What I learnt developing a small JavaFX App [WIP]

Introduction

This is a collection of the things I learnt developing a simple JavaFX app over the last month or two. My background is very much in Java EE with decades of experience building high end, high-performance ticketing systems. This means that my expectation from a development environment is relatively high. There are many optional components in here that I find worthwhile setting up at the start, but are not necessary

Tools

Maven

One of the most useful tools I have found while working with Java is maven. If maven isn’t a part of your build, have a look at it and re-evaluate that. I have no doubt that maven has saved me hundreds, if not thousands of hours over the last few years.

JavaFX Scene Builder

While this one has a bunch of issues and serious limitations, it can still be a helpful tool. It helped me get a handle on the components available and placing items.

Libraries

Testing

I use junit5, but there are other options like test-ng which are equally good. I use Mockito for mocking, but there are many other options like PowerMock, JMockit, EasyMock, etc.

For UI Testing, you can use TestFX. I don’t like UI work, so haven’t done much work with this.

<span id="mce_SELREST_start" style="overflow:hidden;line-height:0;">&#65279;</span><span id="mce_SELREST_end" style="overflow:hidden;line-height:0;">&#65279;</span>
    org.junit.platform
    junit-platform-launcher
    1.2.0
    test


    org.junit.jupiter
    junit-jupiter-engine
    5.2.0
    test


    org.junit.vintage
    junit-vintage-engine
    5.2.0
    test


    org.mockito
    mockito-core
    2.18.3
    test

Logging

I can’t live without logging in any application. It can make troubleshooting much easier, particularly when you’ve deployed your app. log4j2 is the main logging framework out there. You can choose another one if you like, but I strongly recommend having and using one.


    org.apache.logging.log4j	
    log4j-slf4j-impl
    2.11.0

Dependency Injection

If you have working the Java EE Environment, you have almost certainly come across Inversion of Control,  particularly in the form of Dependency Injection. I love dependency injection. It helps with decoupling components and with testing.

I looked at various frameworks including Dagger 2, Spring, Guice.

Dagger

The fully static (compile time) nature of Dagger 2 means that it doesn’t gel well with JavaFX which is very dynamic.

Spring

I had worked with Spring many years ago and didn’t want to tangle with a behemoth for a small project. There are many components and loads of functionality in spring and if you building a large and complex project, it might be worth it.

Google Guice

Google Guice is the framework that I ended up going with. It does have some dependencies like Guava, but as it turned out, I Guava comes in handy for JavaFX anyway.

We don’t need an entry in the pom.xml for this because of the following dependency.

Gluon Ignite

Gluon Ignite was released by gluon labs to integrate Dependency Injection frameworks with JavaFX. In other words, it ties in the DI framework with the FXMLLoader so that it will load the correct controller instances.

Since I am using Guice, I needed the ignore-guice module. If you add this into your pom.xml, it will also pull in google guice. Easy eh? 😉


    com.gluonhq
    ignite-guice
    1.0.2

If you don’t want to add another dependency, you could take a look at the code in this module. It’s fairly straightforward to integrate that manually into your app. It’s just easier to add in the dependency and let it do the magic

Event / Publisher / Subscriber Framework

It is likely that you will need an event framework or a publisher/subscriber framework. The nature of GUI design and work is that it is an easy and simple solution for a number of problems you will come across.

Fortunately, we already have an event framework in place within Guava which is a dependency of Google Guice.

Project Lombok

Don’t you love adding in a getter and a setter for each field? When you change your fields, don’t you love going in and updating all the getters and setters? How about defining the long, pita to type types with generics of variables that you are assigning from a method call? I mean the compiler can’t possibly figure that out by itself, right?

How about writing out the toString, equals and hashCode for each class?

What do you mean no, you don’t? You don’t love these tedious repetitive tasks of development? Good! You will love Lombok.

