The Future Of The JavaFX Weekly Dazzle

I have enjoyed bringing the JavaFX Weekly Dazzle to my audience but I would like the assistance of anyone who reads this to determine what I should do in the future with this (ideally) weekly series of posts.

The main issue is that while I know the global JavaFX community is not extremely large, I am surprised and somewhat disheartened what the analytics for this series of posts have been telling me.

Basically, each week after posting there are about 40 views on the Dazzle Zone site in total with around 25-30 unique visitors.  This seems rather small and I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t promote the posts effectively or if there simply isn’t much interest in them.

An even more significant observation is that only a small fraction of the visitors actually click on any of the links in the post which basically defeats the purpose of the posts.

It may surprise you just how much effort goes in to collating and curating all JavaFX content for a week, writing the post, checking all the links etc. and I need to know if there is justification for me to continue to do this.

I am more than happy to keep contributing to the world of JavaFX in this small way if there actually is demand for it.  I’ve made no secret of my ongoing health issues so it’s important that I prioritise my time carefully and wisely.

Please respond using the “Leave a Comment” link at the top of this post if you are reading this and then hopefully I will know what’s best to do going forward.

Graciously,

John-Val Rose (@Rosethornian)

JavaFX News Update Weekly Dazzle – 2019-10-21

This is the JavaFX news update that covers all blogs, articles, links and activities in JavaFX world for the past week.

Once again there has been a lot of JavaFX related content:

  • Young prodigies Debayan Sutradhar (@ladiesman36069) and Samuel Quinones (@SamuelQuinones1) have created a free alternative to the Elgato Stream Deck (Multipurpose Keyboard) for the Raspberry Pi here and tweeted about it as well.
  • Almas Baimagambetov (@AlmasBaim) has tweeted about an important advance in his awesome FXGL game library. He also posted a video about a very impressive Castlevania themed game developed with FXGL.
  • Personal Growth and Skills (@money_personal) tweeted about three new JavaFX courses namely The Complete Java Developer Course from Scratch, JavaFX – Benutzeroberflächen / GUIs in Java programmieren and Build Outstanding Java Apps with JavaFX much faster
  • JAXenter (@JAXenterCOM) have posted an interesting article about the expectations for Java 14 including JavaFX.
  • Mark Stephens (@) posted an article about using Java 13 features with Java 8 which mentions JavaFX.
  • Pedro Duque Vieira (@P_Duke) has tweeted about a new release candidate of his excellent JMetro library.
  • Gerrit Grunwald (@hansolo_) has released yet another version (11.16) of his versatile TilesFX project here.

I hope you found value in this JavaFX news update for the past week.

As will always be the case, if I overlooked anyone’s tweets or posts or there’s anything else you think should be included here then please use the Contact page to let me know and I’ll be sure to include them in next week’s blog.

Graciously,

John-Val Rose (@Rosethornian)

The JavaFX News Update Weekly Dazzle – 2019-10-14

This is the JavaFX news update that covers all blogs, articles, links and activities in JavaFX world for the past week.

Once again there has a lot of JavaFX related content:

  • Pedro Duque Vieira (@P_Duke) has released a new post on the great JMetro library here and also tweeted about progress he has made with the Dark JMetro Style.
  • Olaf Kohlhaas (@OlofKohlhaas) has posted 2 videos (video 1 & video 2) of his TabScribe app for transcribing music tracks written with JavaFX this time featuring a guitar synthesizer.
  • Dirk Lemmermann (@dlemmermann) tweeted about a video that demonstrates his neat JavaFX On-Screen Keyboard.
  • Paul Anderson (@Paul_ASGTeach) tweeted about his upcoming session at Dev Nexus 2020 titled “JavaFX Now and Beyond, Desktop to Mobile”.
  • Hayri Cicek (@cicekhayri) released a post helping with your first JavaFX application.
  • Java Global Futures (Headquarter) (@JavaFutures) tweeted about their global futures Prime Account JavaFX application.
  • Frank Delporte (@FrankDelporte) tweeted again about an update to his book in progress “Getting started with Java on Raspberry Pi” which strongly features JavaFX.
  • Ankit Beniwal (@codewithAnkit) published their first video on JavaFX FXML featuring his MedRef application.
  • Two companies posted JavaFX job ads namely Corilus and Axe Trading Ltd on Stack Overflow Jobs (@StackDevJobs).

