FX Experience Has Gone Read-Only

I've been maintaining FX Experience for a really long time now, and I love hearing from people who enjoy my weekly links roundup. One thing I've noticed recently is that maintaining two sites (FX Experience and JonathanGiles.net) takes more time than ideal, and splits the audience up. Therefore, FX Experience will become read-only for new blog posts, but weekly posts will continue to be published on JonathanGiles.net. If you follow @FXExperience on Twitter, I suggest you also follow @JonathanGiles. This is not the end - just a consolidation of my online presence to make my life a little easier!

tl;dr: Follow me on Twitter and check for the latest news on JonathanGiles.net.

Announcing Scenic View 1.3.0

After a little over a month since the release of Scenic View 1.2.0, Ander Ruiz and I are back with the news that Scenic View 1.3.0 is available for immediate download! This release brings with it a number of bug fixes, major performance improvements, much improved CSS support, Mac OS X native menubar integration, an update checker, and an early preview of the animation tracer feature. I highly recommend that all users of Scenic View download this latest version and take it for a spin – hopefully you’ll like what you see. As always the help page has been updated to include the details of the new release Enjoy 🙂

Announcing the JavaFX UI controls sandbox

Announcing the JavaFX UI controls sandbox

Update: since announcing the JavaFX UI controls sandbox I have announced the ControlsFX project, which is a more convenient way to get access to a number of controls that do not ship with JavaFX. Check out the ControlsFX website for more information.

This is something I’ve been waiting a really, really, really long time to announce, but it has finally happened. Today I am so pleased to announce the opening of the JavaFX UI controls sandbox repository on OpenJFX. This repo is a fork of the JavaFX 8.0 controls repo, but will occasionally sync from there to keep it up to date. This repo is intended for OpenJFX developers to put their ‘toys’ until such time that they get called up to the big leagues for inclusion into OpenJFX itself (although there are no guarantees that this will ever happen). This means that the controls are functional, but most probably not feature complete with a finalised API or any significant documentation.

The reason why I’ve been wanting to open this sandbox up is so that members of the JavaFX community can get super early access to our controls as soon as they reach the most minimal level of maturity, and help guide them along their paths to adulthood. I also wanted to do this as it takes a long time between developing a UI control and having it appear in a JavaFX release. This is something that has frustrated me, and a number of you, to no end.

From the get-go there are a few controls in this repo that you may be interested to play with and give us feedback on. They are TreeTableView (although note this is currently undergoing a total rewrite), Dialogs (ala JOptionPane from Swing), TableView cell span support (look at TableView.spanModel for more info), and a RangeSlider control. These controls will develop over time, but of course we’re always on the lookout for others who want to improve these controls for us. If you’re interested specifically in tending to the new controls in the sandbox, please email me and we can discuss it.


Preliminary Performance Numbers in JavaFX 8

We’ve been working hard on performance lately for FX 8. Following is a performance report from Katya Pavlova, one of the members of our performance team who gives us regular (at least weekly) updates on the performance of the platform.

Notable Improvements (comparing to fx2.2-b21-ga)

There are a lot of improvements integrated into fx8.0. Most significant are:

  • Multithreading has been implemented and turned on
    • RT-15195 “Allow QuantumRenderer thread and FX Application thread to run in parallel”
  • A lot of Controls improvements including:
    • RT-23873 “Investigate (and improve) ListView / TreeView / TableView performance”
    • RT-20840 “fx2.2-h17-b01: Adding new column to TableView results in creating new N columns instead of 1”
    • RT-22244 “Pisces Renderer shows huge performance win when coded in C”
  • Web node improvements

JavaFX 8.0 performance was improved for almost all benchmarks. In particular performance was improved for:

  • more than 50% in Charts
  • more than 100% in some Controls
  • up to 30% in DirtyArea
  • more than 20% in FXFire
  • up to 30% in Guimark2.Bitmap and Guimark2.Vector
  • up to 30% in JFXPanel-GUIMark2.Bitmap and more than 100% in JFXPanel-GUIMark2.Vector
  • more than 30% in Layout
  • up to 20% in WebNode.Guimark2-Text

Announcing Scenic View 1.1 beta build 6

Hi all! Just a quick post to say that Ander and I have been really, really, really busy working on Scenic View 1.1, and whilst it isn’t finished yet (we’re still working out the last bugs), we wanted to get a build out to you folks to test with (and provide us with valid feedback). So, right now we’re making available Scenic View 1.1 beta 6. This release is an almost total rewrite of Scenic View, and I will dive more into exactly what has changed in a future blog post. For now, we are really wanting to hear how it works for you. Leave comments on this post to let us know what OS you’re using.

So, go here, download the 1.1 b6 file, and run it. To run Scenic View 1.1 b6 you have a few options, as opposed to 1.0.1 and earlier releases where we only supported the ScenicView.show(scene) method. The one I really want you to test now is the new standalone application feature. Simply double-click on the ScenicView.jar file, and it should start up. Depending on your system, it may ask you to provide paths to two jar files on your system.

Some important points to remember:

  • The standalone Scenic View will auto-discover running JavaFX applications on your machine, so simply start Scenic View and your preferred JavaFX application, and it’ll automatically appear in Scenic View.
  • We are aware of issues on Mac OS – we do some quite complex VM stuff, and it seems it is a little different on each OS.
  • To find the tools.jar file on your system (we try to auto-find it but we can’t always), browse inside the lib folder within your JDK installation (not your JRE installation).

We really look forward to your feedback!

Application Deployment with JavaFX

Igor Nekrestyanov yesterday wrote a very important blog post on native packaging for JavaFX applications. Some of you have tried out and commented on our previous blog post about FX Experience Tools, which used native installers. The jfxtras project has likewise created such native installers. The native application bundle approach to deployment is a new mechanism that we’re rolling out for both JavaFX and hopefully in the near future also for Java SE applications (such as Swing and AWT).

Announcing Scenic View 1.0

Announcing Scenic View 1.0

Scenic View 1.0 is now available for download! This release adds a heap of new features to the release I put out a few weeks ago. Some features include filtering, editing, and a bunch more! Here’s a screenshot:

Picking the version number for this release was a little difficult – Scenic View has existed for a very long time, but until now has not had a version number assigned to its releases (the last of which was the first public release). Therefore, Ander Ruiz and I decided to make this next release version 1.0, and to start numbering versions from there. We have a lot planned for future releases, so keep an eye out on the Scenic View page here at FX Experience, and follow FX Experience on Twitter if you want up to the minute news. Also, you may be interested in the interview I did with Ander last week.

Finally, on behalf of Ander and I, enjoy this application! Please provide feedback in the comments section and we may add the feature or bug fix in a future release.