The e(fx)clipse e(f)xperience
Last year, we took on a project to replace an aging web application with a new and improved rich client. Since a modern UI was one of the requirements, we opted to use JavaFX despite the fact that this was new technology for the developers on the team. We also wanted to use an application framework with which the developers were familiar: Eclipse e4. Enter e(fx)clipse (at the time, version 0.9.0; current day, version 2.0.0), a project offering tooling and runtime components for JavaFX and the Eclipse platform. Our decision to adopt e(fx)clipse as our IDE and platform has been instrumental in minimizing the pain inherent in the switch from Swing or SWT to JavaFX.
In this talk, I'll give an overview of our experiences over the past year developing an e4 + JavaFX rich client application with e(fx)clipse. I'll address some of the problems we've faced, for example:
- SceneBuilder not correctly handling images and internationalized strings in an OSGi context
- setting up a local (mirrored) target platform
- default renderer behavior that did not meet the needs of our application
and how we overcame these problems. Finally, I'll demonstrate a few differences between the old web UI and the new JavaFX one.
This talk should be useful for any person who is considering using JavaFX in combination with the e4 platform.