A Word on Linux and Solaris Support

Though we don't release JavaFX for a few more hours the word has gotten out that we have added Mac support to JavaFX 1.0 but not Linux and Solaris. Sheesh those interwebs are fast!. So I'm writing to let you know the scoop, our reasoning, and our plans.

I'll say it: JavaFX 1.0 supports on Java 1.5+ for Mac and Java 1.6u10+ for Windows. Linux and Solaris are not supported in 1.0. In about 10 seconds the Twitter-sphere is going to light up with: "OMG! Why R U L1NUX H8RS! U R teh suck!" Please delay your tweet fingers for a few moments and allow me to explain.

We are going to support Linux and Solaris. We love both operating systems. Many of us use Linux every day. And Solaris is our own operating system. So we are working on it. And don't mean that in a "yeah, we'll get to it eventually" kind of way. I mean we are actively working on it right now. We have it in our continuous build system. Every time we build for Windows and Mac we are building for Linux and Solaris. We are fixing bugs in it. We are adding new features and testing. We are working on it and want to ship it just as much as you want to download it.

So why didn't we ship for Linux and Solaris in 1.0 along with Mac & Windows?

Simple. It's not ready yet. Certain features are there but other features are broken or not performing well enough. In particular video and graphics hardware acceleration have historically been tricky to implement properly on Linux and Solaris, as users of native apps for those operating systems know all too well. But we are working on it and will ship it.

So why didn't we drop those broken features and still ship the rest?

We thought about it but JavaFX means something. It means video and audio. It means accelerated graphics and animation. If we took out some features the it wouldn't really be JavaFX anymore. So we decided to let it bake a little longer until it's ready. It's that simple.

So I want to be crystal clear: We are working on it. We will ship it as soon as we can. We know how important Linux and Solaris are. They may be a small (but growing) percentage of the consumer desktop market, but they are used by a much bigger percentage of you, the application developers. We are going to ship for Linux and Solaris.

You may now commence your tweeting. Thanks. :)

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