While I was a kid growing up, I would go to the bowling alley to get a 25 cent(US) bouncy ball from the vending machine. I’ve lost many a bouncy ball in the parking lot from bouncing them as hard as I could. In this example I will create a 500 by 400 pixel sized bouncy ball containment field in JavaFX. This is to prevent them from ever leaving me like they did when I was a kid.
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Balls addBalls(lots of balls)
This shows when the user specifies a whole bunch of balls to add.
A ball can be removed from the scene by just clicking an individual ball. The field “Number of balls” input field is really a read-only field that is updated from the JavaFX side whenever balls are added and removed from the bouncy ball containment field.
More Bouncy Balls
By adding many balls I wanted to see how well it would perform.
Here I add balls, lots of balls! The bouncy ball containment field now holds 400 bouncy balls. Although I might not be doing things efficiently I noticed my CPU was performing adequately. The utilization was between 41% to 46% (older Dell hyper-threading Inspiron XPS laptop Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.40 GHz) using Windows XP SP 3. It was a smooth animation with no flicker. The Ball class is a Custom Node which contains a Circle with an effect called Radial Gradient to give it a 3D sphere look.
Dragging JavaFX Applet out of Web Page
By using the Alt key along with mouse drag the JavaFX applet will appear to be pulled out of the browser’s Web page and out onto the desktop.
By default, when you drag the applet out of the browser onto your desktop a small “close button” appears on the upper right corner of your application. When the user clicks the “close button” box the JavaFX applet will snap right back into the browser. Another thing to note is that when the JavaFX applet is running outside the browser and the user subsequently closes the browser the applet will remain running independent of the browser. This introduces an interesting ability that adds a new dimension to usability on the desktop. As the user becomes drawn into the application experience the need to be attached to the Web page will be obsolete. Another cool effect that I have added to the Application is transparency or opacity level when the mouse cursor is exiting or entering the scene area. When the user moves the mouse away from the application the screen will fade to a subtle transparency. When the user moves the mouse cursor into the application screen area the background becomes fully opaque (white in this case).
This fading effect helps the user transition from one application to another.
The last, item of the desktop experience to mention is the Java JNLP mechanism that asks the user if he or she wants to create a short-cut icon for the application to launch at a later time.
To reproduce the dialog asking for a shortcut, you would drag the applet out of browser, then close tab or browser application and then a dialog will appear asking to create the short-cut.