Category Archives: Development

Software development topics


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 […]

Programming Languages in 2014

With some delay, here’s my annual roundup of programming language rankings. One sad change from previous years (2012 edition, 2013 edition) is the absence of Andrew Binstock’s usual column, “Rise and Fall of Languages.” That had been published by Dr. Dobb’s Journal which has shut down last year. (Binstock is now EIC of Oracle’s Java […]

Java SE 8 Update 40 Released

Java Standard Edition 8 Update 40 is now upon us, and despite the “Update” designation this was a fairly massive feature release. You can find overviews at Java Source and Java Tutorials, and of course the detailed release notes. The changes I’m most interested in concern JavaFX, including accessibility support, new controls – more on […]

Core Java 8 for the Impatient

Core Java for the Impatient — Cay S. Horstmann, Addison-Wesley 2015 (for Java SE 8), ISBN 978-0-321-99632-9 This 480-page book is a compromise between Horstmann’s brief introduction Java SE 8 for the Really Impatient (215 pages) and the traditional monumental Core Java tomes (2092 pages for Java SE 7). Rather than covering virtually the entire […]

Loop Closures in Java & C#

The lambda expressions introduced in Java 8 can capture, or “close over”, any local variable that’s within scope and effectively final (Java 8 Language Specification §15.27.2, §4.12.4). Interestingly, this includes the loop variables of enhanced for loops, or for-each loops as I prefer to call them. Cay Horstmann mentions this very useful but non-obvious fact […]

.NET Core: Hype vs Reality

Attention: This is an old post, originally written in late 2014 when .NET Core was first announced. There were some later updates but nevertheless, some content may be out of date now. The great excitement over Microsoft’s announcement to open-source a cross-platform .NET Server Core (explanation by Tim Anderson) is frankly rather puzzling. As Mike […]

Glyph Positioning in JFreeSVG & OrsonPDF

Object Refinery Ltd. makes two small but extremely useful Java libraries for producing vector graphics. JFreeSVG (free & commercial) supports Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and HTML5 Canvas output, and OrsonPDF (commercial with free demo) supports Adobe PDF output. Each provides a custom implementation of java.awt.Graphics2D, the 2D drawing surface for the Java AWT graphics library. […]

ListView Text Alignment

The ListView class of JavaFX 8 shows one item per line – one String in the simplest case. What if you want to visually separate individual string fragments (words, numbers)? You could use a TableView with multiple columns, but that may not be appropriate for your data. Or you could insert tab characters (“\t”) into […]