Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Donuts for everyone...


Last weekend I was looking for visualizations that could be useful in TilesFX and I stumbled upon some charts called either doughnut, ring our donut charts. Nothing really special but not available in the standard JavaFX charts. So here is an example of what I'm talking about...

So we have a visualization of values in percentage so the sum of all values is always 100%. And the nice thing about using this donut like visualization is that we can use the inner part of the donut for additional information (e.g. like the value of the sum etc.).
Because on a dashboard you would really like to focus on the important parts (means you don't want to show a donut chart with 20 sections but maybe with 3 or 4) I can keep the whole thing really simple.
Because of the space constraints the legend will only appear if the width of the chart is larger than 1.2 x the height.
For the visualization I've decided to show the value inside of each segment, the percentage close to each segment on the inside of the ring and the sum of all values in the center of the donut chart. So the result looks like this...

Like in the last chart that I've added (the RadialChart) I've again made use of the JavaFX Canvas node which is perfect for graphics like this. Also animating this chart is really easy because of the good performance of the Canvas node.
The source of this little DonutChart can be found on github as always, so feel free to fork it :)
And like with the RadialChart I've decided to add the DonutChart as a separate skin to the TilesFX library. Means since release 1.3.6 of TilesFX you are able to make use of it.
Here are also some screenshots of the DonutChart in TilesFX...

I hope this will be useful for some of you, that's it for today...so keep coding... :)

Friday, February 24, 2017

A little MapTile update


After playing around with the MapTileSkin in the TilesFX project I thought it might make sense to add the ability to also visualize points of interest and a track...and so I've added those features :)
I've also added the ability to set the color of the current location marker and the color of the track (it's only one track supported at the moment).
To realize this behavior the Location class now also contains a color property.
For the colors I also decided to offer a defined set of colors which are the ones that you can find in Tile.TileColor

  • GRAY
  • RED
  • BLUE

These colors will be used wherever possible within TilesFX to create a homogene look over all tiles.
To give you an idea how this new stuff is looking, here are some screenshots...

Map provider: Hydda

Map provider: OpenStreetMap HOT

Map provider: OpenStreetMap BlackWhite

Map provider: World Imagery

On the screenshot above you can see the current location icon (the bigger blue one), the start icon (green one at the end of the magenta track), the stop icon (the red one at the end of the magenta track) and some poi icons (the yellow, the red and the magenta one).
For the example above I've simply exported a track recorded by my Garmin watch to GPX format and imported the GPX file, converted the track points to a list of Locations and pass it to the Tile...done :)
If you are interested in the code I've used to convert the GPX file to my Location objects you can find a little gist that I've created on github which shows how it works. You simply have to provide a gpx file with the name track.gpx and put it besides the java file.
Here is the link to the gist.

Another feature that I've added is the ability to change the zoom level of the MapTileSkin via the current location. Therefor I've added a zoomLevel property to the Location class and if you change it e.g. by calling


the map tile will zoom out completely. The range of zoom levels is going from 0-17.
I hope this features might be useful to create for example a fitness dashboard etc.

At the moment I've not added a live tracking feature which would create a track on the fly every time the current location changes but this would be easy to add if it's needed.

As always feedback is more than welcome, so please don't hesitate to contact me and let me know about ideas/improvements/feature requests etc.

The above mentioned features are part of the current release of TilesFX which is 1.3.5 and which can be found here

The source code at Github

The binary at Bintray

The dependency at Maven Central (it's published but might take some time to show up)

That's it for today, so keep coding...

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A little Radial Chart for some weekend fun...


Before I went to Singapore last week I saw some interesting radial bar graphs on the web and thought this might be a fun control to have in JavaFX.
Because in Singapore was no time for coding I've decided to do that later...which means today :)
So first let me show you what I'm talking about, the following picture should give you an idea...

I like that idea to wrap a bar graph in a circle to save some space and so I've created that control in JavaFX which now looks like follows:

If you will take a look at the control you will figure out that it's not perfect but it should be a starting point for you :)
Because it tooks me only 1.5h to create that control I thought it might also be nice to have it as a skin in TilesFX and so I've also created a RadialChartTileSkin which looks as follows...

So this was a quite productive morning so far :)
The new skin for TilesFX can be found in the current release of TilesFX which is 1.3.4 and the RadialChart control is on github as usual.


So enjoy your weekend and keep coding...

Saturday, February 11, 2017

TilesFX with new sizing strategy

In principle I was fine with TilesFX except one minor thing...the fact that I missed to make the tiles stretch in x- and y-direction. Means nearly all tiles have been in a square format which lead to gaps in dashboard.
After someone created an issue related to the size of the demo that comes with TilesFX I've decided to rethink the sizing strategy of the tiles.
To make it more clear I've created a little video that shows the sizing behaviour of the former version 1.3.1 and the new released version 1.3.2.

As example I've used my little dashboard that I usually run in a browser via JPro on all possible devices.
So I hope the new sizing strategy will work out for those of you that use TilesFX and if you find any problems or if you have any ideas...please let me know :)

Well yesterday evening I had the idea to add a map tile to TilesFX and what should I say...I've implemented it this morning. So in the latest release (1.3.3) of TilesFX you will now also find a MapTileSkin which uses a WebView and leaflet to show a map. Here is a little screenshot of the new skin...

At the moment it only shows the current location which I've added as a property to the Tile class. If you change the location the tile will update the map view. I'm also planning to add points of interest and other features to it.

