Friday, December 5, 2008

Project Renaissance: JavaFX for prototyping

Hi folks,

As you might have noticed, yesterday the JavaFX 1.0 was released into the wild. I am impressed how much progress the JavaFX group has made after the first RC, the amount of samples is impressive. So is the website, I very much like the design.

Today, I just played around a bit with Netbeans 6.5 and JavaFX to see how useful this technology could possibly be for us during the Renaissance Project. Specifically during the design phase. So far, I have the impression that rapid prototyping of mid and high fidelity UI prototypes would work pretty smoothly with JavaFX. The API has now a lot of potential and a very good online documentation. Besides, drag & drop of elements in Netbeans works fine.

The next thing I was planning to check out is the cooperation with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files. It should be possible to import images into JavaFX with a plugin. I’ve already seen the sample which is available on the JavaFX website.

So, any opinions how we could use this great technology for prototyping when the time comes?



Gouchi said...

And what about using Mozilla Framework for rapid prototype ?

Andreas Bartel said...

@ Gouchi

I don't mind if somebody uses that framework but for UX design both approaches are too developer oriented and do not allow a smooth interplay between e.g. Illustrator/Photoshop screens and your actual UI prototype.

Example: You have your static UI prototype done in Photoshop. Now you want to see some elements of it in action, to see how they might behave. You chunk up your PST file into single parts, import into JavaFX, add some transitions and transformations, mouse events ets. and off you go. Now you can do some quick usability test.

RCarvalho said...

I think it is a great idea. The con is that JavaFX isn't available for Linux and OpenSolaris yet. As I'm a Linux user, I still can't use JavaFX. But it's OK because I think Sun will release Linux version before the design phase!

Christoph Noack said...

Hi Gouchi,

I support Andreas in this case. You may laugh, but sometimes it is hard to communicate to others (especially management inside a company) that something is not finished if it looks like a real program. Or is build by such frameworks.

Having a sheet of paper, or a picture of the UI makes clear that something is not finished yet :-) But that doesn't hinder us (the community) to make use of what is available...

Fortunately, in our company we do work on real world appliances most of the time...

Thanks for the links to the presentations!


Andreas Schuderer said...

Sounds very interesting. In the past, I've been using HTML and JavaScript for medium and medium/complex prototypes. I'm planning to take a look on JavaFX, however, as JavaScript certainly has its issues.

I'm especially curious about the show-off-iness of JavaFX, i.e. whether they could be made available as an applet and put on a web page for public testing.