New JFXtras Project Direction

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Stephen Chin

Feb 29, 2012, 8:08:47 AM2/29/12
We did a small brainstorming session on the direction of the JFXtras project and have a new direction that we believe will help revitalize the project.  It will require some changes in how we are structuring things, but should help the project continue to be the place for high quality JavaFX controls and components into the future.

First, a little about the project leadership.  I haven't had the time I needed to devote to the project since the release of JavaFX 2.0 for various reasons (*ahem* book *ahem*), and will not be able to devote as much time going forward (*cough* baby *cough*), and this has slowed down progress on the project.  I will continue to be involved in the project, but a lot of other folks will be taking on leadership roles and helping to move things forward.  Some folks who have already been picking things up include Jonathan Giles (who has been fervently pushing to get things moving), Dean Iverson (who setup the new repo/website...  more about this soon).  If you are interested in taking on some of the project leadership, feel free to step up.

One of the main goals for the new project is to be the unofficial incubator for controls and components into JavaFX (via OpenJFX).  As a result, we are splitting the code into two separate repos (and distributions):
  • JFXtras Labs - This is a project incubator where anyone can check in code, discuss ideas, and evaluate new concepts. We will have regular releases of the labs (hopefully nightly builds), but as a separate jar and with a strong disclaimer that APIs are subject to change at any time.
  • JFXtras - This repo will contain a limited set of well-tested components that are ready to be used in mission-critical applications. Only components that meet our project standards will be promoted from labs to this production repo, and this will also be a feeder project to get things into OpenJFX (where it makes sense).

The biggest change that will affect existing contributors is that we are moving to GitHub as our new home.  Google Code has served us well, but has been slow to improve over the past 3 years we have been using it.  By switching to GitHub we get better source code management, more tooling for developers, and social coding features.  Unfortunately, they (curiously) only support GIT, not HG, so we get to switch source control systems once again.  We are not going to make any attempt to migrate the existing repo, so you will have to fork and re-commit to the new project repo (ask Dean for privileges).  You can find the repo by visiting the new JFXtras home page (thanks to Dean for putting this up quickly):

With all those changes, I want to mention a few things that aren't changing.  We will keep the same mailing lists on Google Groups - we have a good set of folks here, and want to keep the entire community involved in this project.  We also are going to keep the new CLA process, which will be especially important for anything that we want to get included in OpenJFX [although we are trying to get our CLA reviewed by Oracle legal to make sure it is bullet-proof].

I hope you will join me in continuing to support and move forward the JFXtras project as we enter a new stage in its evolution.

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