014-preview/
http://www.guigarage.com/2014/09/javaone-preview-enterprise-javafx/

Do you have any big announcements or releases planned leading up to (or at) JavaOne? Can you give any hints? ;-)
Let’s start talking about releases. We plan to release DataFX 8 at JavaOne. With version 8 DataFX will contain 5 modules: core, data reader, flow, injection & web socket. We have a DataFX 8 talk at JavaOne in that we want to introduce all the features and show some demos. I hope that the JavaFX community will like what we did the last year.

In addition I created a collection of small but helpful JavaFX modules. This set of modules is called “Guigarage JavaFX Collections“ and I will release a first version at JavaOne. In all of my talks at minimum one of the modules is used to code some cool demos. I don’t want to talk to much about the content of this project because I will introduce it in my talks. But I can say that there are modules for animations, styling, custom controls and some other core topics.

Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?
Come to JavaOne! It’s the biggest and coolest Java Conference in the world. Oh, and visit my talks :D

For all the people who can’t visit JavaOne I plan to release all demos and slides directly after the conference. In addition I’m currently writing some descriptions for the modules of the “Guigarage JavaXF Collections” set that will be released on guigarge after JavaOne.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to answer these questions! All the best for your JavaOne talks!

Two weeks until JavaOne – now I’m starting to get excited (and also overwhelmed by how much preparation I still have to do!). On with the links! :-)

JavaFX

Catch you all next week.

51oS4qJWf8L[1]Hendrik Ebbers was generous enough to arrange for a hard copy of his new book, Mastering JavaFX 8 Controls, to be sent to my place, so the least I can do is post a mini review of the book. I have now read the book cover to cover and I think that it is a very good book for people wanting to learn more about the controls that ship in JavaFX 8, and also for people wanting to learn more about how to build custom controls specific to their use cases.

Reviewing a book like this is difficult for me as I have lived and breathed JavaFX UI controls for over five years now, so it is hard for me to gauge whether the book is detailed enough for people newer to the subject. My gut feeling is that the book could do with more text to describe concepts, but in general I think most readers should be able to follow along without a problem. In reading the book I made a few notes that I have also passed on to Hendrik, to help improve future editions of the book (which I hope there are as JavaFX API evolves quite rapidly).

The early chapters of the book give a good introduction to the basics of JavaFX. The middle section gives a good overview of the existing JavaFX UI controls, as well as interesting topics such as Swing and SWT integration, and styling UI controls. Unfortunately, whilst the first two sections feel like they go at a good pace, the final section of the book seems to be over too quickly – there is only one chapter on creating custom controls, which is unfortunate given the subtitle of the book is “Create Custom JavaFX Controls for Cross-Platform Applications”. It would be nice to see the final section of the book expanded to fill multiple chapters in future editions – this way it could feel less cramped and the book could easily become the go-to reference for how to create custom controls.

One nice aspect of the book is the interviews with members of the community (including myself). I enjoyed reading the interviews, but I wished for more and for them to be longer! :-) There are a lot of interesting members of the community who can provide a bunch of detailed insight and explanations, so I hope future editions expand on the interviews.

Overall I think that this is a great book for people interested in working with JavaFX UI controls, and shows great promise for future editions if some of the kinks above are worked out. Despite my negative points, I recommend this book to people who are serious about wanting to get to know JavaFX UI controls in greater depth.