Citizenship Practice Test for Canada, United States and Australia

Posted: under citizenship.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I have gathered some nice websites which offer best practice for a citizenship test. They are free and the question databases are large. I advised quite some friends to try them and they all found them helpful.

Canadian Citizenship Practice Test Online , the real test questions are incorporated in the practice. Some questions are specific to your provinces. All provinces of Canada are available, including BC, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba and so on. Cities include Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Burnaby, Surrey, Richmond Hill, Markham, Ottawa, Hamilton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton. This free canada citizenship quiz 2014 can best be used before your actual test. It will help you get the passing scores of Canaidan citizenship test.

United Sates

United States Citizenship Practice Test. Provides 100 questions you will need to answer in your US citizenship interview. The questions are tailored for each state as well. So go for it if you are preparing for the American Citizenship Test.


Australian Citizenship Practice Test is also available online now. Provides a large number of questions for you to practice.

United Kingdom

UK Citizenship Test Practice Questions is designed for British immigrants to take the “Life in UK” test. The questions are very updated and should not be missed if you are going to write the British Citizenship Test.

Comments (0) May 17 2014

Latest Eclipse Plugin for JavaFX 1.2.1

Posted: under JavaFX News, JavaFX Technology.
Tags: , , ,

Last week, the Eclipse plugin for JavaFX   was released. This is an important update since June 2011 and it is a good news to Eclipse users. Because Sun is the development force behind NetBeans, NetBeans naturally becomes the “default” IDE of JavaFX. This is why JavaFX SDK is usually bundled with NetBeans for download .

I think Eclipse and NetBeans both are excellent open source IDEs for Java developers. They provide comparable features and functions. The only sad thing is that their plug-ins are not compatible with each other. Therefore, the JavaFX plug-ins must be developed separately for Eclipse and NetBeans. I personally do not have much preference from one over the other. For people who get used to the Eclipse environment have been longing for a nice JavaFX IDE without being forced to switch to NetBeans. This newly released JavaFX plug-in not only provides the support of the latest SDK 1.2.1, but also can import NetBeans projects directly. You know this helps a lot because many sample codes are coming as a NetBeans project.

If you are a fan of Eclipse( and javaFX ), you should definitely check out this plug-in here:

Other links:

JavaFX Used in Vancouver Olympics

UK Citizenship Test for Britain Applicant
Australian Citizenship Test Practice Question

British UK Australian Citizenship test on iphone
US Citizenship Test Practise

Citizenship iPhone Apps

Comments (0) Nov 16 2013

Canadian Citizenship Test Questions and Answers

Posted: under Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , is an excellent website for people to prepare for their Canadian Citizenship Test. It offers a free practice system for getting familiar with the content of the study guide “Discover Canada”. Some of the questions are so cool that they indeed come from the actual tests.

My friend Sherry told me that she took the written citizenship test recently and had answered all the questions correctly. Her secret was to do a lot practice using this Canada Citizenship Test Training System. She strongly suggests citizenship applicants use this site before writing the real test. She took her citizen exam in the city of Vancouver, however, this citizenship practice system is good for other big cities like Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, Regina,  Halifax, Victoria, Edmonton, Hamilton, Kitchener, Ottawa, North York.

Besides their online practice quiz tool, they offer a mockup sample citizenship test package proven to be effective for fast ramp-up of the citizenship test skills. It contains a large set of exam questions and answers which are very likely to show in your actual test. It has the same format of the official exam and based on the book Discover Canada.

Test Question  of Toronto Canadian Citizenship

Vancouver’s Canada Citizenship Test (questions and answers)

Canadian Citizenship Test Questions and answers

Canada Citizenship Test Practice of Winnipeg

Canada Citizenship Practice Exam of city Mississauga

Canadian Citizen Practice Test Sample Questions

2013 Canadian citizenship test practices questions include: Ontario, Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, PEI, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, London, Edmonton, Mississauga, Montreal, Nord, Sherbrooke, Surrey, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston,  Nanaimo, St-Laurent, Richmond Hill, Burnaby, Laval, Longueuil, Brampton, Burlington, Etobicoke, North York, Waterloo, Lindsay, Markham,  Thunder Bay, Windsor, Victoria, Kitchener, Saint John, Charlottetown, Fort Erie, Georgetown, Oshawa, Scarborough, British Columbia, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Halifax, Quebec, Coquitlam, Moncton.