So enjoy your weekend and keep coding...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Customize your dashboard


This is just a short post about the TilesFX library (github, bintray, maven) in combination with other libraries like 

The TilesFX standard tiles are nice and might be good for most of the typical dashboard content but what if you need more than that?
Let's say you would like to see a listview or one of your custom controls on such tile...
Well for that reason I've added the CustomTileSkin which has the title and the text property of the standard tiles and which comes with an area where you can put your own JavaFX nodes.
So this is what it looks like...

As you can see the area for custom JavaFX nodes fills most of the tile so that you should have enough space for your components. If you setTextVisible(false) the area will even grow a bit more in y-direction.
To give you an idea on how to use other controls within TilesFX I've created a little demo project which you can find on github at


If you would like to start the demo from the command line you simple can call gradle Demo on the shell as follows:

This will start the Main class of the project and will show you the following screen...

In this demo you will see nearly all of the standard tiles in TilesFX (except the WeatherTileSkin) and in addition there is also one tile that simply uses an icon from the Ikonli library, nine tiles that shows some gauges from my Medusa library and three regulators from my Regulators library.

The Tile class in TilesFX defines some colors that fit nicely to the standard tiles, so you can choose between GRAY, RED, GREEN, BLUE, ORANGE, YELLOW_ORANGE, YELLOW and MAGENTA. In addition also the standard FOREGROUND and BACKGROUND color are available in the Tile class. As you can see in the image above I made use of the Tile.BLUE color for all the Medusa gauges.

I hope this demo will help you to make use of TilesFX for your own dashboards.

That's it for today...so keep coding... :)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Fun XLIII


Today it's just a short post but I thought it might be of interest for one or the other. Two days ago the idea came to my mind that it might be fun to combine my world map control with my heat map control. To be honest I had no idea where I could use it for but I thought it might be useful for some cases.
So I was skimming the web for use cases and found a couple of them which let me create this little fun control for you.
In principle it is the world map from this post that now also contains a heat map from this post. The world map has all features as the original version, the only difference is that the hover effect and selection effect is disabled by default. But you can enable it if you like.
I was surprised how easy it was to combine both maps into one and so the whole creation took me around 30min. The harder part was to find some data that I can use to test the capabilities of the combined map. 
The problem was that I needed data that came with latitude and longitude coordinates and in the end I found a simple list that contains around 7000 cities with their latitude/longitude coordinates.
The idea of the heat map is to visualize some kind of hot spots on a map. The hot spots become bigger the more "events" are in the same area. Long story short, here are some screenshots of the same data using different heat map settings...

As you can see the visualization depends on the used color mapping (color gradient from center of an event to the outside) and the event radius (size of each event).
The code to generate the upper heatmap looks as follows...

worldMap = WorldBuilder.create()

Where the code for the lower heatmap looks like this...

worldMap = WorldBuilder.create()

If you would like to see only the hot spots without the base background color you simply have to set fadeColors(true) and you will get something like this...

In principle that's all I have to share with you today and I hope it might be useful for some of you.
As always you can find the code over at github, so feel free to fork it and use it :)

Oh and do not forget...keep coding ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Aloha everyone,
This will be my last post for 2016 and I have something for you which you might like. Always when I needed a dashboard I had to create it by myself completely from scratch.
So I've decided to create a little library that contains at least some tiles that might be useful for dashboards. 
And because I love to tinker around with some hardware I've also added some tiles for interaction (like sliders and switches).
To make it short...here is a screenshot of the current state...

On the screenshot above you can see all tiles that are currently available and some of them are also available in Medusa (but there you will find only gauge related tiles).
The default size of the tiles at the moment is 250x250px and I did not spend much time in resizing etc. 
Here is a short list of tiles that are part of the library at the moment:
  • ClockTile (a simple digital clock)
  • GaugeTile (a gauge like in Medusa)
  • HighLowTile (a tile that might be useful to show current value compared to reference value)
  • LineChartTile (a simple JavaFX line chart on a tile)
  • PercentageTile (a tile that shows the current value in percentage)
  • PlusMinusTile (a tile that has 2 buttons to increase/decrease a value)
  • SliderTile (a tile with a slider to set a value)
  • SparkLineTile (a tile containing a spark line graph like in Medusa)
  • SwitchTile (a tile that has a switch to toggle a value)
  • TextTile (a tile that contains a custom text)
  • TimerControlTile (a tile with a clock and time sections to control a value)
  • WorldMapTile (a tile with a world map like the one from worldfx)
  • WeatherTile (a tile that shows weather info using DarkSky)
  • NumberTile (a tile that simply shows a number, unit and some text)
  • TimeTile (a tile that shows a LocalTime which can be used for Durations etc.)
  • BarChartTile (a simple tile showing up to 4 bars in a sorted order)
  • CustomTile (a tile where you can add your own controls)
  • LeaderBoardTile (a simple tile showing up to 4 entries in a sorted order)
To make use of the WeatherTile you will need a DarkSky API key which you can get at
DarkSky.net. The nice thing about using DarkSky is that they allow you to call the weather update 1000x a day for free. This should be more than enough for your private project.

For those of you that would like to see it in action here is a little video...

As always you can find the binary on bintray and the code on github under the following links

The library will also be made available on maven central and you should be able to find it when you search for tilesfx. At the moment there is not much documentation except the Demo file which is part of the source code, please take a look at it to understand the usage. Another thing that would be nice to have would be a better TileLayout for dashboards, in my Demo I use a FlowLayout which allows me to use tiles of a different size.

Please keep in mind that all of my code is open source which does not automatically mean it's ready for production!

If you have the need for a specific tile...please let me know and I might add it to the library.

Well and that's it for 2016, I wish all of you a merry christmas and a happy new year...and do not forget...keep coding... ;)