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Eric Bruno

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

JavaFX 1.0 Released

December 03, 2008

I spoke with Octavian Tanese of Sun last week about the release of JavaFX 1.0, announced today (see www.javafx.com). Sun's goal with JavaFX is to enable developers and content creators to more easily build and deploy rich Internet applications across the screens of your life. This includes the desktop, the browser, television, and mobile devices. JavaFX is powered by Java, is itself an extension of Java, and leverages the large investment made collectively by Sun, and the companies that are building Java-based products. 

 

The JavaFX 1.0 release includes three components: 

1 - The JavaFX Development Environment

2 - The JavaFX Production Suite 

3 - The JavaFX Desktop. 

Full product details with more than 80 code samples and applications, tutorials, articles and documentation for JavaFX are available at www.javafx.com

 

Octavian notes that trends show a blending of developers and content creators (or authors), which in the past were two separate people or groups of people. Today, both roles are being taken on by one person, or one group of people. In fact, it doesn't end there, content authoring is a two-way street between application creators and consumers. No longer are web-based applications one-way; they involve collaboration in increasingly richer forms. 

 

Consumers have grown to expect a lot in terms of rich media in web applications. Pictures, video, and audio are being combined more and more into every popular web site. Today, this media is readily experienced on the desktop, but it's difficult to deliver a consistent experience on mobile devices. With JavaFX, Sun has created a set of tools and runtime environment to empower authors to build media-rich web applications equally across all of these screens.

 

JavaFX Tools -  The Real Story

 

With JavaFX, you get one common set of APIs and tools that enable you to quickly build rich a Internet application once, and deploy to the desktop and to mobile devices. Plug-ins are available for both Eclipse and NetBeans - no developers or development environments are being left out. The plug-in makes it easy to define target configurations and deploy to many environments, big and small. 

 

Sun is planning to release a very complete set of tools by Spring 2009. This includes content authoring tools as well as deployment tools. In fact, the tools will be made available in the cloud as rich Internet applications themselves, and will be able to ingest projects and content built with Adobe and Microsoft tools. Look for this online development environment to be released at JavaOne 2009.

 

As of now, the JavaFX Mobile runtime will not be complete for final release and support until the Mobile World Congress 2009 (http://www.mobileworldcongress.com/). However, both a beta version of JavaFX Mobile and an emulator is available today.

 

The Java FX Advantage

 

When asked why developers and authors would want to choose JavaFX over other tools, such as Flex or Silverlight, Octavian summed it up in one word: Java. It's a solid platform that's ubiquitous with the Internet. JavaFX, on top of Java, opens all screens and devices, and the Internet, to the new world of media-rich Internet application development and deployment. It provides the bridge between Java, scripting languages such as JavaScript and JavaFX Script, desktop environments, and mobile environments, like no other toolset or runtime environment can. It's estimated that Java is already on over 90% of all desktops, 85% of all mobile devices, and with Blu-ray, Java-based set-top boxes, Tru2Way, and OCAP, it's probably already on the big screen in your living room.

 

With this strategy, you can build an all-Java Ajax web application; JavaFX on the client (with the client being any type or form of computer or device) and Java on the server. And because Java is more than a language-- it's a powerful OS-agnostic platform--you can combine other dynamic languages as well. This includes JavaScript, Ruby, Python, and PHP - all of which run on the Java virtual machine as well as Java.

 

From the press release (which you can find here sun.com/aboutsun/media/features/2008-1204/index.jsp):

 

"In support of JavaFX, Sun is also offering a new seminar and workshop for Web developers and Java programmers that teaches how to use JavaFX for developing RIA. It shows how to use JavaFX to create animations and effects, add multimedia to applications, and incorporate Java into JavaFX applications. For more information: http://www.sun.com/training/catalog/courses/DTJ-2500.xml Additional courseware on creating a JavaFX GUI for Swing developers will be available in mid-winter, and formal training for graphic designers will be available in spring 2009."

 

The Future of Java

 

Octavian boldly stated Sun's goal with JavaFX: to beat today's form of Ajax development, and provide a programming model and ubiquitous runtime model that doesn't exist today. With Sun's vision, JavaFX built on the Java platform will become the premier dynamic language environment for desktops and mobile devices alike. And when JavaFX TV is released, you can chalk up another screen in victory.

 

Download JavaFX 1.0 and start building the web applications of tomorrow, built on the language and platform you know today. www.javafx.com

 

Happy coding!

EJB

 

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