Java desktop links of the week, March 2nd

Wow – it’s March already – where does time go? Here are the links from the last week that I think were important – as always, email/twitter/courier pigeon me any news that you think is relevant. Have a great week!

Swing

JavaFX

Griffon

That’s it for this week! A very sparse news week, so if I’ve missed anything, please let me know! Have a great week.

SCJP 6 rough study notes

Here are the SCJP 6 study notes I mentioned I wrote. They are rough. I wrote them for my own purposes, so they are brief and highlight the main things I had to remind myself. It is by no means perfect – there are typos, poor layout choices, etc. Unless you’re me, it probably doesn’t make sense 🙂

I apologise for the brevity. I tried to keep the page count to 12. Therefore, if you are printing, I personally recommend you print two pages per sheet of paper, meaning it’ll take 6 pages and be quite readable.

Regardless, people have asked for them, so enjoy. If you find I am wrong, or that I could organise it better, let me know and I may try to maintain it.

Cheers.

SCJP 6 Attained

Just a quick post to announce that today I went for and got my Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP) 6 certification. The exam is actually relatively quite difficult, as it really requires a good understanding of the Java language, and in most cases people rely on their IDE to catch their errors. For this reason, it pays to do a bit of study prior to sitting the exam. In the process of doing my study, I actually wrote up a fairly decent 12 page document that covers the areas where I didn’t understand things well enough. It proved to be a good study guide in my opinion.

If anyone is interested in reading it prior to their SCJP exam, let me know and I’ll polish it up and make it available.

Java desktop links of the week, February 23rd

Another quiet week, and one in which I have been somewhat distracted with SCJP study (exam on Wednesday!). Despite this, below is the important news for the Java desktop that has occured in the last week.

Swing

JavaFX

  • Michael Galpin, a software architect at eBay, has posted an article on IBMs developerWorks site that discusses how to create mashups with JavaFX. I would say that this would be very useful for JavaFX developers out there wanting to get their head around connecting to web services, and parsing the data coming from them.
  • Josh Marinacci, of Sun Microsystem, has set up a new website, JFXStudio, that aggregates a number of blogs related to JavaFX development. Its focus is on showing demonstration programs and the associated code. This will be a good resource for JavaFX developers!
  • Speaking of Josh Marinacci (his ears must be burning), RIA Weekly had him as a phone-in guest on their latest show, where he discusses the current and future state of JavaFX. It’s worth listening to if you have a moment.
  • Stephen Chin has announced JFXtras 0.3 has been released. This release adds support for JavaFX 1.1, plus includes a JavaFX version of MigLayout for doing layout of JavaFX Nodes.  Because JavaFX 1.1 is not binary compatible with JavaFX 1.0, you will have to upgrade to this release if you want to use JFXtras for JavaFX 1.1 development.
  • There is an article on Wikia that discusses how to add Swing components into JavaFX applications. This is very good and clear, focusing on the necessary code required for each component.

That’s it for this week! Now, back to my study – two more days to go 🙂 Have a great week!

Control iTunes using keyboard media keys

Just a quick post: I have had a really bad programming itch ever since I got my new Dell laptop recently. It has a row of media keys to go back, forward, play/pause and stop my music. Unfortunately, these keys only work when iTunes has the focus, which kind of sucks. I decided, finally, to do something about it, and wrote a small program that lets you control iTunes using these media keys, even when it doesn’t have focus. The program lives in your system tray, and you can exit it by right-clicking on it.

There are a number of issues with it, and things I could improve, including:

  • It only works on Windows.
  • It requires Java 6.
  • It only works on x86 computers, although if anyone wants, I can make it work on x64 with a little testing.
  • It allows for multiple instances to be run, meaning that if you have two instances running, clicking back on your keyboard will take you back two songs.
  • It doesn’t give any song notification, etc – it is just a controller. If people really want song notification, let me know.

As you should note, the amount of code written is actually minimal: this project is mostly just tying together two other libraries, and of course the iTunes COM interface.

There is a zip file here that contains everything – libs, source code, and a batch file that you can use to start the program. Normal lazy programmers license applies: if your computer crashes and burns, send me photos, but please no complaints. If you use it and (dis)like it, let me know!

Cheers,
Jonathan Giles