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Product details

  • Paperback: 642 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2012 edition (5 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430268727
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430268727
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 3.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 692,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Jim Weaver is an author, speaker, teacher, and developer in rich Internet application technologies such as JavaFX, and may be contacted at jim.weaver@javafxpert.com.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Kauppi on 11 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. The sample code is great, and the flow of samples builds nicely on top of earlier knowledge. On that account, there is nothing to complain.

With that in mind, it is *painful* that a complete lack of editing destroys much of the readability. To begin with, body text line spacing is a bit too tight. The first chapter is a pure nightmare, but also throughout the book, use of styles is inconsistent and often simply bad.

That must be hurting to the authors, since I believe Apress has simply let them down doing a crappy editing phase (if at all!). Someone like O'Reilly would never let a book pass to print in this phase!

Hopefully, such errors can be corrected. If you really need to learn JavaFX 2.0 at this time, it's a good book. If you can, wait for a hopefully corrected 2nd edition. The errata will be looooong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Gough on 10 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm a server side Java developer with 10 years experience, and 2 years experience in Adobe Flex. With Flex taking a recent slating in the press, I decided it was time to broaden my UI experiences to JavaFX and HTML 5 with Java Script. Because I know Java well, and having previous experiences with Swing, I chose JavaFX and this was the book I chose to help me learn the basics.

The first thing to note about this book is it's written by the key people behind the JavaFX technology. The advantage of this is the reader is immediately learning how the platform was designed and intended for use.

The book is split into 10 chapters, each with comprehensive code listings on how the examples and components are built. The chapters are outlined below, along with how I found them useful in the work we have been doing building a basic Java Memory Visualizer in JavaFX.

Getting a Jump Start in JavaFX

The book begins with a brief history of JavaFX, and discusses the original version and the introduction of 2.0. The book goes immediately into an example, building an application using a Java Class extending Application. There's also enough to get started in this chapter with getting Netbeans set up and ready to go to build your applications. There's a lot of content here, so don't let this put you off. There's some important code segments that you will probably need to flick back to along the way. My only observation at this point would be remember that there is still the option of using FXML to simplify a lot of the code that is in this chapter - so this chapter should be viewed as a primer.

Creating a User Interface in JavaFX

We're back out of the deep end now and will be walked through the scene and layouts of creating a typical user interface.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
If this is defnitive, then I am the queen of england. 24 Feb. 2013
By Grant S. Robertson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How this book gets good reviews just boggles my mind. About the only good thing I can say about this book is that it gives a little bit of information that is not mentioned in the JavaDocs.The general pattern of every section goes about like this:

"X is an important new feature in JavaFX. We are going to tell you all about X. Here is an example which uses X."

[A several page example where X is used but is obfuscated pretty badly because most of the code uses advanced features of Java or JavaFX that have not even been mentioned yet and/or the example uses inconsistently named classes, objects, and variables and there are few comments.]

[An incredibly brief, paragraph or two, discussion of the example which rarely explains what is doing what and why. Essentially, this text usually just mentions that X was done or used without even telling you where. Every once in a while they will smuggle in some incredibly important fact buried in the middle of a paragraph, mentioned almost as an afterthought. It is usually some gotcha to watch out for that the creators of JavaFX probably don't want to advertize too loudly.]

"Now that you have mastered X we will tell you about Y."

Section heading

"Now that you know all about X it is time to tell you all about Y."

And the pattern repeats itself over and over.

The authors highly recommend that the reader have access to the JavaDocs while reading this book. I say the book is really nothing more than a list of things that you will need to look up in the JavaDocs and research online. The authors were obviously more concerned with filling space than actually explaining anything.

