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One of the cool new features of the JavaFX 2.2 developer preview release is a new Canvas node that allows you to do free drawing within an area on the JavaFX scene similar to the HTML 5 Canvas. You can download this release for Windows, Mac, and Linux from JavaFX Developer Preview.
Being adventurous, I decided to take the JavaFX Canvas for a spin around the block. In doing some searching for cool HTML 5 Canvas examples, I came across Dirk Weber's blog comparing performance of HTML5 Canvas, SVG and Adobe Flash,An experiment: Canvas vs. SVG vs. Flash. This looked interesting for a Canvas beginner as I am, so I decided to copy his implementation and see how it runs in JavaFX.
My original goal was just to become familiar with the JavaFX Canvas object, but as I played around I noticed something about the performance. When I ran Dirk's HTML 5 and Flash version I would get a consistent frame-per-second rate of 50-70 fps when I adjusted the sliders (Mac OS X 10.7.4, 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB ram). However, when I ran my JavaFX version, the first time after starting, it drew the spirograph in the low 40s fps. But I noticed that when I adjusted the sliders, the performance got better. First adjustment, low 80s fps; fifth adjustment, mid 120s; a few more and I was getting 1000 fps, and eventually Infinity fps. I didn't believe the Infinity reading, so I debugged to the code, only to find out that it took less than a millisecond to calculate and draw the spirograph.
I assume that this behavior reflects the Hotspot compiler kicking in after a few iterations of the Spirograph calculation. But, it sure is fast.
The JavaFX source can be downloaded from here: