Supporting the Mac OS menubar in JavaFX

steve.x.northover at steve.x.northover at
Mon Jan 9 10:45:30 PST 2012


I believe there are problems with 1) and 2).  First off, there is no way 
to mix and match.  For example, suppose I want some shells to use the 
global menu bar and others to use a local menu bar.  Further, 
application code may put trimmings around a menu bar and when the menu 
bar is "hoisted up", the window might look strange.

If we are doing 3), I think a better approach would be for the 
application to decide whether it is using native menu bars or not by 
explicitly setting a menu bar on a stage.  It makes sense because on 
platforms like Windows and GTK, there is a one-to-one mapping between 
stage and menu bar so why not make this explicit in the API?  One of the 
problems with having API in Stage is that we don't want a reference to 
MenuBar.  Why don't we define something like Stage.setMenyBarArea() or 
something like that to take a Node or another type instead?


On 09/01/2012 1:30 PM, Paru Somashekar wrote:
> Hello All,
> The following is the proposal (follow up from previous email by 
> Jonathan) from UI Controls team towards an API to support native Mac 
> OS menubar.
> 1) A new property useGlobalMenuBar would be added to MenuBar class 
> whose initial value will be set to a default dictated by a property 
> settable via CSS ( and set to false by default). Once again, for the 
> first cut of this support in this release, this will be the only 
> public API for native menubar support.
> 2) In the case when we have multiple Menubars specified on a stage, 
> the first one wins and will be made global, i.e. provided the platform 
> supports native integration and useGlobalMenuBar is set to true.
> 3) As mentioned in a previous email by Jonathan, we will have hooks to 
> switch between stages when they become active and swap menu bars. In 
> the case when we don’t find a Menubar, it will be nulled out. This is 
> the path we are choosing for now and we realize that we can change 
> this later with no backward compatibility issues.
> We are extending the same concept to the scenario where, when the last 
> window closes; it will be nulled out as well and hence there is no 
> concept of a default menubar.
> thanks,
> Paru.
> On 12/14/11 5:20 PM, Kevin Rushforth wrote:
>> An API on Stage to set a menu bar has a certain elegance, plus it 
>> gets around the backward compatibility and inconsistency problems 
>> that having "native" on by default would create. Unfortunately, as 
>> Rich pointed out earlier, it creates an unwanted dependency from a 
>> modularity point of view since Stage will be in the base module and 
>> should not depend on anything in controls.
>> -- Kevin
>> steve.x.northover at wrote:
>>> Hello all,
>>> How about an API in Stage where you set the menu bar for the stage? 
>>> This is the menu that you wish to be native and the application very 
>>> is clear about this. There can only be one real menu bar on Windows. 
>>> Application code can ask for the menu bar and add items to it. If 
>>> you have a property, application code needs to do the same search 
>>> that FX does to determine if there is an active menu bar.
>>> Here is what I think about focus: On the Mac, when a stage gets 
>>> focus, it sets the native menu bar. When it loses focus, it clears 
>>> the native menu bar. Retaining the menu from the previous stage is 
>>> unlikely to be the right thing to do as an application can have many 
>>> different stages around and only the application can know whether 
>>> the current menu bar applies to a stage.
>>> Steve
>>> On 14/12/2011 6:31 PM, Jonathan Giles wrote:
>>>> Hi All,
>>>> Here's an update from the UI controls team as to how we see the 
>>>> native Mac OS menubar support working. Your thoughts are appreciated.
>>>> After discussing it again today, we think that the approach 
>>>> suggested by Richard in an earlier email in this thread makes the 
>>>> best sense, in terms of modularity and code cleanliness. I'll 
>>>> explain this further shortly...
>>>> The thinking is to add a new property to 
>>>> javafx.scene.control.MenuBar. We haven't settled on a name, but 
>>>> it's something along the lines of 'native', 'global', 
>>>> 'globalMenuBar', 'screenMenuBar', or 'applicationMenuBar'. Whatever 
>>>> property name we use, we'll expand it out to have the usual 
>>>> set*/get*/*property methods. This would be the only public API we 
>>>> end up adding for native menubar support. For the remainder of this 