I hope you found value in this JavaFX news update for the past week.

As will always be the case, if I overlooked anyone’s tweets or posts or there’s anything else you think should be included here then please use the Contact page to let me know and I’ll be sure to include them in next week’s blog.

Graciously,

John-Val Rose (@Rosethornian)

The Unity Weekly Dazzle – 2019-10-07

This is the weekly roundup of all the news, articles, links and activities in the Unity universe.  On this occasion it is a “tri-weekly roundup” as I was unavailable to produce the last 2 week’s posts so it’s thrice the dazzle!

I’m still finding it rather challenging to curate this post simply because of the enormous amount of activity (tweets, blogs etc.) that happens with Unity within a week.

So once again I decided to turn to my friends at GameDevHQ for assistance.  If you’re serious about Unity, you really need to check-out GameDevHQ for amazing content, assets, courses, seminars and challenges and their brilliant Filebase Unity Plugin.  Check-out their membership plans and go Pro to get an amazing amount of exclusive content to progress your Unity skills and career.

Thanks to GameDevHQ I don’t have to trawl through the plethora of #MadeWithUnity tweets as they already do that and produce a “Best of Made With Unity” video on YouTube each week.

Here are their three most recent videos:

With GameDevHQ themselves, they have been extremely busy as usual with running seminars and continuously upgrading their Filebase Unity Plugin, now at version 3.06.

I will be releasing a post soon devoted entirely to Filebase as I truly believe it is one of the best and “best-value” Unity Plugins available.

In other news, in the last few weeks, 3 new versions of Unity have been released:

  1. The latest Production version of Unity 2019.2 namely 2019.2.8f1.
  2. The latest Beta release of Unity 2019.3 namely 2019.3.0b6.
  3. The latest Alpha release of Unity 2020.1 namely 2020.1.0a7

As will always be the case, if I overlooked anyone’s tweets or posts or there’s something you’d like to see included here then please use the Contact page to let me know and I’ll be sure to include them in next week’s blog.

Graciously,

John-Val Rose (@Rosethornian)

The JavaFX Weekly Dazzle – 2019-10-07

This is the weekly roundup of all the news, articles, links and activities in JavaFX world. On this occasion it is a “tri-weekly roundup” as I was unavailable to produce the last 2 week’s posts so it’s thrice the dazzle!

Once again there has been a high level of JavaFX related content:

  • The big event during this time was Oracle’s Code One conference where lots of juicy JavaFX content was presented.  The sessions included “JavaFX Tips and Tricks: Reloaded [DEV1394]” with Dirk Lemmermann (@dlemmermann), “JavaFX 12 and Beyond [DEV4112]” with Kevin Rushforth (@kevinrushforth), “JavaFX Real-World Applications [DEV1397]” with Dirk and Gerrit Grunwald (@hansolo_), “Rapid Prototyping with JavaFX [DEV4301]” with Jens Ehrke, “JavaFX and the Java Client [MTE6762]” with Kevin and Phil Race, “Building Synet: Using JavaFX and Spring Boot for Autonomous Quadcopters [DEV4291]” with Bob Larsen, William Lindner & Adam Cobb, “Building a Source Code Text Editor in JavaFX [DEV3745]” with Michael Kölling and Neil Brown, “JavaFX 11 on Mobile, Leveraging GraalVM [DEV3646]” with Jose Pereda (@JPeredaDnr), “Java Clients and JavaFX: The Definitive Guide [DEV4857]” with Jose and Stephen Chin (@steveonjava), “Rich Client Java: Still Going Strong! [DEV2513]” with Sven Reimers (@SvenNB), Gerrit & Bruno Borges (@brunoborges), “Not Dead Yet: Java on the Desktop [DEV1126]” with Gerrit and “Cross-Platform Development with GraalVM [DEV3907]” with Tim Felgentreff (@timfelgentreff).  That’s a significant amount of JavaFX content proving once again how vibrant the technology, community and ecosystem are.
  • Michael Paus (@MichaelPaus) in his own words “uploaded two examples where I show two use-cases for the new JavaFX WritableImage with direct buffer support. The first demo makes the well known VLC media player directly usable inside JavaFX and the other demo wraps a BufferedImage so that you can directly render into its graphics context and use it as an Image in JavaFX. (Note: The first demo does not seem to work on Windows at the moment due to some internal VLC specific problems.)”. The link is here.
  • JAXenter (@JAXenterCOM) posted an article titled “Weekly Review: PHP in decline, JavaFX 13 & Jakarta EE 8” which discussed the release of JavaFX 13.
  • Gerrit Grunwald (@hansolo_) posted another article about his great TilesFX library, this time focusing on custom skins and also releasing a number of new versions.
  • Sean Phillips (SeanMiPhillips) and Carl Dea (@carldea) tweeted about a project to produce high performance pixel based fire and flames effects in JavaFX.
  • MyJava (@MyJavain) tweeted about an awesome project by Mirko Sertic (@mirkosertic) named GameComposer with a GitHub repository and a website.
  • bezvaap (@bezvaap) posted a video about changing the JavaFX theme by setting just one colour in CSS.
  • BellSoft (@bellsoftware) posted an article titled “Oracle Code One 2019: Side Notes” which mentions their Liberica library and its use by the team at Robo4J.
  • Off Heap (@OffHeap) posted Episode 47 which looks at Microsoft acquiring JClarity and the healthy state of JavaFX.
  • Frank Delporte (@FrankDelporte) released his first open source library on Maven to display LED numbers using JavaFX.  He also mentioned his book “Getting started with Java on Raspberry Pi” which strongly features JavaFX.
  • Several people referred to the upcoming JFXDays conference in Zurich on December 2-4 which looks really exciting.
  • Dirk Lemmermann (@dlemmermann) tweeted that he has forked the Afterburner.FX project by Adam Bien (@AdamBien) and modularised it for full Java 11 support.  It is available on Bintray and on Maven Central.
  • Chris Bateson (@chrisbateson80) posted an article titled “JavaFX: What Makes it Ideal for Cross-Platform App Development Projects.
  • Olaf Kohlhaas (@OlofKohlhaas) posted an impressive video of his TabScribe app for transcribing music tracks written with JavaFX.

As will always be the case, if I overlooked anyone’s tweets or posts or there’s anything else you think should be included here then please use the Contact page to let me know and I’ll be sure to include them in next week’s blog.

Graciously,

John-Val Rose (@Rosethornian)

The JavaFX Weekly Dazzle – 2019-09-16

This is the weekly roundup of all the news, articles, links and activities in JavaFX world. On this occasion it is a “fortnightly roundup” as I was unavailable to produce last week’s post so it’s twice the dazzle!

Did I hear someone say JavaFX is dead (again)?  Just look at the hive of activity here:

  • This period was highlighted by the release of JavaFX 13 with several posts about this new version (it was a “lucky” day for Java with the simultaneous release of JakartaEE 8).  This is a big effort and kudos to Gluon & everyone else involved in creating it.  This is a major release with the most significant new feature being native rendering support which opens-up all kinds of interesting possibilities.  The release notes can be found here.
  • InfoWorld posted an article about this release and its new features.
  • JAXenter (@JAXenterCOM) posted an interview with Johan Vos (@johanvos) about this exciting new release and another one with Dirk Lemmermann (@dlemmermann) along with one about the release in general.
  • I want to make special mention of Adam McQuistan (@adamjmcquistan) who has been very busy with his new “The Coding Interface” blog (@CodingInterface) and posted several tweets & articles about JavaFX.  Personally, I found his 3-part tutorial on using JavaFX with Gradle, Eclipse, Scene Builder & OpenJDK 11 very helpful (the 3rd post is here and includes links to the previous two).  He also posted about using JavaFX ChoiceBox & ComboBox controls here, RESTful Consumption using the Java 11+ HTTP Client API and Gson including a JavaFX example here, How To Implement JavaFX Scene Transition Animations here, and used a JavaFX example in his post about sorting in Java.  Keep up the prodigious output Adam!
  • Sean Philips (@SeanMiPhilips) tweeted about the LitFX project which adds lightning and other animated light/particle effects to JavaFX.
  • KitPloit (@KitPloit) posted about the impressive looking “Constellation – A Graph-Focused Data Visualisation And Interactive Analysis Application” that uses JavaFX here.
  • Frank Delporte (@FrankDelporte) has updated post 2 of his helpful series of posts on JavaFX running on Raspberry Pi.
  • Matthew Gilliard (@MaximumGilliard) has posted an introduction to JavaFX.
  • Karakun AG (@karakun) announced the 2nd meeting of the JavaFX Adopters (with all the big players there) to be held in Munich.
  • Sayeem Abdullah (@_SayeemAbdullah) announced his database software Bracu Connect which uses JavaFX.
  • Dirk Lemmermann (@dlemmermann) tweeted about his JavaFX offerings at this year’s Oracle Code One conference.
  • The “force-full” Gerrit Grunwald (@_hansolo) announced the latest release of his excellent TilesFX project.
  • JPro (@jpro_one) announced the release of the web-based JPro 2019.1.2 here.
  • Bezva App (@bezvaapp) announced a simple JavaFX desktop environment JFXDE.
  • BellSoft (@bellsoftware) announced an update to their JavaFX media library Liberica for OpenJFX 13.
  • Philipp Hanslovsky (@hanslovsky) announced a new release of Paintera.
  • Lime has released a new version of their Lime Trading Portal built with JavaFX.