More Info:

Canadian Citizenship Test Questions for Practices

American Citizenship Online Test

Comments (0) Feb 07 2013

Cloud Foundry Deployed on vSphere by BOSH Guide

Posted: under Cloudfoundry.
Tags: , , , , ,

This is a good series of blogs which gives detailed instructions on how to deploy Cloud Foundry onto vSphere platform using BOSH.

Cloud Foundry is the first open source PaaS project available in the industry. It allows developers to deploy applications written in many languages, such as Java, Node.js, Scala and Ruby. If you want to build your own CF instance of PaaS, you can try to follow the steps in this blogs. Currently, it is based on vSphere(ESX or vCenter) and use the automation tool chain BOSH. I am sure it gives you ideas on a working PaaS is built. Furthermore, BOSH is also the tool the folks use to manage

The complete guide on Cloud Foundry setup using BOSH:
Deploy Cloud Foundry on vSphere using BOSH

Comments (0) Dec 24 2012

JavaFX How-To’s

Posted: under JavaFX News.
Tags: , has published a collection of articles on JavaFX techniques. These “How-Tos” articles serve as excellent references for JavaFX coder. You can think of them as “classified FAQs”. It helps people get started to write JavaFX code effectively. If you are new to JavaFX, I am sure it answers most of your “How do I …” questions. You can check them out here.

In the section of “Build a game”, there are two of my articles. One is the Pac-Man Game series published on The other is the Online Wish Tree Prototype on this blog. They are about how to develop games in JavaFX.

BTW, I finished reading a JavaFX book recently. It is called “Essential JavaFX” by Gail and Paul Anderson. This book helps you quickly get to know everything “essential” in JavaFX. Though it is not an advanced book, it does let you jump start into the language. You can read a review here. The Chinese version of review is here.

Comments (0) Dec 05 2009

JavaFX Online Game Prototype: Wish Tree (2)

Posted: under JavaFX Games, Wish Tree.
Tags: , , ,

Last week, I introduced a JavaFX prototype of an online game. Readers have been leaving all kinds of wishes on my Wish Tree. It is interesting to see there are more than 20 lucky stars hanging on the Wish Tree now. If you have not tried the program yet, you are encouraged to click on the screenshot on the right to take a look or make an online wish.

Let’s come back to the technical part of the program again. In part 1, we introduced the architecture of this online application and the JavaFX rich client. In this post, I will explain the details of the data exchange between the client and the server. For your convenience, I bring back the architectural figure as shown below:

click to start wish tree online program

Like any client/server system, the server provides data services to the client. Based on the requirement of the Wish Tree, we define two services provided by the server: getAllStars and saveStar.

Service name Parameters Notes
getAllStars none  
saveStar location, name, content, time, color, email for create, returns id
id, content, email for update

The first one getAllStars is for the client to retrieve the data of all the stars(wishes) in the database. The data of a star contains its (x,y) coordinates on the screen and its color. The wish information associated with a star is also returned. Such information includes the wisher’s name, email address, content of the wish and the time when the wish was made. Based on this data, the client restores the stars at the exact location where people hung them on the tree. In this way, every time you start the wish tree client, you always see your star staying at the same place.

The second service is saveStar. When a user creates a star on the tree, the data of the star is sent to the server and saved into the database. The id of the star is returned to the client for later update purpose. The id is nothing more than a unique identifier of each wish stored in the database. You can think of it as the primary key of a database table. We will re-use this service to update a wish. This is due to the fact that most of the handling logic is the same for create and update action. The service first checks whether the client has sent in an id as a request parameter. If id is included, then it is a request of update; otherwise, it is a request of create.

