ObservableList vs Models

Mark Claassen markclaassenx at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 13:01:51 PDT 2012

I really like the promise of the ObservableList, but am a bit wary of the
current implementation.

We have several instances in our code where we rely on unique models
wrapping the same data.  We can have a large list of items, and show them
in a combo box, and list, and a table.  Generally, only one of these is
visible at a given time, but having a single backing list is very handy.

Further, each list can be independently sorted and filtered via a decorator
construct in the model.

By tweaking the underlying list object (so it fires events) and model (so
that it listens to events), we accomplished something similar to an
* Changes to the underlying list fires events to the models
* Models could then respond as appropriate, add/deleting/changing items as
necessary...perhaps triggering the view to re-sort the decorator as

However, different from ObservableList, we can manage the
side-effects...not sorting and filtering all models in an identical fashion.

Is there a mechanism to do this in JavaFX?  The Swing methodology seemed a
nice way to do it.  With ObservableLists, it seems that in the end, I don't
get much.  The more common / trivial case is handled.  However, in the case
of a our application, I will need to
* Make several ObservableLists, one for each control
* Manage the synchronization between these lists programmaticly by myself.

Am I missing something?   Is there a way to have an ObservableList
listening to another ObservableList, so that list #2 can notice the updates
without forcing the sort order and filtering on list #1?  Or am I just
going to end up having to cut through extra/different layers of abstraction
to re-implement what I had in Swing.


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