In one section they actually call the example "the motivating example" and then say to step through the example using the debugger of your IDE to figure out what it does, with absolutely NO explanation whatsoever. Then in each sub-section where the author mentions a JavaFX feature used in that example the author literally says, "You saw an example of this feature in the motivating example." or "This feature was used in the motivating example." and that is it. They actually EXPLAIN exactly nothing. They mention the feature, say it was in the example and move on. It is just a way of artificially wrapping a list of features up in lots of buffer text to fill up a book. And they filled up 600 pages with this kind of fluff. Yes, they have working examples that illustrate the new features of JavaFX. But I didn't pay $25 for a bunch of code listings. I buy a book for in-depth explanations of what is really going on and why.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good Introduction to JavaFX 2 18 April 2012
By Kai Wähner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book gives an introduction to JavaFX 2, a web framework for realizing Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Overall, this is good book. If you want to get started with JavaFX 2, then you should buy this book. The book is easy to read and has good code examples (which you can download, too) for every feature.

Content
The book begins with a "getting started" chapter, which explains the initial setup of software and tools, and explains the basic concepts. This is what you need when you start with a new technology.

Afterwards, several chapters go into more detail about creating a user interface, defining properties and bindings, and using UI controls. After reading these chapters, you are ready to realize your first JavaFX application.

The next chapter explains the thread concept of JavaFX. This is very important to understand for writing responsive applications. After reading this chapter, you can start programming production-ready JavaFX clients. Of course, you also need to connect to a backend, so the chapter "accessing web services" is a must-read for developer who do not write standalone applications. The book explains several ways how to connect to a backend via XML or JSON. Even several addons and frameworks are mentioned including code examples (e.g. RESTFX or Jersey).

Further chapters describe how to use advanced UI controls for creating charts or including media files.

The last chapter describes how to use alternative JVM languages and layout markup languages besides Java, namely Groovy, Scala, FXML, and Visage. This chapter is awesome. Even if you do not have any experience with these languages, you will learn and understand the differences compared to Java, and see why and when you can benefit from using another language instead of Java.

Criticism
Even though this book is a great introduction to JavaFX 2, here is some criticism. The major weak point is that you do not get much information about deployment. You can deploy JavaFX applications as standalone application, as Applet within a web browser, or run it via Java WebStart. But how do you do that? How do you configure the application (e.g. how do you configure your JNLP file for Java WebStart)? Every developer needs to know this to use the application outside of his IDE... You have to google to get answers.

Besides, two minor weak points:
Firstly, there is no word about unit testing. How should you write tests for your JavaFX application? Are there any best practices?
Secondly, when should you use JavaFX, when should you use another framework (e.g. JSF, GWT, Grails, etc.)? This book has a lot of marketing style, so you won't get an answer here about problems of JavaFX.

Conclusion
As mentioned in the beginning, this is a very good introduction to JavaFX (omitting the deployment aspect) and easy to read. Every feature is explained in detail, including good code examples. So, if you want to get started with JavaFX 2, I can recommend this book to you.

Best regards,
Kai Wähner (Twitter: @KaiWaehner)
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great resource 3 April 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For those looking for a quick summary, here it is: Overall, I thought it was a really good book that should get you up and running with JavaFX very quickly.

Now, the details. As I said, I think this is a very solid technical book, which is hard thing to accomplish. Some books are really dry and overly technical, making them hard to read and reference, while others are fun to read, but shallow and not very helpful. This book, though, strikes a great balance, I think. There's a wealth of knowledge, but I found it flows pretty well and doesn't bog the user down in the super technical details. I do, though, read a fair number of these types of books, so maybe I'm numbed to that. Your mileage may vary. : )

Chapter 1, "Getting a Jump Start in JavaFX", might be the most important, as it introduces the technology to the user. Lose him here, and the rest of the book is worthless to him. The authors did a great job of working through a simple, yet functional application, hitting the high points. They didn't spend a great deal of time on the details, but gave the reader enough to grasp kinda-sorta what's going on. There is tons of source code and pictures, which is extremely helpful. You don't have to go download the source and glance back and forth between the book and your computer. It's literally all right there.

