JavaFX: Developing Rich Internet Applications
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One Minute Bottom Line
|This is a great book about JavaFX that covers everything from the simple “Hello world” application to professional looking rich Internet applications. The book is a part of “The Java Series” by Sun and the three authors share a lot of tips and tricks, that are unlikely to be found elsewhere. The book was written before JavaFX 1.2 was released, so here and there the language or the API has changed, but it doesn't really affect an overall impression of the book. I will recommend this book to any Java developers that wants try the JavaFX platform.|
The main audience targeted by this book is Java developers since many JavaFX concepts are built on top of the Java platform. In addition, it targets non-Java application developers and graphic designers.
The book starts out with the classic “Hello World” application, created in Netbeans and Eclipse and using the command line tools. It does a great job of getting you started and gives a good overview of the SDK.
In the beginning of the book, graphic designers will learn how to use the JavaFX Production Suite to create graphical assets using Photoshop, Illustrator or raw SVG. Unfortunately, limitations and best practices of the Production Suite are not covered; I think these would have added a lot.
Further into the book, the authors do an excellent job of explaining the JavaFX language. JavaFX centric topics like sequences, binding and triggers get most of the attention. Chapters are filled with small examples that help readers to understand the language.
Readers also learn how to create user interfaces using nodes (components, shapes and text), CSS and layouts. The content on this topic is very well written, but could have had a deeper explanation of the scenegraph, on top of which every JavaFX user interface is built.
This book also shows readers how to apply special effects, add motion with animation, and use multimedia with JavaFX. It gives an overview of all of the special effects in the JavaFX platform. Each effect is well explained with some examples and screenshots. Readers learn about animation using key frames, interpolators and paths. The book shows how to make custom interpolators for creation of elastic and shaking animations. Since using multimedia in JavaFX is simple, it is covered briefly. Specifically, the book explains how easy it is to use media (images, sound and video) and what formats are supported on different platforms.
The most advanced topic covered in the book is JavaFX and Java Technology. This is well-written, but readers must possess a certain level of Java-skills to fully understand all of the concepts. It discusses interactions between Java and JavaFX, Java Scripting API, and JavaFX Reflection.
Since knowing a language and it’s API is never enough,
readers are given you such invaluable advice regarding the common patterns and
best usages of the technology. Unfortunately the information only covers the
tip of the iceberg; hopefully an entire book will be written about this subject
The book wraps up with by far the best topic, the Sudoku Application. I recommend that anyone with interest in JavaFX try this fabulous application. The book describes interface- and design considerations from the development of the application. Some of the complex code segments are listed and explained.
Readers should look forward to three extra chapters that the authors are currently working on, which will shine light on a the new JavaFX 1.2 features. The titles of these three chapters to-be are Using Layout to Arrange the Scene, Using Ready-made Controls, and Creating charts.
In short, this book offers a great introduction to the JavaFX platform and covers all aspects of creating and deploying a JavaFX application. The non-Java developer will be challenged, since some of the Java features are assumed to be familiar. Graphic designers should probably look elsewhere for knowledge about JavaFX.
- Source code available from the book's website: http://jfxbook.com/
- Source code for the sudoku application: http://jfxbook.com/Sudoku/
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