The sequence diagram of these services are depicted as below:

Now that we have a high level design of services, we can elaborate on the protocol between the client and the server. Since our application is stateless, a RESTful style of request and response should be good enough. Therefore, we use HTTP GET request for the getAllStars service and POST for the saveStar service. The format of the response data could be HTML, XML or JSON. Because JavaFX provides a PullParser class which can parse XML or JSON data, we choose JSON in our application. Below is a sample of the JSON response of the getAllStars service:

 "Star": {
   "id" : "102",
   "name" : "John Smith",
   "content" : "My first wish",
   "location" : "388.0_248.0",
   "email" : "",
   "time": "2009-08-21 16:38:37",
   "color": 3
 "Star": {
   "id" : "108",
   "name" : "Homer Simpson",
   "content" : "This is another wish.",
   "location" : "188.0_228.0",
   "email" : "",
   "time": "2009-08-28 18:28:48",
   "color": 4

Once we finalize the protocol between the client and the server, we can start to implement the code on both sides. In a large scale project, this usually results in two teams concurrently working on the code of the client and the server respectively. At the client side, the code to parse the above JSON data is in Main.fx :

var parser = PullParser {
    documentType: PullParser.JSON;

    onEvent: function(event: Event) {
      var content: String;
      var name: String;
      var id: String;
      var email: String;
      var color: Integer;
      var time: String;
      var location: String;

      // parse the JSON data and populate the object
      if(event.type == PullParser.END_VALUE) {

        if( == "name") {
 = event.text;
        else if ( == "content" ){
          star.wish = event.text;
        else if ( == "id" ){
 = event.text;
        else if ( == "color" ){
          star.whichColor = event.integerValue;
        else if ( == "time" ){
          star.time = event.text;
        else if ( == "location" ) {
          var pos = event.text.indexOf( "_" );
          var x = event.text.substring(0,pos);
          var y = event.text.substring( pos+1 );

          star.translateX = Float.parseFloat(x);
          star.translateY = Float.parseFloat(y);
        else if ( == "Star" ){
          star.onMousePressed = handleClick;

          insert star after stage.scene.content[currentIndex++];
          star = Star {};

The JavaFX client uses the class HttpRequest to communicate with the server. HttpRequest allows us to use GET and POST method to send requests to the server. Usually, we only need to override some methods of this class. As shown in ServerConnector.fx below, we rewrote the onOutput and onInput functions to invoke the saveStar service from the server.

 * ServerConnector.fx
 * @author Henry Zhang
package wishtree;

var baseURL = "http://localhost:8888/wishtree/";

public var serverURL1 = "{baseURL}getallstar.php";
var serverURL2 = "{baseURL}savestar.php";

public class ServerConnector extends HttpRequest {
  var star : Star = null;
  var paramString : String ;

  override var onOutput = function( os: Void {
        try {
        } finally {

  override var onInput = function(is: {
     try {
           var br = new BufferedReader( new InputStreamReader( is ) );
           var line: String;

           while ( ( line=br.readLine() ) != null )
             if ( (star != null) and ( == "")  )
       = line;
        } finally {

public function saveStar( s: Star ) {
  if ( == 0 )
    star = s;

  paramString = encode("name",;
  paramString += "&{encode("id",}&" ;
  paramString += encode("location", "{s.translateX}_{s.translateY}" );
  paramString += "&{encode("content", s.wish )}";
  paramString += "&{encode("email",}" ;
  paramString += "&{encode("time", s.time)}&" ;
  paramString += encode("color", "{s.whichColor}" );

  headers = [
        HttpHeader {
            name: HttpHeader.CONTENT_LENGTH;
            value: "{paramString.getBytes().length}";

  method = POST;
  location = serverURL2;

function encode( k: String, v:String): String {
    var result = URLEncoder.encode( k, "UTF-8");
    var value = URLEncoder.encode( v, "UTF-8");
    result += "={value}"

On the server side, the PHP code is quite straightforward. Basically, it gets the parameters from the request and convert them into SQL statement for MySQL database. After getting the data from MySQL, it returns the data in JSON format.

Finally, I would discuss how to tie up all the components together. First, we build the JavaFX client in NetBeans. The products are a jar file and a JNLP file. We modify attributes in the JNLP file to match the deployment environment. The most important is to set the correct value of the “codebase” attribute. Then we upload the jar and JNLP files to a folder on a web server. This folder should match the one specified in the codebase attribute. The next step is to deploy the PHP scripts, for simplicity, we just upload the scripts under the same folder where we put the jar. In the scripts, be sure to change the user name and password of the database. In your MySQL database, create a table to store the wish data. The last thing would be putting a link in a web page which contains the web start link to your JNLP file.

