WidgetFX: Glossitope reinvented

I always hate it when I get so busy that I can't finish an open source project I started. On the other hand, I absolutely love it when someone likes an idea I came up with but feels they can do it better, and then does. Case in point: AB5k aka Glossitope aka a new widget system for Java. I started this about two years ago, showing it off at JavaOne 2007. Alas, it ran into technical difficulties right at the time I started working on JavaFX, sucking away all of my time. Thus, the project is dead and the domain turned to dust. Or has it .... ?

Earlier this year Stephen Chin emailed me about the AB5k code base, asking if the project was still going. I said no, but that the code was still available for anyone to pick up if they so chose. I also recommend using JavaFX instead of straight Java, since JavaFX has already solved a lot of the problems I was struggling with (like transparent windows and virtualizing components). Thus, Stephen started a new project: WidgetFX: The JavaFX Desktop Widget Platform.

The project is still in its infancy, but being built on JavaFX it looks pretty good right out of the gate. It has transparency, a dock, and draggable widgets from day one, something which originally took me a month to do. Stephen and the crew are working very hard, with many new features yet to come. They could definitely use your feedback so please go try the latest JNLP build here, and the join the project and mailing lists. There's even a new Hacker Getting Started guide.

It's fun to see people doing such interesting things with JavaFX.

WidgetFXScreenSnapz001.png screenshot of latest WidgetFX build

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Posted July 29th, 2008

Tagged: java.net