TableView enhancements for JavaFX 2.2

Jonathan Giles jonathan.giles at
Wed Mar 7 12:40:40 PST 2012

Hi all,

I'm in the very early stages of planning improvements to TableView for 
JavaFX 2.2, particularly centred around the following three Jira issues.

Basically, I am wanting to make it easier to style and customise 
TableView. The two main use cases are:

1) allowing for CSS styling to, for example, change the background 
colour of a given column. This requires that we provide an easy way to 
expose each column via CSS. As mentioned in RT-19450, the best 
approaches I can think of right now are to add two style classes per 
column: column-x (where x is the column index), and also a styleclass of 
the TableColumn.text property (although I'm not sure this second 
styleclass is really necessary or useful, as the id property can be used 
to achieve the same thing, and we don't overuse the styleclass list). To 
achieve this, I'd need to add more API to the TableColumn class for 

2) allowing for developers to customise the TableColumn header area, for 
example, to allow for people to put filter buttons in, hide the sort 
arrows, add a media player control, etc.

The general approach I want to take is to have TableColumn copy (not 
extend from) a number of the Labeled APIs, as well as the 
id/style/styleclass properties. My justification for wanting to take 
this approach is to prevent TableColumn becoming a Control. A similar 
discussion will need to be had about Tab, which has much the same 
requirements. Perhaps there is a need for some kind of abstract 
interface / class that sits above Labeled, but I think this may be 
taking things too far (for possibly no perceivable gain, except perhaps 
ensuring API consistency). Another option is to have a 'label' property 
that people can interact with directly.

With the addition of the Labeled API, I can then easily add listeners to 
maintain the relevant id/style/styleclass on each TableColumn skin, and 
add API to allow for customisation of the header area (refer to RT-14909 
for a example of the API I have in mind).

If you have any concerns, questions or feature requests related to this 
topic, please put them forward in this thread.


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