The release of the JavaFX 2.1 Developer Preview for Linux last week rounds out the Mac OS X and Windows releases that were already available. I thought that this would be an interesting time to take the pulse of the JavaFX community, so I asked several JavaFX developers to articulate the significance of this release. Here's what the 14 developers that responded had to say:
"... it is the first time we see that cross-platform support is not a fairy tale ..."
Tom Schindl, leader of the e(fx)clipse project, expressed the importance of cross-platform support and the timeliness of releases:
"This week is a remarkable one for everyone investing sources into JavaFX 2 because it is the first time we see that cross-platform support is not a fairy tale. What I really like is how fast and early the JavaFX teams provides Beta and Preview-Builds - the Linux Developer Preview is only one example on this. This is very important to me as an external tooling developer because I don't have to wait until the final release to implement support for new features. It's exactly this attitude that forms trust."
"... JavaFX released as open source will be a game changer in this space ..."
- Bruno Souza
Bruno Souza, Brazil's JavaMan, expressed the significance of the decision to open source JavaFX:
"With the announcement of the open sourcing of JavaFX and the work to include it on OpenJDK already on the way, all the powerful multimedia capabilities of JavaFX will be available to systems everywhere. This positions JavaFX to become one of the most important cross platform rich client solutions in the market. I expect that JavaFX released as open source will be a game changer in this space."
"... momentum is clearly going in the right direction now ..."
- Dean Iverson
"I think Oracle has done a magnificent job of getting JavaFX back on track. Moving to Java and open sourcing it are brilliant moves. The momentum is clearly going in the right direction now. The amount of traffic on Twitter, on the OpenJFX mailing list, and the OTN forum indicates that many people have come back to take a look."
"... opened the doors for many, many more JavaFX discussions with clients."
- Eric Bruno
Eric Bruno, JavaFX Developer/Author, notes that recent developments in JavaFX has been good for business:
"I'm overall very happy with the choice to move to an all-Java API, as it allows me to write code that is more easily maintainable by others. Additionally, adding support for Swing integration has opened the doors for many, many more JavaFX discussions with clients. For example, because of the lack of "official" Swing integration in JavaFX 1.x, many avoided it, in my experience. The move to Java, the addition of real Swing integration, and the statements that Oracle has made regarding JavaFX being the Java client solution going forward have convinced most people I talk to that JavaFX is the way to go. This is good news."
"By revamping JavaFX 1.3 into Java, Oracle has opened its RIA technology to the widest ecosystem ..."
- Sébastien Bordes
Sébastien Bordes, JRebirth Founder, expresses the significance of JavaFX becoming a Java API, and is hopeful that JavaFX will be available on mobile platforms:
"Oracle gave us the right tools to build aesthetically pleasing and powerful Rich Internet Applications. They renewed the famous anthem "Write Once, Run Everywhere" for the pleasure of apple-fans and penguin-addicts. By revamping JavaFX 1.3 into Java, Oracle has opened its RIA technology to the widest ecosystem (30k libraries), which is compliant with all software best practices and allows continuous integration and delivery. It only misses the promise of mobile compatabilty to let us flood the web with amazing JavaFX 2 applications! The mono-threading Flex and the awful Silverlight can be abandoned right now, because the only possible choice is JavaFX 2. Go JavaFX, we are moving forward with you!"
"... rich set of UI controls along with CSS3 skinning ..."
- Shiv Kumar Ganesh
Shiv Kumar Ganesh, Assistant System Engineer at TCS, highlights some of the compelling features of JavaFX 2, and predicts increased adoption by industry and revenue for developers:
"JavaFX has brought in a new revolution in the field of Rich Internet Applications. It's easy to learn and can be a piece of cake for any Java developer, since there is no need to learn a new language. The rich set of UI controls along with CSS3 skinning makes it easy to improve the GUI which is the essence of any RIA. It has also taken care of markup guys by providing FXML as an alternative to Java for UI. A most amazing thing is that you can do DOM manipulation as well as embed web content in a JavaFX application. It also has an advantage due to an already existing rich set of Java API's. I would say its a real treat for both developers as well as designers, and maybe this is the first time they both can work together understanding each other's lingo. Since JavaFX 2.1 is out for Mac and Linux developers, we should see a huge contributions from both communities. JavaFX 2 will give rise to industrial adoption and will boost the revenue of firms and individuals."
"... with the power of JavaFX 2 it's so much easier to create stunning UIs that don't have to hide from Cocoa based apps on OS X ..."
- Gerrit Grunwald
Gerrit Grunwald, Senior Software Engineer at Quintiq, highlights features such as hardware acceleration, as well as the ability to create stunning UIs:
"Java on the Desktop has had its days and to be honest Sun did not really do a good job on pushing JavaFX 1.0 in the existing market. So the mainstream was not interested in learning another new thing that would compete with Flash or Silverlight. Well, times have changed. Now Flash and Silverlight have had their days and Oracle did a really nice job implementing JavaFX 2 in Java and making it open source. These two things alone would be enough to give Java on the Desktop another chance but what I really like is that the old credo "write once run anywhere" seems to be still valid, now that Oracle announced the developer preview of JavaFX 2.1 for Mac OS X and Linux. That means we will have a cross platform, hardware accelerated, feature rich UI platform that is based on Java. Especially on the Mac with all the nice UI gadgets, Java Swing based apps looked a little bit old fashioned. Even though some enthusiastic people from the community did a really nice job in creating good looking Swing based stuff, it never really gets there. But with the power of JavaFX 2 it's so much easier to create stunning UI's that don't have to hide from Cocoa based apps on OS X. So it seems suddenly everything falls into place and Java on the Desktop could rise like a Phoenix. Now it's up to you...don't hesitate to get your fingers dirty."
