Thursday, 28 November 2013

What's new in JavaFX 2.2 ?

Earlier this week, Oracle released JavaFX 2.2, which is a significant update release:
  • With version 2.2, JavaFX is finally available on Windows (32-bit & 64-bit), Mac OS X (64-bit), and Linux (32-bit & 64-bit), which means that most developers can build and test JavaFX applications on their preferred development environment. Have a look at the JavaFX Certified System Configurations for more details.

  • The JavaFX 2.2 Runtime is now part of Oracle’s Java SE 7u6 implementation. While we already had some form of integration between these two products since December 2011, , we now have one unified installer, with the JavaFX libraries installed alongside the Java SE libraries for both the JDK and the JRE. This means a more streamlined user experience, and the assurance for application developers that the number of computers capable of running JavaFX applications will soon be as large as for Java SE applications.

  • A stand-alone implementation of JavaFX 2 will remain available for Java SE 6 users, but only on Windows. Additionally, that stand-alone version will no longer be supported when Java SE 6 reaches End of Life (EOL) in February 2013. As explained previously, this means there will no longer be bug fixes or security fixes available for Java SE 6 users after that date, unless you or your customers sign up for our commercial Java SE Supportoffering. Otherwise, plan your migration to Java SE 7 right now.

Besides these important changes, JavaFX 2.2 brings in some key new features:
  • JavaFX applications can now be redistributed as self-contained application packages. These platform-specific packages include all application resources and a private copy of Java and JavaFX Runtimes. Distributed as a native installable package, they provide the same installation and launch experience as native applications for that operating system. A key benefit to take into consideration is that it will allow you to deploy JavaFX 2.2 applications bundled with Java SE 7 without impacting existing deployments of older Java SE implementations.

  • Multi-touch support for touch-enabled devices. As of today this is mostly relevant for desktop-class touch screen displays and touch pads, this will enable the adoption of sophisticated UIs on embedded devices running Java SE Embedded on ARM-based chipsets, such as kiosks, telemetry systems, healthcare devices, multi-function printers, monitoring systems, etc. This is a segment of the Java application market that is usually overseen by most application developers, but that is thriving.

  • The JavaFX Canvas API, a Canvas 2D drawing surface that provides HTML5 Canvas-style operations. Developers familiar with HTML5 will definitely be at ease with the JavaFX Canvas API, although it is important to notice that this is not meant to be a duplicate of the HTML5 Canvas Graphics API. We believe this API will also be welcome by developers with other backgrounds, such as AWT or SVG. You can run a demo of the “Fireworks” canvas demo under the section “NEW!” of the Ensemble sample application, or you can watch the making of another Canvas example on this video.

  • JavaFX 2.2 introduces the ability to read and write pixels to and from JavaFX image objects. An example is available as “Image Operator” in the “NEW!” section of Ensemble.

  • Two new UI controls have been added to JavaFX 2.2: a color picker, and a pagination control; you can give them a try in the “NEW!” section of Ensemble. In addition, the WebView control now provides the ability to manage web history. Finally, we have documented how to create a custom control with FXML, which takes advantage of FXML enhancements.

  • HTTP Live Streaming support is a feature that strengthens up JavaFX’s media support. Essentially, media players are now able to switch to alternate video and audio streams, as specified in a downloadable playlist file and based on network conditions.

  • Additional information to help Swing developers implement a Swing application in JavaFX, and SWT developers to integrate JavaFX content in SWT applications. We also have documented some Best Practicesfor developing a JavaFX application.

  • Last but not the least, JavaFX developers can now leverage the new JavaFX Scene Builder 1.0 to visually layout an application UI, and generate FXML content that helps keep a clean separation between application logic and UI. Scene Builder is also a great example of a complex application written in JavaFX. It is currently available on Windows and Mac OS X, and is optimized to work seamlessly with NetBeans 7.2 or higher (it can also be used with other Java IDEs).

In summary, JavaFX 2.2 is a key release that brings much more than Linux support. It fulfills Oracle’s vision to integrate JavaFX with Java SE to a large extent, and is a proof of our commitment for cross-platform support and predictable timelines.
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