For source code, you can get it from the download page of this site. As shown in the architectural figure, there are codes of server side(Mysql and PHP) and client side(JavaFX), respectively. Be sure to read the file README.txt before you try the code.

If you have any questions, please leave comments.

Other JavaFX articles:

JavaFX Online Game Prototype: Wish Tree (1)

JavaFX Menu       Java Code Calls JavaFX APIs

Comments (3) Aug 28 2009

JavaFX Online Game Prototype: Wish Tree (1)

Posted: under JavaFX Technology, Wish Tree.
Tags: , , , ,


I finished a JavaFX prototype of an online game, it is called “Wish Tree”. Strictly speaking, this prototype is not a game. Instead, it is an online multi-user application of fun (esp. for kids). However, it embodys all the essential elements of an online game: a JavaFX rich client for user interaction, a server handling communication among multiple clients, and a database for data persistence. Though it is still relatively simple, it lays a foundation of building an online multi-user game. I am going to demostrate in two posts how to design and write such an application in JavaFX, PHP and MySQL .


  Not long ago, I wrote a JavaFX program for fun. You may have heard of the song “Tie a Yellow Ribon on an Old Oak Tree”, my program was called “Hang a Lucky Star on a Wish Tree“. It allowed people hang colorful stars on a tree to keep their wishes. These wishes could be about absolutely anything. The program was running as a standalone application. Recently, I added in some code to make it an online version. People all over the world now can share their wishes on the same tree. 

This online version is a true RIA(Rich Internet Application) now. After a person leaves a lucky star on the tree, he/she can see the star next time she/he runs the program. People can see others’ wishes as well ( sorry, no privacy for now ^_^ ). However, an email address is needed to modify an existing wish.


The main architecture of the whole system is depicted in the below figure. First, the program gets started from a browser by Java Web Start technology. Then the program connects back to the server to obtain data and draws the wish tree hanging with stars. The server component retrieves data from the database and returns to the client. If the client makes a new wish, the data of the wish is sent to the server for persistence.


The requirements of the system are listed below:


1) On the client side, we need a browser that supports JavaFX 1.2. Basically, on our client machine we need JRE 1.5 +, or better with JRE 1.6 U13 later.

2) On the server side, we need a web server that supports PHP and MySQL. We can choose the popular “LAMP” stack (Linux, Apache web server, MySQL and PHP), but the two required things are ‘MySQL’ and ‘PHP’ only. In fact, in my development environment, I use Windows XP, Sun Java Web Server 7.0, MySQL and PHP plugin for JWS.


Before we get into any technical details, you can click on the below screenshot to start the JavaFX
client to see how it works. You can click on existing stars to see others’ wishes, or click on the tree
to leave your wish. Be sure to leave your email address so that you can modify your wish later. After you save your wish, you can check your wish next time you start the program. For testing purpose, please do not leave more than 2 wishes(stars).
click to start wish tree online program


Since this is a typical client/server application, let’s look at the JavaFX client first. A GUI is presented to the user for interaction. The Main.fx contains the main Windows(a Stage instance) of the application. We put in some images of trees and clouds on the stage. To make them look more realistic, the clouds are applied with the GaussianBlur effect.


The Bubble.fx defines a Bubble class which draws a bubble rising from the bottom of the stage. Animation is used to let the bubble eventually vanish into the tree. The Main class has a few instances of Bubble to create a boiling effect.


When the tree is clicked, a star is shown and a dialog is popup for the user to enter a wish. The
Star is a subclass of the Polyon class. It has a few pre-defined color schemes. The part of drawing a star is achieved by the following few lines, a little bit of geometry knowledge here:

def r1 : Double = 15; def r2 : Double = r1 / 1.6; var r = [r1, r2]; … … points = for ( i in [0..9] ) [ r[i mod 2] * cos( toRadians(i*36) ), r[i mod 2] * sin( toRadians(i*36) ) ];


The Dialog is a subclass of CustomNode which contains a few buttons and text fields. When the “OK” button of the dialog is pressed, the user’s wish is saved on the server. The user can also click on a star that’s already on the tree to view its content. If the user is the owner of the wish( based on the email address), the user can modify the content of the wish and then save it.


