Announcing the JavaFX Preview SDK

Hi, my name is Jacob Lehrbaum and I'm a senior product line manager in the JavaFX Marketing team. I'd like to begin by welcoming you to the official JavaFX blog. I'm even more thrilled to announce that we officially launched the JavaFX Preview SDK this morning! This is a very exciting milestone for us as it marks our first official release and includes tools to enable web scripters to begin prototyping JavaFX content for use in desktop or browsers. In the JavaFX Preview SDK we are including the following elements:

1) JavaFX Compiler & Runtime tools
2) 2D Graphics and Media Libraries
3) Tutorials API docs, and Sample Code
4) NetBeans Plug-in
5) Project Nile- a suite of tools and plug-ins

Think Creative - Be Creative

With these tools and runtime components, scripters are empowered to very quickly create JavaFX content directly in NetBeans using a highly intuitive scripting language that's designed to match the way they think about building out interfaces - it allows you to think creative and be creative. Through Project Nile, you can take graphical assets created in design tools like Photoshop and Illustrator and incorporate them directly into your JavaFX applications. You can then manipulate the various layers of the assets directly from JavaFX.

As RIA's get more and more advanced they require more than great visual effects and media integration. For these advanced applications, you can pull in Java Libraries and knit together all the pieces using JavaFX. In essence, JavaFX acts as the glue and the framework that brings together all of the aspects of the designer and developer workflow!

All The Screens of Your Life

Taking a step back for a moment, I'd like to talk about what we're looking to accomplish with JavaFX. If you look out at the industry, there are a couple of major trends we see driving our direction. As technology continues becoming a more prolific part of our daily lives, consumers are demanding fun, easier, and immersive experiences. The second trend is the movement of content and services into the cloud. With web 2.0, cloud computing, and social networking, we are becoming more and more comfortable with moving our content into the network so that we can access it anytime and anywhere. Once your content is in the network, it immediately becomes more valuable if you can access it across all your devices! Enter Java.

Java provides an ideal platform across all the screens of your life, due to its availability across over 2 billion mobile handsets, 85% of desktops, and its position as the platform for next-generation high-definition content as part of the Blu-ray (BD-j) specification. Building on top of Java, JavaFX enables you to build cross-device RIA applications and content that enable you to build immersive, interactive experiences that incorporate 2D & 3D graphics, animations, audio and video, and rich scalable text. To this end, we designed JavaFX around a common API profile so you can build content across all your screens. We're also giving you profiles for the desktop and we will have profiles for additional devices in the future, so that if you would like to optimize or extend your application to take advantage of specific features available on the desktop or perhaps on the mobile device, you can choose to build in support for these specific extensions in addition to the JavaFX Common APIs.

Leveraging the Java Platform

As I mentioned earlier, a key advantage of JavaFX is that it builds off the strengths of the Java Platform while making it significantly easier to build rich, highly interactive and immersive experiences. While traditional RIA applications have been mostly focused on animation and graphics, JavaFX will allow you to go further by adding more functionality enabling you to build desktop and more advanced RIAs. You will also be able to run JavaFX applications on existing, in-market devices. And with the upcoming release of Java SE 6 update 10 you can even build applets that can run in the browser and can be dragged and saved to the desktop, seamlessly, allowing you to build one application and deploy it to the browser or to the desktop. This provides a dead-simple discovery and install process and will enable consumers to break free from the browser!

Now its your turn

Over the next couple of days and weeks we will be linking to blogs by members of the JavaFX team as well as pointing you to articles, sample applications, reviews, etc out in the community. The first blog, by Joshua Marinacci, will share why he is excited about JavaFX as well as a simple but cool sample application that you can play with. In the meanwhile, please go ahead and download the SDK and get started playing around with JavaFX and let us know what you think, and please check back for updates!

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