As will always be the case, if I overlooked anyone’s tweets or posts or there’s anything else you think should be included here then please use the Contact page to let me know and I’ll be sure to include them in next week’s blog.

Graciously,

John-Val Rose (@Rosethornian)

The Unity Weekly Dazzle – 2019-09-16

This is the weekly roundup of all the news, articles, links and activities in the Unity universe.

Being the first post of this kind, I have to say I found it rather challenging simply because of the enormous amount of activity (tweets, blogs etc.) that happens with Unity within a week.

So I decided to turn to my friends at GameDevHQ for assistance.  If you’re serious about Unity, you really need to check-out GameDevHQ for amazing content, assets, courses, seminars and challenges and their brilliant Filebase Unity Plugin.  Check-out their membership plans and go Pro to get an amazing amount of exclusive content to progress your Unity skills and career.

So there’s a Twitter hashtag #madewithunity and the number of tweets with that hashtag per day is overwhelming.  I simply don’t have the time to go through everyone of them and curate the best for inclusion here.

Thanks to GameDevHQ I don’t have to – they already do that and produce a “Best of Made With Unity” video on YouTube each week.

Here are their two most recent videos:

With GameDevHQ themselves, they have been extremely busy as usual with running seminars and continuously upgrading their Filebase Unity Plugin, now at version 3.01.  They have an awesome workshop coming-up on C# Fundamentals which shouldn’t be missed even if you’re already quite familiar with C#.  There’s also a great workshop on Level Design Using Filebase coming later this month.

In other news, in the last couple of weeks, 3 new versions of Unity have been released:

  1. The latest Production version of Unity 2019.2 namely 2019.2.5f1.
  2. The latest Beta release of Unity 2019.3 namely 2019.3.0b3.
  3. The latest Alpha release of Unity 2020.1 namely 2020.1.0a3

As will always be the case, if I overlooked anyone’s tweets or posts or there’s something you’d like to see included here then please use the Contact page to let me know and I’ll be sure to include them in next week’s blog.

Graciously,

John-Val Rose (@Rosethornian)

The JavaFX Weekly Dazzle – 2019-09-02

This is the weekly roundup of all the news, articles, links and activities in JavaFX world.