"... 3D animations, video analysis, new charts and audio analysis ..."
- Pedro Duque Vieira
Pedro Duque Vieira, Front-end Developer, points to some of the features of JavaFX that can be leveraged by an application that he's converted to JavaFX, as well as highlighting the cost advantages of running JavaFX apps on Linux:
"Modellus, a free application for the education market used all over the world has recently been converted to JavaFX. Just to name a few examples that come to my mind, with the power of JavaFX, Modellus can easily grow to have 3D animations, video analysis, new charts and audio analysis. With JavaFX 2.1 for Unix and MacOS, Modellus will also be able to run on those OS's making it available to an even a larger audience. It will become possible for schools to use Modellus without any software costs by running it on top of Linux."
"We hear about cloud and big data (analytics), but what about better ways to visualize that data?"
- Carl Dea
Carl Dea, Developer and Author of JavaFX 2 by Example, expresses the suitability of using JavaFX to build rich, cross-platform, clients for enterprise applications:
"We hear about cloud and big data (analytics), but what about better ways to visualize that data? Look no further, because JavaFX 2 is the way to go for representing large data. With the new preview release of Java 2.1 for Mac and Linux, I believe this is truly an amazing time for Java and rich cross-platform client-side development. Since we have many customers who use Linux desktop operating systems, delivering solutions such as JavaFX 2.1 will allow increased usability and productivity."
"... JavaFX 2.1 on the Mac for my work with GroovyFX ..."
Dierk König, Canoo Engineering, highlights his use of the Groovy JVM language in conjunction with the JavaFX 2 API:
"I use JavaFX 2.1 on the Mac for my work with GroovyFX, and despite being named developer preview it worked for me without any glitches. It is fast, it is stable."
"... developer preview for Mac and Linux is a good start but still the community needs the main release as soon as possible ..."
- Rajmahendra Hegde
Rajmahendra Hegde, JUGChennai Leader, congratulates the JavaFX team for the developer preview, but warns that the production release of JavaFX 2.1 for Mac and Linux need to come as soon as possible for JavaFX to gain traction in the RIA space:
"Since the first announcement of RIA support to Java, JavaFX has undergone so many changes, but still the platform has not yet got a stable support for its mantra "Write once and run anywhere." Moving JavaFX Script to Java is attracting developers who code with Java and other JVM languages, making it one platform. But still the core was not satisfied; 'Cross platform'. The new announcement of the developer preview for Mac and Linux is a good start but still the community needs the main release as soon as possible. If we delay the major release the community will move backwards in the world of RIA. I thank the JavaFX team for their effort on this release but we need the major release ASAP :)"
"... I've already notice a boost in productivity for myself and my Linux-colleagues ..."
- Johan Vos
Johan Vos, CTO LodgON BVBA and co-author of the Pro JavaFX 2 Platform book, cites productivity gains, and looks forward to the prospect of being able to develop JavaFX applications that serve as the client on virtually any type of computing device:
"I am extremely pleased with the availability of a preview of the JavaFX 2 platform on Linux for 2 reasons. First of all, Linux is my favorite development platform, and I've already notice a boost in productivity of myself and my Linux-colleagues. Second, we are a major step closer to the write-once-run-anywhere idea that is part of the success of the Java platform. I can only guess what the most widely used computing devices in the future will be (pc, laptop, tablet, smartphone, set-top boxes, embedded devices/sensors) but having the same code for client applications on all these devices is the best bet I can make."
"Once they make the mobile prototypes they showed at JavaOne a reality, they will have an unbeatable platform."
- Stephen Chin
Stephen Chin, Developer, Speaker and co-author of the Pro JavaFX 2 Platform book, applauds the JavaFX direction and release schedule, noting that availabliity on mobile devices will be key for the overall success of JavaFX:
"I am very pleased with the direction Oracle has been taking JavaFX. They have been consistently hitting their promised release targets and accelerated support for platforms that matter for the Java development community, such as Mac OS X and Linux. Once they make the mobile prototypes they showed at JavaOne a reality, they will have an unbeatable platform."
"... JavaFX team is committed to the cross platform vision of Java ..."
- Weiqi Gao
Weiqi Gao, Developer and co-author of the Pro JavaFX 2 Platform book, acknowledges that the timing of the JavaFX release for Linux was well ahead of the anticipated date, and expresses an exciting future for JavaFX development:
"What this earlier than expected release of a Linux version of the JavaFX 2.1.0 SDK Developer Preview shows is that the JavaFX team is committed to the cross platform vision of Java, is serious about delivering compelling technologies to make it easy and enjoyable to develop rich client Java applications, and is putting JavaFX in a position to be leveraged by thoughtful developers and companies to fuel the next round of innovations."
I'd like to express my appreciation to the members of the JavaFX community quoted above for articulating the significance of the JavaFX 2.1 Developer Previews for Windows/Mac/Linux. I'd also like to thank and congratulate the JavaFX teams at Oracle that have been working tirelessly to delight the JavaFX community with releases like this. Well done!
jim.weaver @ javafxpert.com