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

Java Desktop links of the week, February 16th

Another week, another Swing links of the week, from now on known as Java Desktop links of the week to more properly encapsulate anything Java and GUI related. If you don’t like the new name, let me know what you’d rather have it known as! As always, send me your news if you have any. All my contact details are to the right. This week was relatively quiet on all fronts other than JavaFX, given the release of JavaFX 1.1. Anyway, on with the news.

Swing

JavaFX

SWT

Is the Grass Greener? Time to test JavaFX…

Righty, for various reasons that may or may not become obvious in the coming weeks and months, I have decided to dive into JavaFX. Of course, this will help with my weekly Swing links post, but that isn’t the main reason. I want a crash course. I will set aside this weekend, and I will learn what it takes. I want to focus on performant, correct, JavaFX. I don’t intend to cut a great deal of code right now – I’d rather learn what the building blocks of JavaFX are, and how they all fit together. Regardless, when it does come to cutting code, I’d prefer to use Eclipse as it is my environment of choice, but I think that it is likely I’ll be needing to get an appreciatin for NetBeans.

I’ll try to put up my own ‘mini-review’ of JavaFX next week sometime. You never know, I might be a convert 😛

If you have any recommended resources, please, let me know.