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About Andreas Pomarolli

Andreas Pomarolli
Andreas has graduated from Computer Science and Bioinformatics at the University of Linz. During his studies he has been involved with a large number of research projects ranging from software engineering to data engineering and at least web engineering. His scientific focus includes the areas of software engineering, data engineering, web engineering and project management. He currently works as a software engineer in the IT sector where he is mainly involved with projects based on Java, Databases and Web Technologies.

JavaFX Applications with e(fx)clipse

This is an example how to use the e(fx)clipse IDE for creating JavaFX Projects and Applications.

The e(fx)clipse standard library provides some useful extensions for writing JavaFX code. The library offers, among other features, additional layout panels, using FXML, Eclipse databinding for JavaFX properties, and much more.

The following instructions were written with a clean install of the Eclipse Java EE IDE for Web Developers. The Eclipse Version was Mars.1 Release (4.5.1).The used Java Version was Java8 SE.
 
 
 

 
The following table shows an overview of the whole article:

1. Installing the e(fx)clipse IDE

At first you have to start your Eclipse Software. Thereafter go to the Help Menu and select the “Install New Software…” option.

The following Dialog will appear:

JavaFX Applications - The Install new Software Dialog

The Install new Software Dialog

Now you have to define a Repository for the e(fx)clipse Installation. After clicking the Add Button, the “Add Repository” Dialog will appear:

JavaFX Applications - The Add Repository Dialog

The Add Repository Dialog

You have to enter the name of the repository and the Location of the software. I have chosen e(fx)clipse as name and http://download.eclipse.org/efxclipse/updates-released/2.3.0/site as Location for the following examples.

After defining the Repository, all possible items of the Update-Site will appear. Now you can choose, which items should be installed:

JavaFX Applications - The Check Items Dialog

The Check Items Dialog

At the end of the Selection and pressing the Next Button, an Overview of the selected items will apppear:

JavaFX Applications - The Install Details Overview

The Install Details Overview

At next, the terms of the License Agreement have to be accepted:

JavaFX Applications - The Review License Dialog

The Review License Dialog

After clicking the Finish Button, the installation will start:

JavaFX Applications - The Install Dialog

The Install Dialog

When the installation process is finished, you have to restart your Eclipse. Thereafter you can create JavaFX Projects with the e(fx)clipse IDE in your Eclipse Environment.

2. Your first JavaFX Example with e(fx)clipse

In this example, I only discuss how you can generate the Project and the necessary changes in the created files. If you want to learn more about JavaFX, please read my JavaFX Tutorial for Beginners.

2.1 Creation of the JavaFX Project

At first you have to create a JavaFx Project. Go to the File Menu and choose New Project. Select the “JavaFX Project” entry in the wizard:

JavaFX Applications - Choose the Type of the new Java Project

Choose the Type of the new Java Project

Enter a project name and click Next:

JavaFX Applications - Create Java Project Dialog in Eclipse

The Create Java Project Dialog in Eclipse

Now you can add other external libraries, if it is necessary:

JavaFX Applications - The Java Settings Dialog

The Java Settings Dialog

The next step represents the Selection of the “Application Type”. There exists Desktop and Mobile. For this article I have chosen Desktop for the creation of a Desktop Application.

JavaFX Applications - Selecting the Application Type of the new JavaFX Project

Selecting the Application Type of the new JavaFX Project

Now you have to choose the Language. You can select None, FXML and FxGraph. None means, that the Project contains only Java Files and StyleSheets. If you want to use FXML for developing your GUI, you have to select FXML. FXGraph is a simple DSL for the definition of a JavaFX 2.x object graph.

JavaFX Applications - Selecting the Language of the new JavaFX Project

Selecting the Language of the new JavaFX Project

After a click on the Finish Button Eclipse will create the Project and some Classes and Stylesheets:

JavaFX Applications - The generated Main Class

The generated Main Class

Thereafter, the application Package contains the following Files:

  • Main.java
  • application.css

2.2 Changing the Main Class

The following code snippet shows the generated Main class:

Main.java

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.stage.Stage;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.layout.BorderPane;

public class Main extends Application {
	@Override
	public void start(Stage primaryStage) {
		try {
			BorderPane root = new BorderPane();
			Scene scene = new Scene(root,400,400);
			scene.getStylesheets().add(getClass().getResource("application.css").toExternalForm());
			primaryStage.setScene(scene);
			primaryStage.show();
		} catch(Exception e) {
			e.printStackTrace();
		}
	}
	
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		launch(args);
	}
}

Now you are able to change the Main class, create other Java classes and so on. I only have written a small example. The following Java Code represents my modified Main class:

Main.java

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.event.ActionEvent;
import javafx.event.EventHandler;
import javafx.geometry.Pos;
import javafx.stage.Stage;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.Button;
import javafx.scene.control.Label;
import javafx.scene.control.TextArea;
import javafx.scene.control.TextField;
import javafx.scene.layout.BorderPane;

public class Main extends Application 
{
	// Create the TextField for the input
	private TextField inputArea = new TextField();
	// Create the TextArea for the Output
	private TextArea outputArea = new TextArea();

