Category Archives: Development

Software development topics

Java StAX Tips

StAX stands for Streaming API for XML APIs, meaning the XML reader and writer that are contained in package of the Java standard library. The first tip is to know this API exists and you should use it! The older APIs, Simple API for XML APIs (SAX parser) and Document Object Model APIs (W3C […]

JavaFX Pane Clipping

Most JavaFX layout containers (base class Region) automatically position and size their children, so clipping any child contents that might protrude beyond the container’s layout bounds is never an issue. The big exception is Pane, a direct subclass of Region and the base class for all layout containers with publicly accessible children. Unlike its subclasses […]

JavaFX Spinner for Numbers

The JavaFX version of the popular up-down control is called Spinner. Like its Swing progenitor JSpinner, this control is much more flexible than a typical numerical up-down control. Spinner is designed for arbitrary sequences of objects, with number ranges constituting merely a special case. This has some unfortunate consequences when you do wish to make […]

Java Method Reference Evaluation

Along with lambda expressions, Java SE 8 introduced method references as a shorthand notation. These are mostly used to reference static methods (e.g. Double::toString) or constructors (e.g. String[]::new), and these uses are straightforward. However, method references to instance methods can yield results that differ from lambda expressions in surprising ways. This is because the invocation […]

Algorithms in a Nutshell

Algorithms in a Nutshell — George T. Heineman, Gary Pollice & Stanley Selkow, O’Reilly 2016 (2nd ed.), ISBN 978-1-491-94892-7 This fairly slim book covers the basics of algorithmics and benchmarking, and also provides pseudocode and implementations (in C/C++, Java, and Python) for nearly 40 important algorithms. The major drawback is obvious when you consider that […]

Core Java 10 for Java 8

Core Java, Volume I: Fundamentals — Cay S. Horstmann, Prentice Hall (Oracle) 2015 (10th ed. for Java SE 8), ISBN 978-0-13-417730-4 Core Java, Volume II: Advanced Features — Cay S. Horstmann, Prentice Hall (Oracle) 2016 (10th ed. for Java SE 8), ISBN 978-0-13-417729-8 These 1000-page tomes originated as Sun’s official guide to the Java platform […]

CSS: The Missing Manual

CSS: The Missing Manual — David Sawyer McFarland, O’Reilly 2015 (4th ed.), ISBN 978-1-491-91805-0 McFarland’s eminently practical book explains the structure and features of CSS from the perspective of a raw beginner. This does lead to some amusing baby steps, such as the introductory section on “mouse clicks,” but don’t let that deter you. McFarland […]


JavaFX provides some dedicated system properties to customize its behavior. Usually these are specified as command-line flags on the java/javaw invocation, using the syntax “java -Dname=value” followed by the JavaFX application path. I’ve previously noted two especially useful ones, as of Java SE 8u66-77: -Dprism.order=sw enables software rendering, even if JavaFX thinks hardware acceleration is […]

Programming Languages in 2015

You probably already heard that Java topped the TIOBE index in 2015, with an impressive growth spurt of 6% that put it close to 2006 levels and clearly outdistanced stagnant C (21.5% vs 16%). The rest of the field remained fairly unchanged, except for rapidly declining Objective-C, suggesting that Java drew renewed interest from across […]

JavaFX DPI Scaling: Fixed!

The upcoming Java release 8u60 is set to finally fix the JavaFX DPI scaling issues on Windows that I described back in August 2013. To recap, JavaFX would scale the default application font to the current Windows DPI setting and the built-in controls would generally scale themselves around that font size. However, explicitly specified pixel […]