  • Pedro Duque Vieira has blogged about an update to his excellent JMetro library, now with JavaFX 11 compatibility: https://pixelduke.com/2019/08/25/new-jmetro-javafx11-compatible-version/
  • The ever-present Dirk Lemmermann (@dlemmermann) posted several tweets about his “vertical timeline TableView thingy” including https://t.co/ewMAd5hvah which looks great.
  • Tom Schindl (@tomsontom) tweeted about the exciting project DriftFX which adds native rendering to JavaFX https://twitter.com/tomsontom/status/1166628204263723008
  • Gluon posted about supporting Java/JavaFX on iOS and Android and highlights all the amazing work they have done to make this a reality: https://www.infoq.com/news/2019/08/java-ios-beta/
  • Frank Delporte (@FrankDelporte) has posted part 4 on his helpful series of posts on JavaFX running on Raspberry Pi: http://webtechie.be/2019/04/01/pijava-part-4-building-a-minimal-javafx-11-application-with-maven
  • Amanda Hinchman (@mvndy) has tweeted about ReactiveFX: https://github.com/ReactiveX/RxJavaFX
  • jaxenter has posted its Weekly Roundup with articles on Microsoft investing in AdoptOpenJDK and the move of OpenJFX to GitHub among others: https://jaxenter.com/weekly-roundup-microsoft-java-openjfx-github-jep-161285.html
  • jaxenter also posted an article focusing specifically on the migration of OpenJFX to GitHub: https://jaxenter.com/openjfx-migrate-github-follow-java-161181.html

As will always be the case, if I overlooked anyone’s tweets or posts then please use the Contact page to let me know and I’ll be sure to include them in next week’s blog.

Graciously,

John-Val Rose (@Rosethornian)

 

 

Dazzle Zone 2.0 Is Here – Now With Extra Dazzle!

Background

It’s been well over a year now since I started Dazzle Zone with starry eyes, excitement and big plans for an awesome blog focusing on UI/UX and the secrets to creating dazzling apps.

I was hoping to post at least fortnightly, include lots of useful samples and really help people with what can be a daunting subject, especially if you are a software developer who rarely works on front-end apps or who doesn’t feel particularly “artistic” or visual-oriented.

Then just as soon as I launched the rocket, it nose-dived and came crashing back down to Earth.  I got sick.  Very sick.  And for more than a year I was in and out of hospitals and only able to tweet occasionally or like and retweet the work of others.

Dazzle Zone lay dormant and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was dead and buried or simply abandoned.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Fortunately my health has recovered, at least to the point where I can re-launch this rocket and make it even greater than my original dream.

The new Dazzle Zone is here and I hope it will become helpful for many people.

What’s New?

  1. More frequent posts!  This won’t be much of a challenge given that I had only 1 post in 16 months but now there will be a weekly post titled “The Weekly Dazzle” along with regular articles focusing on one or more aspects of UI/UX.
  2. More diverse graphics toolkits to be used for samples.  Rather than focus just on JavaFX (as was the original idea), I realised that I need to expand the toolkits to cover more aspects of UI/UX than are possible with JavaFX alone.  Dazzle Zone 2.0 will now also use Unity and Qt for samples and with those three toolkits, just about every UI/UX feature can be demonstrated.
  3. The Weekly Dazzle” will keep you updated with all the news and new links for UI/UX, JavaFX, Unity & Qt for the previous week so you’ve got it all in one place.
  4. An updated About page which outlines the new goals for Dazzle Zone and why I chose these particular toolkits.

What Else?

JavaFX has undergone some significant changes since I first posted and is now looking extremely healthy and being adopted more widely.  This is thanks mainly to Gluon who are actively maintaining OpenJFX and have made the seemingly impossible dream of enabling JavaFX to run on mobiles and tablets a reality.

Unity had to be included in my toolkit selection simply because of its enormous capabilities for producing everything from AAA games to enterprise apps.  I am also a foundation member of GameDevHQ which provides a huge amount of added goodies to get you pumping out amazing creations with Unity.

GameDevHQ_-_Horizontal

Check-out the GameDevHQ membership plans and choose to go Pro for a wealth of epic Unity assets, courses and other very useful material.

Qt has been actively developed for 25+ years and is included as a toolkit here because of its versatility and its coverage of devices from small, low-resourced embedded devices all the way up to powerful graphics workstations.  It is very performant on all these platforms and uses C++ for the programming language, JavaScript for scripting and QML for declarative UI specifications.

Qt has an excellent IDE named Qt Creator as well as a 3D Studio enabling creation of a vast array of kinds of applications.

Stay Tuned

You can subscribe to individual posts and/or follow @DazzleZone on Twitter for announcements.

I truly hope that Dazzle Zone will become a vital and very useful resource for anyone involved with UI/UX development.  I welcome comments, both constructively critical and encouraging so please get involved and let’s see where this goes…

Graciously,

John-Val Rose (@Rosethornian)

JavaFX – Time To Dazzle!

