JavaOne 2007: Sun announces JavaFX
announced JavaFX on the JavaOne. It was previously known as F3 (Form Follows
. It is for creating visualy rich
internet applications. Based on standard Java SE. My first reaction was: o oh,
there goes Flex. There are already two big vendors in the market for RIAâ€™s without
AJAX: Adobe with Flex and Microsoft with Silverlight. There is a great reserve
towards Flex from Java developers. Mainly because two reasons: Itâ€™s not Java
and itâ€™s not open source. The second argument is taken away by adobe by open
sourcing Flex. The first one is still valid. What if yiou have Microsoft at one
end of the spectrum targeting the current .net developers and Sun targeting the
java developer on the other end? Adobe would be nowhere. Unless.. they have better product. Read
on and you will learn more about JavaFX and know what my opinion is.
introduction of the JavaFX famlly begins with two products: JavaFX script and
JavaFX mobile. I will talk about the mobile part another time. This time about JavaFX
script and how to create RIAâ€™s with that.
script is an new scripting language to create Java webstart applications that
run on Java SE using Swing and Java 2D.
Let that sink in.
script is not Java. It is a new scripting
- Applications are distributed with Java webstart. They do not run within a
browser, but are downloaded to the client and run locally.
- Youâ€™ll create interfaces using swing and java 2D.
- Youâ€™ll need to have the JRE installed on the client to run your application
look revolutionary to me. What is new is the scripting language. That scripting language makes it easier to
create swing applications. But still there are some other reasons why we are
not creating RIAâ€™s with swing and distributing them with webstart already. It has still the old drawbacks you had when
creating java gui applications or applets: You need that big JRE installed.
look at the code for a user interface it
looks kind of cluttered. You can do MVC, but it is all mixed. Sun didnâ€™t choose
to use something like MXML or XAML to describe the userinterface, but you have
to script that as well. It can make use
of binding to bind your model to your view, just like the competition.
So what is
Sun thinking? Well, maybe they were taken by surprise and this is their answer.
During the presentation James Gosling came in stage and he said the following: â€œAn
area untouched by scripting languages is building interactive graphical
experiences that are really dynamic and flexible. Media combined in all kinds
of strange and wonderful waysâ€.
second I thought he was going to say flex, but he meant it without saying it. I
donâ€™t know what happened to his internet connection, but there was some development
in that area. Maybe he should look at this blog (http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=193593)
from Bruce Eckel (he wrote Thinking in Java) and see why he doesnâ€™t like Java
WebStart and does like Flex. Also you can read from that blog that he probably doesnâ€™t
like silverlight: It is not cross-platform enough.
create real cool looking applications with swing and Java 2D. You can find some
nice demoâ€™s on the blog from Chris Oliver. But that doesnâ€™t take away the other
is a big download
real tool support (yet)
- smallest install base (86% of the desktops)
not run in browser
Flex and silverlight are doing better:
- small download: arround 1 MB for the sliverlight and flash player
- great tools: Eclipse or Visual Studio
- Big installbase: Flash
has 98%. Windows is sitting on on 97% of the desktops. It’s just a matter of time that they will all have the silverlight runtime.
- Does run on browser Ã¡nd on dekstop (Adobe Apollo and Microsoft .Net)
Flex and JavFX have two advantages over Silverlight: Open Source and cross platform
saying this is just the first release that is part of a whole family. I hope
that they can take away some of the drawbacks. If they can than they could have
something great. At the moment, as a java developer I would use Flex for a RIA.
As a .net developer I still have to choose between silverlight and Flex. It
think that will depending on the situation. Overall, I will stay being a Flex fan..
If you want
to get started with one of the technologies mentioned in this blog follow the
- JavaOne 2007 – Oracle announces Rich Components (JSF) donation to Apache MyFaces
- Live from the opening session of JavaOne 2007
- JavaOne 2007: Some cool things to investigate as soon as possible
- JavaOne 2007 – Winners and Losers, well… Stars and roadies
- Report from JavaOne 2007 – The future of the Java Technology Web Tier