Scripting/UI development for designers? or, "Observations of a d*mba**"
Long time reader and admirer of Java, the java.net forums - first time poster.
Let me give you a little background first:
I'm a "developer" and as such I love problem solving and developing. I also love design, I like graphics. I love effects, heck - I admire anything visual!
Being an impatient twat wanting to see result straight away - you can imagine the vein bursting back in the days with the motorola, assembler and Angus/Paula/etc chips. Not to mention the first feeble atempts on the PC with c + inline asm and eventually c++
Eventually I settled in the Domino enviroment and began my "professional" career. It was perfect for me, if I had the idea I could usually realise it, rapid development - results on the screen. Satisfaction!
To say Domino/Lotus Notes is a bit limited would be an understatement. Sometimes you want to do more - and doing so while still targeting the enviorment - ofcourse Java and Java related development was a natural step. At first scared but later rejoicing in learning new things and actually getting stuff up and running. Wow. I struggle with the IDE but some of the code actually works and is now in production (maybe not thread safe, memory efficient, but it usually does the trick).
It felt like coming home, again. Much like the first experiences with LN/D. So I became more knowledge hungry, started aquiring books, reading - perhaps not understanding everything - swallowing info, regulary (several times a day actually) prowling java.net.
Eventually the buzz - RIA - penetrated my thick scull, I've been weary of jumping the wagon everytime something new came along. But this is, no doubt - a road I would have to travel.
This is where I am today. Again - I'm a developer and I'm also a "designer", graphics lover. I paint with computers and on paper for recreation.
JavaFX - the "language" for designers. Not too suprising this "new thing" from the already somewhat already familiar Java family would send tingling sensations through my limbs.
So I go ahead, download the nightly build(s). I use the plugin tool in Netbeans, install everything from the directory. I get a fresh cup of coffee, and start to dig in. Oh joy - a frame with some custom shapes. Fill, handle clicks. Horray! IT WORKS.
Now I could let myself go rampage with all the ideas I had for projects at work - I had seen the presentations on dragging applets out the browser onto the desktop. Now I could get going faster - easier. What's the best way to learn? Study someone elses code. Bookmarking the openJFX page I downloaded some projects and sample code and that is when I hit the brick wall. Big time.
Nothing, -nothing- compiles.
Early stages of panic began to rise within me. "Too good to be true, ofcourse it was too good to be true" became the new mantra. Trying to search for information I get various posts about interpreter scripting language and compiler script language variation etc.
... the what now? The previous growing urge to learn more, the feeling I was evolving and developing in all kinds of skills vanished. Left stomped and staring at the compiler window basking in deep red color with such infuriating messages as:
"Sorry, I was trying to understand a type specification but I got confused when I saw '*' which is an operator."
"Sorry, I was trying to understand the module contents but I got confused when I saw 'trigger'."
I felt confident at first, with the new daily builds, with a new Netbeans (if I recall correctly this would fix the annotation problem with JFX, being turned off by default?). And example codes from Sun and the OJX community - failproof, no?
Now I don't know where to go or what to do. Infact I feel so small, so inferior and completely effing STUPID - like nothing, not even the fist atempts at "regular" java, had ever made me feel before. This - the easy scripting language - that was "made for Designers" and those not so much "hardcore"-hacking-programmers with "move.l a6,-(a7)" from their mothers milk. (I felt it was made for me!!). Had become my nemesis. A dark gloom. Feeling numb at best, almost let down.
The - at compiler level - helloWorld-ish - examples are what's standing between my numerous ideas and actually regaining ANY faith whatsoever in realising them :(
So what do I do now? I can't even begin to form proper and precise questions to solve my immediate compiling problems. Give up? Face the facts that I'm too stupid to learn something new and - like so many in my age - aim for paper pushing project management rather than exciting problem solving future development?
Can I adopt (heck, I'd even buy!!) a tutor?
Sorry for the lengthy rambling post, I just felt I had to ventilate some and not without a small albeit existing hope of reaching out and getting that ONE pointer I would need to get moving again. Perhaps a "Relax, there are people more stupid than you" or "It's a known fact with recent builds, get build from x-x-x and/or use this and that or Eclipse instead" - Even a "don't bother, relax a month or two until the full 1.0 sdk with test proven NetBeans plugin + targeting examples/reference/wiki is out" would suffice.
At the very least and if nothing else, I hope to have made one or two of you laugh (at me) and made you feel better about yourselves for keeping up and actually evolving with JavaFX. Then it would not all have been in vain! ;-)