Background

Welcome!

It may seem unusual to discuss a specific technology such as JavaFX as the first post on Dazzle Zone but I am doing so because I would like to make sure everyone is aware of recent developments in the planned future of JavaFX and why JavaFX is the toolkit I have chosen to use for all code samples and demos that will be in future posts.

The About page describes the purpose and goals of the Dazzle Zone blog.

News

Here’s a link to the official announcement from Oracle regarding the future of JavaFX and its place in the Java ecosystem: The Future Of JavaFX

So, in summary, as of the release of Java 11, JavaFX will no longer be part of the JDK itself. This may at first seem like the “last nail in the coffin” for JavaFX but, in fact, I believe it’s the best thing that could possibly have happened.

Why? Well, Oracle are very much positioning themselves as an “enterprise” or “cloud” solutions company and a graphics toolkit like JavaFX simply doesn’t really have any role to play in that strategy and, given that it generates little or no revenue for them, it was inevitable that the ever-shrinking team of JavaFX developers at Oracle would be “let go”.  The already limited budget that Oracle had allocated to maintain or enhance JavaFX could not be justified and for quite some time these financial constraints actually stifled the evolution and advancement of JavaFX.

Now, it is as though JavaFX has been set free.  Free from any restraints & shackles, not held back by bureaucracy, JavaFX is now more accessible to the extremely vibrant, passionate and talented community which will enable true innovation.

The Community

Although there doesn’t appear to be an enormous number of JavaFX applications out there in the marketplace, it is certainly used in-house in many corporations across the globe.  Additionally, there are some true “rock stars” out there who basically “bleed” JavaFX like Gerrit Grunwald, Johan Vos, Chris Newland, Dirk Lemmermann, Almas Baimagambetov & even someone who is developing software so advanced that NASA could use it, namely Sean Phillips.

One man really stands out though for his incredible recent contributions and that is Laurent Bourgès whose MarlinFX contribution to JavaFX considerably improved performance and was a massive undertaking for an unpaid individual.  We need more people like Laurent!

And there are many others who just love JavaFX and want it to not just survive but to thrive. People like myself for example 🙂

The Future

Though not absolutely vital for JavaFX to succeed, it would be ideal if a cashed-up corporation took over stewardship of JavaFX. There are many contenders including Apache Software Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, IBM or even a smaller business like Gluon who have already done some absolutely amazing things with JavaFX on mobile platforms and sustaining such vital tools as Scene Builder.

And, yes, even Microsoft.

No, it’s not April Fool’s Day.  Often perceived as the arch enemy of Java and rather “platform selfish” (i.e. any OS is fine as long as it’s a flavour of Windows), Microsoft are releasing their own version of Linux!  I guess that old saying “Never say never” still holds true.  Now, if there were some way to confirm that perhaps Hell has frozen over, JavaFX would be an excellent investment for Microsoft.  Indeed, Jonathan Giles, one of the most prominent former members of the Oracle JavaFX team who is responsible for much of the design of the excellent JavaFX controls has recently joined Microsoft to work on enhancing Azure support for Java.

Jonathan wrote this article on his post-Oracle views on JavaFX.  The key take-aways from his article are his quote “The King is dead. Long live the King!” and that he mentions that a large amount of work has already been done to facilitate easier involvement in the OpenJFX project including setting-up a GitHub mirror and a number of other important actions.

He also comments on his coworkers and it is certainly true that over the years there have been some extraordinarily talented developers working on the JavaFX team and I personally would like to thank them all for their wonderful efforts and to wish them well for their future endeavours.

Conclusion

So, despite what I initially viewed as bad news, I am now invigorated and full of excitement for the future of JavaFX.  I had already selected JavaFX as the technology for code samples for Dazzle Zone prior to Oracle’s announcement but now I am even more confident that I have made the correct choice.

From now on, Dazzle Zone will release a series of posts, each one addressing one or more aspects of UI or UX and often accompanied with demos and code samples that are free to be used for any purpose by anyone.

I personally hope to manage my own time so that I achieve a balance of family, working my “day job”, blogging on Dazzle Zone and I also really hope to make some significant contributions to OpenJFX myself.

Graciously,

John-Val Rose