Something strange is happening … Client apps are becoming sexy again!

Wherever we go these days, there is huge interest in JavaFX – developers are getting increasingly excited about the quantum leap that JavaFX 2 provides. Stuff like:

  • Super-fast and eye-popping graphics
  • Feature-rich, styleable, and extensible UI components
  • Full HTML5/JavaScript/CSS integration and interoperability
  • High-definition cross-platform media support
  • Ability to leverage JavaFX with alternate languages such as Groovy, Clojure, Scala, Fantom, and Visage
  • Easy migration from Swing and SWT
  • Full integration into the Java runtime and ecosystem
  • … and much more

JavaFX 2 is much more than just eye candy – it enables developers to reinvent their client applications and integrate technologies in ways not possible before. Check out this video (recording by JavaOne attendee) – especially the last 2 minutes .

JavaFX 2 is coming in rapid-fire succession: JavaFX 2 was released in October of last year, JavaFX 2.2 is now in Developer Preview for Windows/Mac/Linux, and the JavaFX Scene Builder 1.0 is now also available as a Developer Preview. JavaFX 2 is bundled with JDK 7 and JavaFX will be a standard part of JDK 8 going forward.

For developers, the question is no longer “Is JavaFX real?”  but “JavaFX is here to stay – How can we reinvent our client strategy?”

To help you ramp up quickly and catch up with the latest JavaFX 2 developments and information, I’ve collected a bunch of links:

  • Your starting point for JavaFX 2 technology is the JavaFX Main page on OTN. On the overview tab you’ll find links to all the latest downloads as well as a series of short videos (5-10 mins each) walking you through the various features and components of JavaFX 2.
  • Next, check out the JavaFX Documentation page. Here you’ll find tutorials, the full API docs, technical articles, FAQ, and more. Also, a tutorial video on building your first application with JavaFX using NetBeans 7.1.
  • The JavaFX Tools page goes deep into the Scene Builder tool, with documentation and a tutorial video.
  • Check out the JavaFX 2 samples on the JavaFX Samples page: Ensemble, a interactive gallery of over 100 sample applications with source code, the Henley Sales Dashboard, a enterprise-class client-server application demo, and a sample of how to embed JavaFX components in Swing applications.
  • There are two books available on Java FX 2: JavaFX 2.0: Introduction by Example, by Carl Dea as well as Pro JavaFX 2 Platform, by Jim Weaver, Weiqi Gao, Stephen Chin, Dean Iverson, and Johan Vos.
  • The two official JavaFX blogs to bookmark are The JavaFX Blog and FX Experience. Both indispensable for the latest information and insider tips and tricks on JavaFX 2. Two more good blogs are Jim Weaver’s Rich-Client Java blog and Stephen Chin’s Steve on Java blog.
  • For questions and discussions on JavaFX 2 amble over to the JavaFX 2 OTN forum.
  • Also check out some of the latest episodes of the Java Spotlight Podcast, such as episode 76 (on the Pro Java FX 2 book) and episode 78 (on the JavaFX Scene Builder).
  • The developer community has jumped on the JavaFX 2 train with a number of projects. To name a few: e(fx)clipse, DATAFX , scalafx, GroovyFX, JFXFlow, jfxtras, Visage, and more.
  • If you want to see some neat-looking custom controls, check on the YouTube channel of Gerrit Grunwald.
  • Finally, you can follow the latest JavaFX-related tweets at @javafx4you

As you can see, there is no shortage of information and help to get started and do something sexy with Java!


— Terrence