First Night With JavaFX and Netbeans - First Impression, Some Smoke

JavaFX preview is just few days young. I just installed it and developed some simple applications to get a feeling, how it works. First impressions:

  1. The download was surprisingly smooth. No strange questions or license agreements. Just 2 clicks.
  2. The installation was even easier. The Java FX tooling was integrated in my existing Netbeans 6.1 installation. I had only to reboot Netbeans. There were no problems. (second surprise). I expected, however, fresh installation with some cool artwork, an existing Netbeans was extended instead.
  3. Java FX Tooling comes with lot of examples. I tried some (bounce, applets etc.), there were no problems at all.
  4. Applets can be started in applet runner or browser - it just worked. You can choose between JavaScript or JNLP integration. Support for "draggable" applets is available as well. It didn't worked in my case - probably my JDK 1.6u10 plugin is too old.
  5. Code completion is fast and works as expected.
  6. Preview works functionality worked in all cases.
  7. The compilation process is well integrated in the build lifecycle. 
  8. There is a non-visual drag and drop support available (similar to the non-visual JSP stuff). It is useful. You can just drag transformations, animations, Swing components etc. directly to your class.
  9. Debugger works as expected, breakpoints etc. just work as in the Java case. Very useful to understand the existing code (in my case the bounce example).
  10. The tooling is similar to the "old" Netbeans 6.0 based. However it is much faster and more stable.
As a "technology preview" it is robust, fast and useful. And it came on time. They promised to release a preview in July at JavaONE - and it came in July (31) :-)


regarding 1) you should really read the license, I was a little bit surprised as I read it.. (but its obvious that is is not the final license)

another interesting feature which is in the preview:
"As part of Project Nile, Sun is providing a suite of tools and plugins for Adobe® Photoshop® CS3 and Adobe® Illustrator® CS3 that allow graphical assets to be easily exported into JavaFX applications."
(i haven't tested it because I only use open source software in this area)

Posted by mbien on August 03, 2008 at 05:13 PM CEST #

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