By Geertjan on Jul 13, 2013
Johannes Weigend, who will be at JavaOne again this year, has been prototyping a JavaFX version of his Software EKG application, which is an application performance analyzer created on the NetBeans Platform. Here's the original NetBeans Platform based application:
The prototype JavaFX version of the application (shown below) is developed on a lightweight OSGi-based rich-client application framework inspired by the NetBeans Platform. Currently it has a startup module, a window system, and a module system. Though there are the beginnings of other open source JavaFX frameworks which do something similar, Johannes couldn't identify one that fit his needs, which makes sense considering that application frameworks for JavaFX are all pretty new anyway, and so he led the development of a new one, as a bachelor thesis at the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim where he teaches. Plans are to open source the framework in August of this year.
Seeing work being done, like the above, on application frameworks for JavaFX, is really promising. Given the various application frameworks available in the Swing world, it's still pretty hard to choose JavaFX over Swing when you're creating pure data-oriented software where the enhanced appearance provided by JavaFX is not a functional requirement. Productivity gains on the coding level, in the sense that JavaFX does well in solving the cumbersomeness of Swing coding, are never going to be significant enough to outweigh the productivity gains of fully fledged application frameworks, with all their prebuilt pluggable components, years of developer hours, and design patterns, in the same way as the fact that matchsticks are now better than before is not going to make me switch from lego to matchsticks when I want to build a toy house really fast and reliably. But, the combination of knowing (or hoping or believing or betting) that "JavaFX is the future" (always bear in mind that nothing is the future until the future is the present that creates a different future) with the availability of fullblown application frameworks, makes JavaFX a serious alternative to Swing, in the context of large data-oriented software systems, as opposed to games and animation-oriented applications where JavaFX is the obvious choice already.
Still, it's hard to bask in the shade of a sapling when you know there's a sturdy oak tree nearby.