	@Override
	public void start(Stage primaryStage) 
	{
		try 
		{
			// Create the Label for the Header
			Label headerLbl = new Label("Please insert your Message in the TextArea!");
			// Create the Label for the Input
			Label inputLbl = new Label("Input: ");
			// Create the OK-Button
			Button okBtn = new Button("OK");
			
			// add an EventHandler to the OK-Button
			okBtn.setOnAction(new EventHandler<ActionEvent>()
			{
				@Override
				public void handle(ActionEvent event)
				{
					writeOutput(inputArea.getText());
				}
			});
			
			// Create the BorderPane
			BorderPane root = new BorderPane();
			// Store the Header Label in the Top Region
			root.setTop(headerLbl);
			// Store the OK Button in the Top Region
			root.setRight(okBtn);
			// Store the Output Area in the Right Region
			root.setBottom(outputArea);
			// Store the Input Label in the Bottom Region
			root.setLeft(inputLbl);
			// Store the Input Area in the Center Region
			root.setCenter(inputArea);

			// Set the alignment of the Header Label to bottom center
			BorderPane.setAlignment(headerLbl,Pos.BOTTOM_CENTER);
			// Set the alignment of the Input Label to center left
			BorderPane.setAlignment(inputLbl,Pos.CENTER_LEFT);
			// Set the alignment of the OK Button to center right
			BorderPane.setAlignment(okBtn,Pos.CENTER_RIGHT);

			// Create the Scene		
			Scene scene = new Scene(root);
			// Add the StyleSheets to the Scene
			scene.getStylesheets().add(getClass().getResource("application.css").toExternalForm());
			// Add the scene to the Stage			
			primaryStage.setScene(scene);
			// Set the title of the Stage			
			primaryStage.setTitle("A JavaFx Example created with e(fx)clipse");
			// Display the Stage
			primaryStage.show();
		} 
		catch(Exception e) 
		{
			e.printStackTrace();
		}
	}
	
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		launch(args);
	}
	
	// Method to log the Message to the Output-Area
	private void writeOutput(String msg)
	{
		this.outputArea.appendText("Your Input: " + msg + "\n");
	}
}

The following image shows the modified class in the Eclipse Workspace:

JavaFX Applications - The changed Main Class

The changed Main Class

2.3 Changing the StyleSheet

The generated StyleSheet is empty at the beginning:

application.css

/* JavaFX CSS - Leave this comment until you have at least create one rule which uses -fx-Property */

Now you can change the style of some GUI Elements like the Scene, the Button, etc. I have only made changes for the Scene:

application.css

/* JavaFX CSS - Leave this comment until you have at least create one rule which uses -fx-Property */
.root
{
	-fx-padding: 10;
	-fx-border-style: solid inside;
	-fx-border-width: 2;
	-fx-border-insets: 5;
	-fx-border-radius: 5;
	-fx-border-color: blue;	
}

The following image shows the modified StyleSheet in the Eclipse Workspace:

JavaFX Applications - The changed Application StyleSheet

The changed Application StyleSheet

2.4 The GUI

The following GUI represents the result of all described changes:

JavaFX Applications - A simple JavaFX Example created with the e(fx)clipse IDE

A simple JavaFX Example created with the e(fx)clipse IDE

3. A JavaFX FXML Example with e(fx)clipse

In this example, I only discuss how you can generate the Project and which files you have to change. If you want to read more about FXML, please read my JavaFX FXML Tutorial.

3.1 Creation of the JavaFX Project

At first you have to create a JavaFx Project. Go to the File Menu and choose New Project. Select the “JavaFX Project” entry in the wizard:

JavaFX Applications - Choose the Type of the new Java Project

Choose the Type of the new Java Project

Like in the previous example, you must enter a project name and click Next:

JavaFX Applications - The Create Java Project Dialog in Eclipse

The Create Java Project Dialog in Eclipse

Now you can add other external libraries, if it is necessary:

JavaFX Applications - The Java Settings Dialog

The Java Settings Dialog

Now you have to define the Application Type and the Language. The Application Type of this example is Desktop again. The Language is FXML, because we are creating a FXML Example. Given this fact, we have to define the Name of the FXML File in the “File Name” Field and the Name of the Controller class in the “Controller Name” Field.

JavaFX Applications - The Details of the new JavaFX Project

The Details of the new JavaFX Project

After a click on the Finish Button Eclipse creates the Project and its corresponding Java Classes, FXML Files and Stylesheets:

JavaFX Applications - The Overview of the new JavaFX Project

The Overview of the new JavaFX Project

Thereafter, the application Package contains the following Files:

  • Main.java
  • application.css
  • VBoxSample.fxml
  • VBoxSampleController.java

3.2 Changing the Main Class

The generated Main class contains the following Java Code:

Main.java

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.stage.Stage;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.layout.VBox;
import javafx.fxml.FXMLLoader;

public class Main extends Application {
	@Override
	public void start(Stage primaryStage) {
		try {
			VBox root = (VBox)FXMLLoader.load(getClass().getResource("VBoxSample.fxml"));
			Scene scene = new Scene(root,400,400);
			scene.getStylesheets().add(getClass().getResource("application.css").toExternalForm());
			primaryStage.setScene(scene);
			primaryStage.show();
		} catch(Exception e) {
			e.printStackTrace();
		}
	}
	