Unfortunately, with Lombok, it’s not as simple as adding it into your pom.xml. Check out the install instructions on their website for you IDE etc. You also need it in your pom.xml.


	org.projectlombok
	lombok
	1.18.0
	provided

There is some controversy around Lombok. There is a good post on stackoverflow that covers some of these things in a reasonable fashion.

Apache Commons

Last but certainly not least, we have apache commons. This is a collection of libraries rather than a single one. You know all those bits of code you write over and over. Chances are that there is something in here that does it better and in a simpler way.

Daily Meditation | Let’s Meditate with Playne

I am involved in the beta testing for playne, a meditation game. While I had meditated many many times in my life, I had never done it consistently. That is, until Playne.

I got curious about doing it as a series, and here it is

This episodes talks about getting started with Playne

#01 – Getting Started

 

Let’s get started with Playne

#02 – Settling in

 

Settling into meditating daily

#03 – Time for meditation

 

Making time for meditation is important

#04 – Layers of the mind

 

The mind is like an onion – so many layers and it makes you cry.

#05 – Level 2

 

We get to level 2

#06 – Positive Changes

 

Have you started seeing positive changes?

#07 – One Week in

 

That’s one week of meditating daily. How do you feel?

#08 – Stick with it

 

There are definitely benefits to sticking to meditating daily

#09 –

Unfolding the Story | Let’s Play Epistory

The other day I stumbled across Origin All Access and saw that it had a bunch of games I wanted to play. One of these was Epistory, which had been in my wishlist for a long time. When trying the game out, I fell in love with it. It is absolutely a treat, so I decided to go through it as part of a let’s play.

#01 – Signal Fires

 

A meteor falls from the sky, and everything changes.

#02 – Forgotten Forest

 

We find a dark forest, forgotten and resistant.

#03 – Cold Shoulder

 

We witness another calamity, which once again changes everything.

#04 – Drowning Halls

 

Ice and water in these halls. Do we learn another language?

#05 – Spark

 

We stumble across Chapter 3 and another language

#06 – Creation City

 

Explore the rest of Creation City

#07 – Ice Mausoleum

 

We come across the Ice Mausoleum while exploring and delve into it.

#08 – Winds of Change

 

We run across Chapter 4 while exploring.

#09 – Shattered Isles

 

We go into the shattered isles and discover the fourth language.

Remembering Mars Beta 1 | Let’s Play Memories of Mars

“100 years in the future, something happened on Mars. Once frequently visited, it is now abandoned with some left behind. Explore and Survive the Red Planet.”

~ Memories of Mars

When I saw the game description on steam, I was intrigued. When they were giving out Beta keys, I volunteered and got myself a key. Following are videos put together from maybe around 10 hours of gameplay. Hope you enjoy

#01 – Exploring Mars

 

Random wanderings, musings and exploration of Mars.

#02 – Building a base

 

This is mainly the highlights of me figuring out and building a base on Mars 🙂

#03 – Beta 1 Highlights

 

Highlights from around 6 hours of gameplay over the Beta 1 Weekend.

Space Engineers Guides

#01 – Rdav’s AI Autominer Script

I had been pondering automated mining in Space Engineers for a long time and I need ponder no longer. I stumbled across this script one fine morning and have implemented it more than once. I absolutely love this script. This video covers how to set it up and various things to consider for maximum mining efficiency.

First Run | Let’s Play while True; learn() [DONE]

I stumbled across a let’s play series on this game on YouTube and was absolutely fascinated. I bought it and started playing it. It’s in early access and while it’s a little rough around the edges, I am enjoying playing it so far

#01 – Getting Started

Getting the hang of the game and getting involved with a startup.

#02 – Self Driving Cars

Getting involved with self driving cars.

#03 – Optimisin’

Lots of optimisations.

#04 – More Optimisin’

 

Try my hand at more optimisations and also complete one more task.

#05 – $2,147,483,648

 

Fail at completing a task because it’s just a little too slow. Run into a bug that puts me billions of dollars in debt, effectively ending my playthrough.