Chapter 2 deals with "Creating a User Interface in JavaFX". The component library in JavaFX is large and growing, so the book can't (and shouldn't) cover all of them, this chapter hits some of the major ones, showing how to put them on the screen, lay them out, have them respond to events like mouse clicks, etc. Again, there is a lot of source code, giving the reader plenty of complete examples right the book to follow. Skipping a bit, Chapter 4 shows how to write (visually) scalable applications with no static positioning, while Chapter 5 returns to the topic of components, demonstrating a large number of the components and how to use them. Using these three chapters, I was able to get a non-functioning, but non-trivial UI mocked up in no time.

Chapter 3 covers properties and bindings, two of the more fascinating aspects of the library, in my opinion. This one dives a bit deeper into the interfaces involved in the topics (including some UML for those that into that sort of thing), but still manages to be very readable. Like chapter 3, chapter 6 covers something not necessarily graphical, collections and concurrency. This chapter covers the new, rich collections API, while addressing the concurrency issues that are sure to arise in a modern, event-driven application.

Chapter 7 spends considerable time on the charting features available in JavaFX, an important part of many business applications. The chapter has plenty of source and graphics to look at, and spends some time on styling the charts with CSS

Chapter 8 shows the media control features in the JavaFX. In this chapter, the user is walked through building simple, yet functional audio and video players. This is very practical chapter, I think, giving interested parties a great starting point in making their media-capable applications.

Chapter 9 seemed to me to take a very odd departure. What in the world do web services have to do with JavaFX? The answer is nothing, really, but what this chapter does, though, is provide a very practical, real world usage of the various JavaFX APIs, both UI and concurrency. We're give great examples of ListCells, Services, TableViews, etc., and some more hands-on with JavaFX Property objects. I may have started the chapter confused, but I think in the end, this is one of my favorite chapters.

Chapter 10 and Appendix A round out the book by describing some of the alternate languages available to JavaFX developers, namely, GroovyFX, ScalaFX, Visage, and FXML. While these chapters are really more about these other languages than JavaFX itself, I think those open to non-Java JVM languages will find a wealth of information here to help them pick a language. Or reinforce a choice they've already made.

With all of that out of the way, if I had to say something bad about this book (and, I know, this will sound strange), I would say that maybe there's too much code. The amount of source in a book is, I think, a pretty subjective question. When learning something, it's great to have it all right there in front of you (the authors even include import statements, a rare, in my experience, but nice touch), but if you're just needing a quick answer found somewhere in the prose of the book, it can obscure things a bit. Having said that, I don't think they've done a bad thing here, as I like to see the code, but I can see someone being a bit put off by the multiple consecutive pages of code, so be forewarned.

As I said at the beginning, I really enjoyed this book. As I find the time to work more with JavaFX, I think this will be my go-to tome to help me through my issues. Can you find all of this information online? Certainly, as is the case with every technical book, but the authors have done a great job of distilling all that information into a readable text, meaning you'll spend less time on Google, and more time in your IDE of choice. If you're interested in learning JavaFX, this book is well worth your money.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5/5 A must have reference for all JavaFX developers/beginners 11 Sept. 2012
By Jim Gough - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm a server side Java developer with 10 years experience, and 2 years experience in Adobe Flex. With Flex taking a recent slating in the press, I decided it was time to broaden my UI experiences to JavaFX and HTML 5 with Java Script. Because I know Java well, and having previous experiences with Swing, I chose JavaFX and this was the book I chose to help me learn the basics.

The first thing to note about this book is it's written by the key people behind the JavaFX technology. The advantage of this is the reader is immediately learning how the platform was designed and intended for use.

The book is split into 10 chapters, each with comprehensive code listings on how the examples and components are built. The chapters are outlined below, along with how I found them useful in the work we have been doing building a basic Java Memory Visualizer in JavaFX.

Getting a Jump Start in JavaFX

The book begins with a brief history of JavaFX, and discusses the original version and the introduction of 2.0. The book goes immediately into an example, building an application using a Java Class extending Application. There's also enough to get started in this chapter with getting Netbeans set up and ready to go to build your applications. There's a lot of content here, so don't let this put you off. There's some important code segments that you will probably need to flick back to along the way. My only observation at this point would be remember that there is still the option of using FXML to simplify a lot of the code that is in this chapter - so this chapter should be viewed as a primer.

