Why JavaFX is Relevant

This week marks the formal release of JavaFX 1.0.  During the interval between the early marketing blitz and now, we've heard a lot from our friends in the press and the blogosphere, and in many instances what they had to say was not very pretty.  Some think the Rich Internet Application platform battle lines are already drawn between Adobe and Microsoft, and dismiss Sun as having arrived too late to the party.  Others opine that JavaFX's underlying Java platform is so yesterday.  In fact Java is the primary reason why JavaFX will, much to the chagrin of many, receive serious consideration.  Here's why:

  • Java is ubiquitous.  It is the proven, de-facto platform for web-based deployment.  On the desktop, it is estimated that approximately 90% of PCs have Java installed. In fact the major PC OEMs have seen fit to install it for you out of the box.  In the mobile world, Java is the dominant deployment platform.  Billions (that's with a 'b') of devices run Java.
  • The Java development community is arguably the largest on the planet.  Java gained initial widespread acclaim as a productive development environment, and continues to do so.  As JavaFX is an evolution of Java and seamlessly integrates with it, human nature tells us that individuals will naturally want to work with and leverage that which they already know and are familiar with.
  • Alternatives are still no match for the Java Virtual Machine.  It has been extensively studied, vetted, scrutinized, poked, prodded, abused, cloned, and optimized more than any other virtual machine in the history of computing. And just in case you're under the impression that the Java Virtual Machine is limited only to the Java (and now JavaFX script) programming languages, think again.  At last count there were over 200 projects integrating modern dynamic languages to the Java VM.  That list includes the usual suspects like PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, Python, and [insert your favorite language here].
  • The amount of Java Standard Edition online updates is staggering.  We know.  We supply the downloads.  And once a desktop is upgraded, it will be able to take full advantage of the features JavaFX brings to the table, effectively trivializing the barriers to entry.
Many of our most talented folks have been working feverishly to reach this milestone.  That being said, there's still lot's more work to do.  But we're off to a real nice start.  Check out http://javafx.com.  Hmm.  looks like the site is a little sluggish right now.  Maybe we underestimated all the interest?


J Marinacci is the embodiment of what is wrong with Sun: brilliant technologies at the hands of people that wreck them.

Today's failure of the launch is abysmal and unacceptable.

This is the case about Sun. Everything thrown at the end user (the PR you might say) is incredibly miserable.

The JavaFX website was a failure. The use of quicktime was a bad choice and many others. Does Sun know any good designers in town?

Please tell J Marinacci is better suited somewhere else. Maybe a higher postion somewhere.

Posted by florin on December 04, 2008 at 03:54 PM EST #

quicktime ???
that is a java applet player...

Posted by corrector on December 04, 2008 at 06:01 PM EST #

In that case they changed it. The JavaFX website uses (or used, but not the last time I checked it) Flash instead of Java applets.

That alone is enough to drive people away from applets. If even Sun doesn't use them, there must be something fundamentally wrong with them.

Posted by J.T. Wenting on December 04, 2008 at 07:14 PM EST #

If you have to explain why something is relevant, it probably isn't.

Posted by Echo on December 04, 2008 at 11:05 PM EST #

The simple reason Sun does not use JavaFX for their videos is that it is too slow. Nobody has enough patience to wait for around 2-3 min it takes to download. At first I thought it was just that the JFX libraries need to be loaded for the first time. But, for every demo, it is the case. Safari even complains about it! Really, they have not even done preliminary testing on this stuff.

Posted by guest on December 05, 2008 at 08:16 AM EST #

And I simply can't imagine why they don't have a progress bar instead of the Java icon. Even kids nowadays know that it is better to have a progress (even if it is a dummy) bar to keep the user interested.

Posted by guest on December 05, 2008 at 08:20 AM EST #

None of your 'reasons' amount to a hill of beans, unfortunately. Sure lots of people use Java, but not the people who write the sort of applications that JavaFX is targetted at. They all use Flash, and they're not going to change now. Even Silverlight is pretty much doomed already.

Posted by guest on December 06, 2008 at 10:31 AM EST #

Wow, what a bunch of clueless, shortsighted morons. I look forward to having JavaFX in my toolbox.

Posted by guest on December 06, 2008 at 12:16 PM EST #

I read it but could not notice the advantages of JavaFX

May be its the fact that it can be used on Desktop.

But Anything that takes forever to load is inherently doomed on INTERNET.

Posted by LogicallyGenius on January 10, 2009 at 03:25 AM EST #

You'll have to install the JavaFX SDK or get the FX Runtime installed in your machine prior running any JavaFX application on your desktop.

They should have bundle that into the JDK to avoid so many downloads.

Posted by guest on February 23, 2009 at 07:15 PM EST #

Not so. If you download a recent JRE, the JavaFX runtime is included. To give you an idea, since its announcement, there have been 100 million JRE updates, each with support for JavaFX.

Posted by James Connors on February 24, 2009 at 12:35 AM EST #

Javafx site is hopeless. How come such a poorly tested application can go to public? Loading time is awful. When sun wants to compete with Flash, they should at least match performance with Flash. Sun should learn from MS on C# first release. I am big java fan, sun let me down again.

Posted by Sree on March 11, 2009 at 03:47 AM EDT #

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