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Man You Gotta Get Up

Posted by editor on August 4, 2008 at 7:08 AM PDT

Catching up with JavaFX Preview SDK and more

Your editor has been traveling for the past two weeks, while keeping the page refreshed every day (hopefully you couldn't even tell that I was in a mobile time crunch). Now that I'm back in my usual seat, with the 8-core CPU instead of the dainty two on the laptop, with the big keyboard and its satisfying key-bounce, I feel like I can catch back up.

The JavaFX Preview SDK release caught me a little flat-footed on Thursday, trying to get the page up from a hotel room before the family woke up. Maybe next time, they'll let us know about these big events before 2AM on release day. Be that as it may, I don't know if we got across the full importance of this release, and the many resources associated with it. This SDK is a real change for the Java community, coming out in two completely different forms: one targeted to developers, another for designers. As if that wasn't enough, there's a new podcast, a new style of Javadocs, whiz-bang demos (hey, this is Josh we're talking about), and a whole new language to boot.

Is it the future of the Java Desktop, or another way to get a completely different class of content developers Java enabled? Is it nearly ready, or does it have a way to go? Maybe the best way to answer these questions is to take a look yourself.

So let's put this week's Spotlight on the JavaFX Preview SDK, now available from The SDK comes in two forms, a NetBeans-based bundle for developers, or Project Nile, a set of tools and plugins for Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. More information about using the SDK is available from the new JavaFX Blog, as well as the first episode of the This Ain't Your Dad's Java podcast.

Our bloggers also have a few things to say about the JavaFX Preview SDK release, as highlighted in today's Weblogs. In JavaFX Preview Releases -- A Chapter Closes, Tom Ball writes, "it's been quite a ride, which has been played out for the world to see on our project's email aliases and JIRA issue tracking system. There are still changes under consideration for the language and runtime for the 1.0 release, but the SDK is much more functional than its "preview" name suggests."

Joshua Marinacci recovers from JavaFX Preview SDK day and takes a look at how things stand 24 hours later. "Whew! Our launch of the JavaFX Preview SDK yesterday went pretty well. Only a few broken links which have since been fixed. After waking up at 5:30 am to turn on the new sites I spent most of the day monitoring weblogs and answering questions."

Meanwhile, Gary S. Weaver discusses techniques for
Writing Java Applications that Work with Different Incompatible Versions of a Java API/Library. "It's a classic problem, but not many people talk about it. How can your Java app/library/plugin work with different versions of an API? Some options discussed..."

In Java Today, Kirk Pepperdine, a Java Champion and contributing editor to TheServerSide, takes a look at the substance of last week's release of the JavaFX SDK, asking in his blog JavaFX, are we there yet? "With this release, JavaFX finally becomes a little less vapor and a little more ware But the question remains, does JavaFX have what it will take to claim back the desktop in the face of stiff competition from the likes of Adobe and Microsoft?"

If you're a user (like me), you may be interested in a blog on Quality Control at, which discusses how the personalized music site uses the Hudson continuous integration engine and JMX to keep the service running. "We have over 30 internal projects that use Hudson and a few thousand tests which run over the code. Hudson comes with a web interface and can be configured to send email when people "break the build" (e.g. by making a change that causes a test to fail)."

The Aquarium announces the Prelude to GlassFish v3: "Wikipedia defines a Musical Prelude
as: The prelude can be thought of as a preface. It may stand on its own or introduce another work.
Abhjit just announced that the next step in our road to GlassFish v3 is
GlassFish v3 Prelude (announcement, Plan, Content). The above definition fits it well: it will stand on its own and it will introduce the full fledged GFv3 release."

We begin today's Forums section by catching up with an important announcement from last week. In
Announcing FishCAT, a community Beta program, please join Fish CAT to find bugs, Judy Tang writes: "Welcome to the FishCAT - a GlassFish Community Acceptance Testing program. The main goal of this program is to provide opportunity to community to significantly influence the quality of the GlassFish as well as to get early feedback on stability and usability in GlassFish Beta testing cycle. We will start our first FishCAT program for GlassFish v3 Prelude. Now we need your help. If you have an experience with GlassFish and want to contribute some time and effort, please follow the section "FishCAT Process" at the end of this announcement and apply now!"

Dmitri Trembovetski corrects a perhaps misguided approach to VRAM use in
Re: [JAVA2D] How to detect hardware acceleration?.
"There's no way on Windows XP to do this. Translucent windows are done through GDI on XP, so no possibility of hardware acceleration beyond what we already do. Anyway, VRAM is not supposed to be accessed from by the CPU. The idea is that you upload the data there (preferably not very often) and let the GPU handle it (using shaders, or whatever), and then show it. On some architectures for some particular framebuffers there's advantage to writing directly to vram, but Windows isn't one of them. So just keeping your buffers in vram may not be the best way especially if your application requires per-pixel access. On Vista (where each window is pretty much a piece of offscreen video memory) there is a way to do translucent windows with full hw acceleration - that is, the data never leaves vram. We'll be looking into this for future releases."

Finally, Shai Almog addresses the shaky potential for supporting LWUIT on the RIM BlackBerry, in
Re: TextField on the BlackBerry.
"While we want to support the BB as much as feasible we are hindered by one of the worst MIDP implementations and an uncooperative company (RIM).Outside of north america it is physically impossible to buy a RIM device in most territories e.g. here... We have a device which is just not functional on our network, this means we can't even test any of the problems. So it is just not technically feasible for us to make this a priority platform. Since we integrated workarounds for several BB specific issues into LWUIT itself I think that indicates that we take the platform seriously but we are limited by technical reasons."

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Catching up with JavaFX Preview SDK and more