Thoughts on Dialogs and Lightboxes

Kevin Rushforth kevin.rushforth at
Mon Apr 2 13:55:56 PDT 2012

Note that a public method to allow a blocking modal dialog is planned 
for 2.2:

-- Kevin

Jonathan Giles wrote:
> I'm coming to this discussion late as I've been travelling - sorry 
> about that. As Dan mentions, I have a JOptionPane-esque API already. 
> For those with access to rt-closed, it is in toys/dialogs. It is 
> basically a fork of the JavaFX security dialog you may have seen 
> elsewhere, with API similar to what you'd see in JOptionPane, and a 
> whole lot of unnecessary code ripped out. It is fairly well developed 
> and quite a long way along, and certainly usable. I have been pushing 
> the relevant people to include this in a release, or at least the same 
> concept of this, but as of yet I have not had success. This is most 
> probably just due to the fact that there are more important fish to 
> fry, and as Artem notes, the API is all there to make a modal window, 
> and there is impl_ API (which you should never use!) to make a stage 
> blocking.
> I have not done any work along the sheet approach, as this requires 
> further support in the glass API, and this is where Artem would step in.
> -- Jonathan
> On 2/04/2012 8:03 p.m., Artem Ananiev wrote:
>> Hi, Daniel,
>> On 3/31/2012 7:50 AM, Daniel Zwolenski wrote:
>>> I'm curious what the plans are for Dialogs in JavaFX. I assume they 
>>> are on the roadmap?
>> both dialogs (owned windows) and modality are already there:
>> javafx.stage.Stage#initOwner()
>> javafx.stage.Stage#initModality()
>>> I notice hints of this from Jonathon here: 
>> This issue is about having the Alert class, which is similar to 
>> Swing's JOptionPane, Windows' MessageBox and similar dialogs in other 
>> UI toolkits. You can implement it yourself, however this 
>> functionality is common enough to be a standard JFX class.
>>> But I see the request is as yet unresolved.
>>> The reason I ask is because I've had to implement my own 'Lightbox' 
>>> framework for my last project and I'm wondering if some part of this 
>>> or something similar should be in JFX. I know a lot of people on the 
>>> forums have been looking for classic dialog support from JFX.
>>> If you don't know already, a Lightbox is the web's answer to 
>>> Dialogs, where a dialog-like pane is layered on top of the main 
>>> content with a semi-transparent glass pane making it basically 
>>> modal. The dialog is still within the main browser window, so it's 
>>> not a true Popup but to the user is much the same.
>>> The end result looks like this:
>> This is a screenshot with Mac OS X "sheet", which is not what is 
>> usually referred to as "Dialog". It's not a separate top-level 
>> window. Other platforms don't have built-in support for such UI 
>> elements.
>>> It is quite easy to implement this in JFX using a StackPane as the 
>>> base. The simple API is just to have some kind of LightboxPane (or 
>>> RootPane, etc) that extends StackPane and includes a method like:
>>>     showInLightbox(Node node)
>>> This then adds a 'glass pane' to the top of the Stack to dim out the 
>>> content, and then adds the node to this glass pane. The node's 
>>> visibility could be tracked to determine when to remove the glass 
>>> pane, etc.
>>> The API can be extended beyond this simple setup quite drastically 
>>> to include things like decorated boxes (title bar, close button, 
>>> resize edges, etc), animated entry/exit, and 'dialog options' such 
>>> as ok, cancel (ie JOptionPane like functions).
>>> My stuff needs cleaning up but I was planning to eventually roll my 
>>> framework into JFX Flow. If it's on the JFX roadmap anyway, better 
>>> not to, or at least I'd like the API to mirror JFX Dialogs if possible.
>>> Thoughts and comments?
>> If you're asking about support for Mac OS X "sheets", please, file a 
>> separate JIRA issue about this (I don't know if we already have this 
>> request in FX bug database), as it is completely separate from RT-12643.
>> Thanks,
>> Artem

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