Creating a User Interface in JavaFX

We're back out of the deep end now and will be walked through the scene and layouts of creating a typical user interface. This chapter is critical to when you come to build your own UIs. If you want to grab a chapter to help you get started quickly this would be the one. One minor criticism would be this would be a good chapter one, but I can appreciate why leading with an example is good. It really depends on your learning style if you want to read this chapter first. After some theory there is a whole host of examples for you to try and figure out, all with both screenshots and code samples. This is a real codex of information, for me I found reading the first part and trying the second part with my own examples worked best.

Properties and Bindings

Binding is a simple concept, but there are some subtleties that need to be appreciated when building JavaFX applications. The first part of the chapter is split into titles of Understanding X, which makes it easy to refer back to later. Once again, everything is backed up with an appropriate example that demonstrates the power of bindings. This chapter is similar to the previous, the first part of the chapter is easy to read for theory but the latter is example heavy. I'd use the latter part of the chapter as a reference to come back to once you start writing your own code.

Building Dynamic UI Layouts in JavaFX

We used the concepts that are in the Reversi example for the foundations of our Java Memory Visualizer to manipulate memory cells that are on the screen. This example is again in the format of extending Application, but building out components on there. We built our application using FXML based on the information from this chapter. There is enough in this chapter to build your own board game, or if you are building any binding state UI I'd recommend reading this chapter.

Using the JavaFX UI Controls

I personally haven't read this chapter in great depth as I view it as a reference chapter. It looks like this is the codex for building your own controls.

Collections and Concurrency

In chapter 6 we're really going back to basics, so in my opinion this is not a chapter you can shelve for later. For the collections part, if you are familiar with Flex, ObservableList reminded me of ArrayCollection. The concurrency section introduces the threading model that is used in JavaFX, and that it is single threaded like most other UI frameworks. The JavaFX tasks are then explained for removing logic from the main application thread to avoid bloating your application re-render. Personally when we approached this, due to the nature of the simulation, we used plain old java.util.concurrent.

Creating Charts in JavaFX

Great overview into building charts in JavaFX and shows off the power of what is capable in the API. Examples and screenshots are available to get you started with what you are trying to build.

Using the Media Classes

Because of the type of work I do it's likely I'll never get to do any of the fun stuff in this chapter. I've saved this one for a rainy day, although on a quick parse it does look like a chapter I will genuinely come back to.

Accessing Web Services

An awesome chapter with practical examples of how you would integrate your JavaFX client with real world technologies. This sample walks you through creating a REST API call to twitter, using JAXB to create an appropriate response and display the information. If you are looking at using this for EE work this would be a good chapter to read.

JavaFX Languages Markup

In this chapter we see some other languages using JavaFX (Scala and Groovy). The finally we get to the section on FXML. The sample is fairly simple and somewhat limited, it would have been good to have seen more of this earlier.

Summary

This is an excellent book to have if you are trying to do anything with JavaFX. Although the online documentation is getting better, this book provides an awesome introduction to most components, tricks and tips that you would need to get started in this space. My only criticism of the book is a lack of FXML examples and that it only really appears at the end of the book. This shouldn't take away however from some of the excellent explanations and examples in this unfamiliar space. It's also worth noting that with a bit of playing around it's very simple to convert the samples over to using FXML.

5/5 - I bought this with my own money and don't want it back :-).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A good quick start 29 Jun. 2012
By Thierry W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a good start for every JavaFX 2 developer. Indeed the book covers the main points of the language, going from the basis to more detailed concepts. You will be able to learn how to create a nice UI in JFX 2 with dynamic interaction and layouts.
You will also be able to understand the concept of properties and bindings. The book also covers how to create and customize charts, as well as the Media part of the language.
You will also learn how to use web services which is a nice introduction of how to use JavaFX in an enterprise way.
The code examples of the books are also available for download.
In a nutshell you have no reason not to begin to develop your own applications in JavaFX with this book!
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