29 January 2010

Three Good JavaFX Applications

Listed below are 3 good JavaFX applications that use JavaFX in interesting ways, which are worth mentioning. I have chosen these 3 applications because they put JavaFX to good use, and are likely to be used reasonably regularly (eg on a daily basis).

Indaba Console

First major example of a major application that has transitioned from Flash/Flex to JavaFX. It is used by musicians to create music tracks that are stored in the cloud (the Internet). Not many users would create music but it is still an application worth covering.

When starting the application it is reasonably quick to appear and has reasonable performance. Upon looking at the application for the first time it has a good unique look that targets its audience. One may note that there are a few custom controls that may appear in a future JavaFX release (not the same ones though).

With Indaba Console a user can:

  • Create and edit tracks
  • Easily drag n drop pre made audio clips onto existing tracks
  • Save a track as a wav or aiff file to the desktop
  • Apply sound effects
  • Play a track

Thought Slinger

A word processor that stands apart from other word processors by offering secure (encrypted) storage of documents in the cloud, and comprehensive collaboration features (eg instant messaging and documents reviews). Upon looking at the application one may think that a Swing control has been used to act as the text editor. Surprisingly though via a second look it is just a custom JavaFX control.

Again there are some controls that may appear in a future JavaFX release (not the same ones though). My suggestion to the JavaFX team is to have a chat with the developers of Thought Slinger on how they created the custom text editor, a very impressive custom control!

With Thought Slinger a user can:

  • Freeze parts of a document that cannot be edited by other users
  • Apply a password to the document
  • Allow editing access to the document for certain users
  • Communicate with other users editing the same document via instant messaging
  • Adjust font, size and other styling for parts of a document
  • Redo and undo changes made to a document
  • Save the document as an HTML, odt, txt or docx file
  • Print the document
  • Track all changes made to the document (by the owner of the document and other users)


Very handy application for keeping track of tasks in a list. As an original application it does not use any Swing controls (all controls are done in JavaFX). It is another example of an application that stores data in the cloud. All data appears to be accessed/stored through a Remember The Milk REST API.

With Cheqlist a user can:

  • Create, edit and remove lists
  • Create, edit and remove tasks
  • Easily search through tasks by list or keyword(s)
  • Adjust the look of the application to suit


From what has been covered by this post JavaFX allows one to quickly create good looking, but practical applications that can easily interact with the Internet. Do note that the time taken to develop an application will greatly vary depending on what is being developed. The developers of the two applications covered (Idaba Console, and Thought Slinger) should be interviewed as it would give a good insight into why JavaFX was chosen, and the issues/benefits of developing an application using JavaFX.

18 January 2010

JFX Blocks (Core) 0.3 Released

JFX Blocks (Core) 0.3 has been released on Kenai. Here is the list of the major changes for this release:

  • Added logging facility
  • Moved UtilityBlock (renamed Utility) to /org/jfx_blocks/core
  • Provided a model and type validator system
  • Additional functionality has been added to Utility (was UtilityBlock)
  • Added an output buffer which is similar to Java's StringBuffer class

Currently the first sample has not yet been updated for the current JFX Blocks (Core) release. A new version of the sample will be released soon.

05 January 2010

JavaFX Competition Proposal

With the beginning of the new year now is a good time to look at a new JavaFX competition. What I am proposing for the competition (on the official JavaFX website) is one for the best JavaFX control, which can be used in any JavaFX application. Here are the following conditions for the proposed competition:

  1. Any submitted control must be a native JavaFX control (not a native Swing control)
  2. The control cannot be a reimplementation of an existing JavaFX 1.2 control
  3. Skin(s) must be available for the control and the control has to be skinnable via CSS
  4. Only a visual control can be submitted

A competition like this would certainly help with boosting the number of available controls for JavaFX (supplied by Sun and the community). Also it would go a long way towards making JavaFX a more viable technology for building RIA applications (both consumer and enterprise). If you have any further ideas for the proposed competition let me know in the blog comments.