JavaFX 2.0 Arrives and is Open Sourced

JavafxAmong the big news at JavaOne 2011 was the release of JavaFX 2.0 and announcement of its open source status. As Oracle’s Chief Architect, Client Java Platform Richard Bair observed, “We think this is going to be a really big deal in the industry.” JavaFX 2.0, touted as the next step in the evolution of Java as a rich client platform, is designed to provide a modern Java environment that shortens development time and eases the deployment of data driven-business and enterprise client applications.

Its key features include:

• Java APIs for JavaFX

• FXML -- an XML-based markup language for defining user interfaces

• Seamless integration into Swing applications

• High-performance hardware accelerated graphics

• Embedding of web content into JavaFX

• High-performance media engine

• Improved UI controls library

JavaFX 2.0 enables developers to leverage their existing Java skills and tools to develop JavaFX applications. It offers a clean separation of application UI and logic and simplifies code maintenance while integrating Web content and media seamlessly in Java applications. Developers can more easily create scalable, graphics-rich applications without performance penalties, build sophisticated user interfaces, extend existing Swing applications, and deploy applications in the browser, as desktop, or Web Start applications.

Java APIs for JavaFX include:

• End-to-end Java development

• Java language features—generics, annotations, multi-threading

• Reduced static footprint of runtime and applications

• Fluent API design for UI construction

• Development in alternative languages (e.g., JRuby, Groovy) with JavaFX

• Leverage sophisticated Java IDEs, debuggers and profilers

• Java APIs preserve convenient JavaFX Script features (e.g., bind)

Other features to take note of in JavaFX 2.0:


• Scriptable, XML-based markup language for defining user interfaces

• Convenient alternative to developing UI programmatically in Java

• Easy to learn and intuitive for developers familiar with web technologies or other markup based UI technologies

• Powerful scripting feature allows embedding scripts within a FXML file. Any JVM scripting language can be used, including JavaScript, Groovy, and Clojure, among others

New Graphics Pipeline for Modern GPUs

• New hardware accelerated graphics pipeline (Prism)

• New windowing toolkit (Glass) for Prism

• Java2D software pipeline for unsupported graphics hardware

• High-level support for making rich graphics simple: Shadows, Blurs, Reflections, Effects, 2D and 3D transforms

Rich Set of UI Controls

• Over 50 components for form-based UI, including charts, layout and form controls

• CSS3+ skinning and layout of UI controls

• Advanced UI controls, including table, tree view, rich text editor

Web Component

• Embed Web content in JavaFX applications

• HTML and JavaScript rendering based on Webkit

• DOM access and manipulation from Java

Browser Plug-in Refreshed for JavaFX 2.0

• Loading of JavaFX applets based on Prism

• Preloader for JavaFX applets for improved user experience

Powerful Properties Model

• New collections ObservableList, Sequence and ObservableMap

• New design and implementation of bean properties

• Low level binding API for high performance, low footprint bindings

• High level binding API for simple usage

Improved Animation Engine

• Optimized implementation of transitions

• Complete overhaul of API to simplify usage and in preparation of optimized and more stable implementation

Approximately 50 JavaFX 2.0 sessions can be found at JavaOne given by leading JavaFX movers and shakers. JavaFX is the next step in the evolution of Java as a rich client platform. Congratulations to all involved!

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