Posted by editor
on December 24, 2009 at 9:25 AM PST
We've just published Jeff Friesen's new article, "Reading Newsfeeds in JavaFX with FeedRead." This article is a follow-up to Jeff's recent article "Learn about JavaFX's APIs for Reading RSS and Atom Newsfeeds"...
We've just published Jeff Friesen's new article, Reading Newsfeeds in JavaFX with FeedRead . This article is a follow-up to Jeff's recent article Learn about JavaFX's APIs for Reading RSS and Atom Newsfeeds . The earlier article provides an introduction to JavaFX's newsfeed capabilities; the new article shows how to take those capabilities and apply them to create a snazzy little JavaFX feed reader application.
The FeedRead app demoed in "Reading Newsfeeds in JavaFX with FeedRead"
Jeff built and tested FeedRead using NetBeans IDE 6.5.1 and JavaFX 1.2. The application can be run in stand-alone mode, or within a web browser. Running the app in a web browser provides the advantage that when you click on a feed item, the full article will be loaded into a new browser window.
Jeff provides large snippets of the code that performs the key functions for the app, and talks about what the individual sections do, and why certain elements that might appear surprising had to be that way. Because JavaFX is so young a technology, there are still some work-arounds that are required when you build an application of any complexity. For example, Jeff refers to Amy Fowler's JavaFX 1.2: Layout post in describing why it was necessary to subtract
flowRef.layoutBounds.minX in the
layoutX: bind statement (and also do the equivalent for
It all goes back to the question of coordinate systems that has always been a part of graphics development: is the position or offset you're working with in absolute coordinates, or is it a relative coordinate? Programming it the wrong way can produce some surprising and often-times dazzling results, that may cause the developer to burst out in laughter and subsequently spill their coffee all over the keyboard. So, you do want to be careful to get relative versus absolute coordnates right in each situation.
Another aspect of JavaFX's newness: bugs in the platform itself that may not have quick work-arounds when you develop an application. For example, in Jeff's app, JavaFX issue JFXC-3431: Signed javafx-applet does not get focus before html page area is clicked rears its ugly head, causing the text box to not always receive focus when FeedRead runs as an applet. To reassert the proper focus, you need to reload the applet or switch to another browser window, then come back to window where you're running FeedReed. In addition, there is an oddity wherein active buttons are sometimes grayed out, as though they were disabled, when that's not really the case.
In sum, Reading Newsfeeds in JavaFX with FeedRead is an excellent demonstration of how to apply JavaFX's newsfeed capabilities to develop an application, runnable in stand-alone mode or within a browser.
I'll close this discussion by pointing you to Jeff's "Happy Holidays" JavaFX app, which won the recent JFXStudio Holiday Challenge :
Happy Holidays [click to run]
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-- Kevin Farnham