Jan Gassens thoughts on JavaFX

In November 2015 Dirk Lemmermann (Freelancer) and I (Alexander Casall) had a JavaOne session about JavaFX Real World Applications. The article “20 JavaFX real-world applications” summarizes the talk by showing the applications that we’ve talked about. In addition, I asked the contributors some questions regarding JavaFX: Here is the interview with Jan Gassen.

Here the interviews with the other contributers: Dirk Lemmermann, Rob Terpilowski, Sean Phillips.

Can you tell us about the highlights when you used JavaFX?

There were no real “highlights” when working with JavaFX. I however pretty much enjoyed debugging the GUI with ScenicViewer. It really simplifies things when you can inspect elements in the GUI similar to using the web inspector in a browser.

What is your general opinion about JavaFX? 

I always liked working with JavaFX. It’s pretty easy to get started with and many things can be implemented with ease.JavaFX,

Swing, SWT, HTML5 – Who wins – or better, when to use what? 

We are a team of Java developers, so choosing a Java based framework for creating the CenterDevice desktop client was obvious. With JavaFX and FXML it is very convenient to create graphical UIs and connect elements with code. Since we only use custom-designed controls for our desktop client, having a bit more native look and feel as provided by SWT wasn’t that important to us.

How satisfied are you with the work of Oracle on JavaFX? 

I can currently only think of only one thing where we had something to moan about. Over different versions, JavaFX had issues supporting multiple displays with different pixel densities. When moving a window from one display to another, the size of its content doubled for the JavaFX version we started with. At a later version, the behaviour seemed to be correct. Unfortunately with yet a later version, the size of the content was only half the original size when moving the window from one screen to another.

What do you miss in the work with JavaFX?

We particularly missed a better integration into the underlying OS. To create a custom tray menu, we had to fall back to AWT components, which turned out to be rather time-consuming. On OS X, it was hard the replace the package name in the automatically created application menu. Another, not necessarily JavaFX related, issue was the lack of support for automatically configured proxies. In this case, it required quite some effort to get the proxy settings from the OS.

Alexander Casall works as a software developer at the Saxonia Systems AG in Dresden, Germany and his focus is with the implementation of modern multi-touch applications (JavaFX) and also the iOS Development (www.buildpath.de). Alexander publishes articles in journals, speaks at conferences (JavaOne, JAX, W-JAX) and is a speaker in various User Groups.

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