>>>> email I refer to this property as 'native'.
>>>> This property will by default be true, indicating that on platforms 
>>>> where we support native integration, it'll happen by default.
>>>> On a platform that supports native integration, we'll find the 
>>>> 'first' MenuBar in the scene that has the 'native' property set to 
>>>> true. We can't guarantee that we'll find necessarily the physically 
>>>> top-most MenuBar as that is really a matter of how the scenegraph 
>>>> is laid out. Of course, this is only a problem in situations where 
>>>> the scene contains multiple MenuBars where 'native' is true in more 
>>>> than one of them, which we hope won't often be the case. If a Scene 
>>>> does have multiple MenuBars with 'native' set to true, the 
>>>> behaviour is undefined. If the wrong MenuBar is made native, you 
>>>> can help provide a hint by setting 'native' to false in the 
>>>> relevant place(s).
>>>> We'll also hook into the Stage and listen to the relevant events, 
>>>> such that when a Stage gains focus, we'll switch in any native 
>>>> menubars found in the scene of that stage. If no relevant MenuBar 
>>>> is found, then we can either retain the MenuBar from the previous 
>>>> stage, or null it out. I'm going to assume the former is by far 
>>>> going to win this vote, but feel free to surprise me.
>>>> Using this approach, developer code should be cleaner. Your user 
>>>> interface should position a MenuBar where it makes sense for your 
>>>> application, regardless of the operating system (normally at the 
>>>> very top of your scene). On platforms where native integration is 
>>>> supported, the JavaFX-rendered MenuBar will not be rendered 
>>>> (although it'll likely remain in the scenegraph as a no-op 
>>>> control). If the 'native' property changes, we'll flick between the 
>>>> native and JavaFX-rendered MenuBar as expected. This approach means 
>>>> there is no operating system dependent code in your user interface.
>>>> As I mentioned - we're totally open to discussion on any of these 
>>>> points. Any thoughts?
>>>> -- Jonathan
>>>> On 10/12/2011 8:56 a.m., Jonathan Giles wrote:
>>>>> Hi all,
>>>>> One of the things we're planning to support in JavaFX 2.1 is the 
>>>>> native Mac OS menubar. This email is intended primarily to discuss 
>>>>> the API one expects to see to set a MenuBar in the native Mac OS 
>>>>> menubar area. Your feedback is sought and will be very much 
>>>>> appreciated.
>>>>> The current thinking is that Application feels like the right 
>>>>> place to specify a global, application-wide 
>>>>> javafx.scene.control.MenuBar on. It could be assumed that if a 
>>>>> developer were to set this property, and the operating system upon 
>>>>> which the end-user was running the JavaFX application was Mac OS, 
>>>>> that the menubar will be displayed using the native Mac OS 
>>>>> menubar. Of course, if a developer wants a cross-platform look and 
>>>>> feel, they could just place the MenuBar in the stage as per usual 
>>>>> and it would display as it currently does. This approach opens up 
>>>>> a number of questions and issues:
>>>>> 1) What happens in the case of the end-user being on Windows? Is 
>>>>> the Application.MenuBar ignored, or is it automagically added to 
>>>>> the main Stage? (I would argue for totally ignoring it....but that 
>>>>> leads to the next point).
>>>>> 2) This approach means there needs to be operating specific code 
>>>>> in the UI to test whether a non-native MenuBar should be added (in 
>>>>> the case of Windows, for example). This starts to clutter the UI 
>>>>> code, and without careful consideration by the developer may 
>>>>> result in needing to duplicate their MenuBar code. Is there a 
>>>>> better approach?
>>>>> Another place to specify a MenuBar would be on Stage, rather than 
>>>>> (or in addition to), Application. Having a MenuBar property on 
>>>>> Stage would allow for the MenuBar to change based on the currently 
>>>>> focused Stage - but I'm not certain this is desirable or even the 
>>>>> expected behaviour of Mac OS. Therefore, I'm thinking that this is 
>>>>> not likely to happen unless we hear otherwise.
>>>>> Like I said, we're at a very early exploration point in this 
>>>>> process. The controls team is very keen to hear feedback from the 
>>>>> community, as well as from the owners of the Application API, and 
>>>>> the Mac OS experts on this list.
>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>> -- Jonathan

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