Finally, the class ServerConnector uses HttpRequest to communicate with the server and store wishes in the server’s database. We will walk through the server code next week and illustrate the data interaction between the server and the client.


If you are interested in the source code, you can visit the download page of this site. As shown in the architectural figure, there are source code of server side(Mysql and PHP) and client side(JavaFX), respectively. Be sure to read the file README.txt before you try the code.


If you have any questions, please leave your comments.


Next Article: JavaFX Online Game Prototype: Wish Tree (2)

Other articles on JavaFX:

JavaFX Scene in Swing       JavaFX API for Java

JavaFX Menu       How Java Code Calls JavaFX APIs ?

Review on Book “Essential JavaFX”

Comments (3) Aug 16 2009

Building Menu in JavaFX

Posted: under JavaFX Technology.
Tags: , , ,

The JavaFX APIs do not come with a menu GUI component. Perhaps the JavaFX team in Sun does not think it is an important thing in RIA. However, from time to time, developers are asking questions on how to build a menu bar from JavaFX. So I decided to write an example of the menu bar in JavaFX.

JavaFX provides us a class javafx.ext.swing.SwingComponent, which can wrap a SWING component into a JavaFX node. We know that we can build complicated menus in SWING. Therefore, we can wrap up the SWING menu items and put them into a JavaFX Stage. Let’s take a look at the below code:

 * Main.fx
 * @author Henry Zhang
package menutest;

import javafx.stage.Stage;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.text.Text;
import javafx.scene.text.Font;

import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import javafx.ext.swing.SwingComponent;

var w : Number = 480 on replace { fxMenuBar.width = w ; } ;
var h = 300;
var selected = "";

var handler = ActionListener {
  public override function actionPerformed( e: ActionEvent ) {
    selected = e.getActionCommand() ;

var menuBar = new JMenuBar();

var menu = new JMenu("Menu A");

var menuItem = new JMenuItem("Item A-1");
    KeyStroke.getKeyStroke(KeyEvent.VK_1, ActionEvent.ALT_MASK));

menuItem = new JMenuItem("Item A-2");
    KeyStroke.getKeyStroke(KeyEvent.VK_2, ActionEvent.ALT_MASK));

menu = new JMenu("Menu B");

menuItem = new JMenuItem("Item B-1");
    KeyStroke.getKeyStroke(KeyEvent.VK_3, ActionEvent.ALT_MASK));

menuItem = new JMenuItem("Item B-2");
    KeyStroke.getKeyStroke(KeyEvent.VK_4, ActionEvent.ALT_MASK));

var fxMenuBar : SwingComponent = SwingComponent.wrap(menuBar);
fxMenuBar.width = w;

Stage {
    title: "JavaFX Menu Test"
    width: bind w with inverse
    height: h
    scene: Scene {
        content: [
          Text {
                font : Font {
                    size : 16
                translateX: 50
                translateY: 100
                x: 10
                y: 30
                content: bind if ( selected == "" ) "Ready"
                         else "Menu clicked: {selected}"

In the code, we first constructed a menu bar with two menus. Each menu contained two menu items. This is the standard way in SWING to show a menu bar. The line below created a SwingComponent instance which acted as a wrapper of the SWING menu bar:

var fxMenuBar : SwingComponent = SwingComponent.wrap(menuBar);

The below 3 lines were used to keep the menu bar on the top of the window(Stage).

fxMenuBar.width = w;

In the Stage class, we can see that fxMenuBar was used like a normal JavaFX node. Since the window is resizable, we need to adjust the width of the menu bar so that it changes with the window. A trigger has been added on the variable w to adjust the width of the menu bar.

var w : Number = 480 on replace { fxMenuBar.width = w ; };

The actual binding to the window’s width was achieved by this statement:

Stage {
    width: bind w with inverse

Below is a screenshot of the program. You can use accelerators like Alt+1,2,3,4 to activate the menu items.

Related Articles:

JavaFX Scene Displayed in a Swing JFrame Window

Calling JavaFX Classes from Java Code

Comments (2) Jul 27 2009