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		launch(args);
	}
}

Given the fact, that we want to create a FXML Example, there are only small changes in the Main class necessary:

Main.java

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.stage.Stage;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.layout.VBox;
import javafx.fxml.FXMLLoader;


public class Main extends Application 
{
	@Override
	public void start(Stage primaryStage) 
	{
		try 
		{
			// Load the FXML File
			VBox root = (VBox)FXMLLoader.load(getClass().getResource("VBoxSample.fxml"));
			
			// Create the Scene
			Scene scene = new Scene(root,400,400);
			// Add the StyleSheet to the Scene
			scene.getStylesheets().add(getClass().getResource("application.css").toExternalForm());
			// Set the Title to the Stage
			primaryStage.setTitle("A FXML Example created with e(fx)clipse");
			// Add the Scene to the Stage
			primaryStage.setScene(scene);
			// Show the Stage
			primaryStage.show();
		} 
		catch(Exception e) 
		{
			e.printStackTrace();
		}
	}
	
	public static void main(String[] args) 
	{
		launch(args);
	}
}

3.3 Changing the StyleSheet

The generated StyleSheet is empty at the beginning:

application.css

/* JavaFX CSS - Leave this comment until you have at least create one rule which uses -fx-Property */

The modified StyleSheet is the same like in the previous example:

application.css

/* JavaFX CSS - Leave this comment until you have at least create one rule which uses -fx-Property */

.root
{
	-fx-padding: 10;
	-fx-border-style: solid inside;
	-fx-border-width: 2;
	-fx-border-insets: 5;
	-fx-border-radius: 5;
	-fx-border-color: blue;	
}

3.4 Changing the FXML File

If you open the generetad FXML File, you will see that only the root node is defined at the beginning:

VBoxSample.fxml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
	
<?import javafx.scene.layout.VBox?>
	
<VBox xmlns:fx="http://javafx.com/fxml/1" fx:controller="application.VBoxSampleController">
	<!-- TODO Add Nodes -->
</VBox>

Now you have to define the GUI in the FXML File. This can be done with the Editor in Eclipse. Another option represents the JavaFX Scene Builder. If you want learn more about this tool, you can read my JavaFX Scene Builder Tutorial.

After designing the GUI, the File contains the following FXML Code:

VBoxSample.fxml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
	
<?import javafx.scene.layout.VBox?>
<?import javafx.scene.control.Label?>
<?import javafx.scene.control.TextField?>
<?import javafx.scene.control.Button?>
<?import javafx.scene.control.TextArea?>
	
<VBox xmlns:fx="http://javafx.com/fxml/1" fx:controller="application.VBoxSampleController">
  <children>
    <Label alignment="CENTER_LEFT" cache="true" cacheHint="SCALE" prefHeight="30.0" prefWidth="200.0" text="Please insert Your Input here:" textAlignment="LEFT" />
    <TextField fx:id="inputText" prefWidth="100.0" />
    <Button alignment="CENTER_RIGHT" contentDisplay="CENTER" mnemonicParsing="false" onAction="#printOutput" text="OK" textAlignment="CENTER" />
    <Label alignment="CENTER_LEFT" cache="true" cacheHint="SCALE" prefHeight="30.0" prefWidth="200.0" text="Your Input:" textAlignment="LEFT" />
    <TextArea fx:id="outputText" prefHeight="100.0" prefWidth="200.0" wrapText="true" />
  </children>
</VBox>

3.5 Changing the Controller Class

The created Controller class is also empty at the beginning:

VBoxSampleController.java

public class VBoxSampleController {
	
}

So, it is also necessary that you make the necessary changes in the Controller class. Otherwise, a Click on the OK Button has no effect, because the Method printOutput() is not defined.

VBoxSampleController.java

package application;

import java.net.URL;
import java.util.ResourceBundle;

import javafx.fxml.FXML;
import javafx.scene.control.TextArea;
import javafx.scene.control.TextField;

public class VBoxSampleController 
{
	@FXML
	// The reference of inputText will be injected by the FXML loader
	private TextField inputText;

	// The reference of outputText will be injected by the FXML loader
	@FXML
	private TextArea outputText;

	// location and resources will be automatically injected by the FXML loader
	@FXML
	private URL location;

	@FXML
	private ResourceBundle resources;

	// Add a public no-args constructor
	public VBoxSampleController()
	{
	}

	@FXML
	private void initialize()
	{
	}

	@FXML
	private void printOutput()
	{
		outputText.setText(inputText.getText());
	}	
}

3.6 The GUI

The following image shows the GUI of this example after inserting a text into the TextField and a click on the OK Button. The printOutput() Method will copy the text into the TextArea.

JavaFX Applications - A JavaFX FXML Example created with the e(fx)clipse IDE

A JavaFX FXML Example created with the e(fx)clipse IDE

4. Download Java Source Code

This was an example of e(fx)clipse

Download
You can download the full source code of this example here: JavaFXefxclipse.zip
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