Can JavaFX do CAD?

Scott Palmer swpalmer at
Fri Jul 26 23:14:12 PDT 2013

On 2013-07-26, at 7:12 PM, Daniel Zwolenski <zonski at> wrote:

> It's not that we think the JFX team aren't slogging their guts out, clearly
> you are. It's just that in some key areas, there are small-ish blocks that
> stop the whole rocket from launching. To then see a whole lot of effort be
> poured into things like binary CSS/FXML compilation, Pi platform support
> (that's more important than iOS/Android, really?), web deployment patches,
> or even 3D (as cool as that is), just knocks me about. Obviously your
> priorities are coming from somewhere different to ours, but the way you
> prioritise is unfathomable to me and that definitely adds to the
> frustration.

The basic rendering, layout and controls just don't work right yet.  That is the biggest problem affecting me today.

>  JavaFX is
> definitely not production ready for me, my clients and the types of apps I
> build (e.g. consumer facing online systems, enterprise/backoffice systems,
> form/data systems, diagramming systems). One day I hope it will be, but
> it's moving extremely slowly or not at all in the areas that would make it
> so for me. Meanwhile the competitors (primarily JavaScript based solutions)
> are improving rapidly in the areas where they have traditionally been weak.

They are, but browser based apps are still far too crippled for most things I need to do.  I hate that the browser & JavaScript are becoming the standard app platform because it forces things to suck on so many levels.


> On Sat, Jul 27, 2013 at 8:30 AM, John C. Turnbull <ozemale at>wrote:
>> Hi Richard,
>> I have to stop posting late at night, that one came across as really ANGRY!
>> It's not anger, it's passion... and frustration.
>> I am frustrated because I spend much of my day trying to convince my
>> employer that we should be using JavaFX.  They ask me questions like:
>> "What happens if Oracle abandons JavaFX just like Sun did with JMF, Java3D,
>> JOGL etc. ?"
>> I say:
>> "This is Oracle, not Sun."
>> They say:
>> "Can you show me what JavaFX can do? There must be examples out there
>> right?"
>> And I say:
>> "Sure, here's Ensemble."
>> They say:
>> "OK, so it has a nice set of basic controls and can do simple animations
>> but
>> what about more complex things like Flash?"
>> ...hence the dancing cat reference.
>> It's not that my employer *needs* dancing cats, it's just that they need to
>> see that there is more to JavaFX than red circle transitions.  I can't even
>> prove to them that JavaFX is capable of dancing cats.  They don't have the
>> resources to fund me to develop something more sophisticated but they tell
>> me that if JavaFX truly was a "mature" technology (like I tell them) then
>> where are all the examples?
>> I am finding it difficult to convince them that JavaFX is production ready
>> and is not still in "experimental" mode because I am unable to demonstrate
>> its true capabilities or refer them to many examples of people (and I mean
>> big companies) actually using it.
>> The main concerns of my employer and I think many companies in a similar
>> situation is that JavaFX won't survive long term and that it is only really
>> suitable for form based applications.  Then of course there is the whole
>> "HTML5 runs on all platforms" argument but that's another story...
>> So this is why I think it's imperative that Oracle invests in developing a
>> true showcase application for JavaFX.  Something that non-technical people
>> (like managers who make decisions about where the money goes) can look at
>> it
>> and go "wow!".
>> I am just not getting my managers to go "wow" at what I can show them with
>> JavaFX at the moment.
>> Every comment or apparent criticism I post about JavaFX is from the
>> perspective that I am trying to deal with real-world problems and people
>> who
>> require proof (such as demos, reference sites etc.) and not because I
>> myself
>> think JavaFX is not up to scratch.
>> It's quite the opposite actually.
>> I am a very, very strong believer and supporter of JavaFX and have many
>> reasons both personal and professional as to why I want it to be a massive
>> success.  As I have said before, there are plenty of people who praise
>> JavaFX and tend to avoid the very real issues that are restricting its
>> adoption.  I just think we have to face these issues head on if we are to
>> compete in what is a very cut-throat industry.
>> -jct
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Richard Bair [mailto:richard.bair at]
>> Sent: Saturday, 27 July 2013 01:40
>> To: John C. Turnbull
>> Cc: 'Daniel Zwolenski'; openjfx-dev at
>> Subject: Re: Can JavaFX do CAD?
>>> For Flash, there are literally millions of examples of
>>> fancy/complex/impressive graphics and animations out there that can be
>>> really impressive at times.  I have not seen ONE such example in JavaFX!
>> Point to one?
>> Have you seen any of the JavaOne examples? The movie wall or movies on a
>> stack of 3D cubes was pretty good. But I guess you're not interested in the
>> 3D aspect? What is it you are looking for exactly? Different people (on
>> this
>> list) have had different perceptions on both (a) what's important and (b)
>> what kind of graphics they're interested in. Most people would deride the
>> dancing cat as being totally irrelevant to the types of applications
>> they're
>> trying to build (the basis for much of flash animations is shape morphing,
>> you can find some code here
>> On the other hand, JavaFX is not a replacement for OpenGL. Drawing 25
>> million lines is just not something we can do right now, especially in a
>> resource constrained environment. I've already commented on the memory
>> overhead (which would continue to be an issue even if the drawing part of
>> the problem were solved).
>> I've pushed to graphics repo the StretchyGrid, which is about 300k line
>> nodes (the actual amount is variable, see the javadoc comments). At 300k
>> nodes the scene graph overhead is negligible on the FX side, dirty opts is
>> taking a long time to run, and painting is really slow.
>> PULSE: 347 [122ms:222ms]
>> T12 (8 +0ms): CSS Pass
>> T12 (8 +0ms): Layout Pass
>> T12 (47 +53ms): Waiting for previous rendering
>> T12 (100 +1ms): Copy state to render graph
>> T10 (101 +16ms): Dirty Opts Computed
>> T10 (117 +105ms): Painted
>> Counters:
>>        Nodes rendered: 306565
>>        Nodes visited during render: 306565
>> If I were doing this by hand in open GL, I think the drawing would be
>> essentially free, if I used LINES with GL anti-aliasing, I could send 'em
>> all down to the card in a single shot (and if I had a modern GL I could do
>> LINES + FXAA or one of the other per-pixel AA algorithms available and it
>> would turn out pretty nice). Because our shapes don't implement the non-AA
>> path, and our AA involves software rasterization and uploading of pixels, I
>> expect that to be the main source of the 105ms time being spent here.
>> Also I noticed (by turning on prism.showdirty=true) that the entire grid is
>> being painted every time, even though visually it looks like only a small
>> subset actually needs to be changed. But that's really a minor thing, as I
>> said, drawing this many lines should basically be free if I configure
>> "smooth" to false in the app. Except that right now it is totally not
>> implemented (in NGShape):
>>    public void setAntialiased(boolean aa) {
>>        // We don't support aliased shapes at this time
>>    }
>> The point of stretchy grid is not to say "wow look at this amazing demo".
>> The point is to say "what happens if I put in 300K nodes. Where does the
>> system start to fall over?".
>> Richard=

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