FX Experience Has Gone Read-Only
I've been maintaining FX Experience for a really long time now, and I love hearing from people who enjoy my weekly links roundup. One thing I've noticed recently is that maintaining two sites (FX Experience and JonathanGiles.net) takes more time than ideal, and splits the audience up. Therefore, FX Experience will become read-only for new blog posts, but weekly posts will continue to be published on JonathanGiles.net. If you follow @FXExperience on Twitter, I suggest you also follow @JonathanGiles. This is not the end - just a consolidation of my online presence to make my life a little easier!
tl;dr: Follow me on Twitter and check for the latest news on JonathanGiles.net.
We’re running a little survey here at FX Experience to get input from JavaFX developers (and everybody else!) as to the ways they would use a port of JavaFX to smartphones and tablets (think: iOS, Android, and WinRT). This is your chance to really influence the future of JavaFX! Get your friends to participate!
I have many idea to create mobile applications and sold them on Google play, and Appl Store,Windows Phone Store, especially for people who lives in middle-east and north-Africa. Also I will use JavaFX to create enterprise applications and I will have to deploy them Desktop and tablets.
I devinitely love the new JavaFX 2 possibilities, but since more and more tablets and mobiles also being used as a frontend I guess JavaFX 2 will not make it without supporing those.
If I see something like http://famo.us/ (beta and works for now on Chrome, but on others you will get a demo) I cannot imagine not to use the browser as a frontend plattform. I am not from this famo.us company but it is pretty impressive and only should encourage the JavaFX-dev-team to hurry up on supporting mobiles and tablets.
Can you show me some examples to create mobile applications with JAvaFX?
I´m a developer looking for good ideas… how do I could help ?
We create GIS applications requiring more performance and animation than normally found in an HTML-type UI. Also, we want to use one UI technology for desktop and mobile, if possible. Finally, we want to make use of higher-performance graphics handling, like OpenGL. These considerations would make JavaFX very attractive, if available on mobile (especially Android-based, since our customers are predominately already using Android).
any news here?
As I’m reading the tech news with my coffee this morning I find myself frustrated by this topic again. RIM is getting ready for their BB10 launch and this is their SDK page:
They list C / C++, HTML5, Action Script (AIR), an Android Runtime, and Java as being supported. If you follow the link for Java, it’s a bunch of Java ME stuff and (maybe it’s a typo) only works on “BlackBerry smartphones up to version 7.1”.
The BB10 launch is going to be big news for tech people and it makes Java look like a dying, legacy technology that everyone supports as an afterthought. It’d be a lot better for the whole Java platform if that 5th spot on their SDK page was for a JavaFX runtime, wouldn’t it? RIM is begging for developers, paying for them even, so it seems like Oracle just missed an opportunity to get us first class JavaFX support on a next generation platform that still has the potential for widespread adoption in businesses.
Mobile is what I’d consider the mind-share market for tech people that aren’t developers. The media, tech enthusiasts, etc. all view mobile as the future and a lack of visibility in the mobile industry is quickly turning into a lack of visibility in the tech industry. I don’t have be sold on Java or JavaFX, but the people who are going to buy my stuff do. Think about it. Who makes the big money decisions at Oracle, developers or moderately informed business managers?
Java can’t afford to keep losing mind-share among non-programmers and tech-experts. In my opinion, some kind of marketing effort is eventually going to be necessary if you want people to keep choosing Java for new projects over the next decade. Why not spearhead that effort with something like JavaFX where it’s not just a marketing push, but an effort that’s backed by extremely compelling technology? For mobile, JavaFX can be the catalyst and the brand (and the scapegoat).
I honestly believe that JavaFX is a fork in the road for Java (the platform) and whether or not Oracle throws some real weight behind getting it on mobile platforms could be the difference between Java remaining a popular technology or becoming a legacy technology.
Also, a bit of an afterthought, when was the last time anyone saw a positive story about Java in the news?
This is a well thought-out response Ryan and I agree with much of what you said. The point you concluded on is the most important in my opinion: a lack of positive press about Java in general.
We all know that Java is copping a flogging at the moment in relation to the recurring security holes in the browser plugin. Unfortunately for most people, the Java browser plugin *is* Java as that is their only experience with Java. The common conclusion is that the Java language itself (and therefore “anything Java”) is both inherently insecure and antiquated as “nobody uses applets anymore”. For less tech savvy managerial staff (the ones making financial decisions as you point out) this means that Java is not suitable for *any* new software projects.
Of course anyone with a bit more technical smarts knows very well that the Java browser plugin is just a technology for allowing Java programs (i.e applets) to run inside a web browser and any flaws within it are completely separate from either the core Java language, the wider Java platform or the JVM in general. Indeed it is a great shame that Oracle has commercial customers who still rely on applets in one way or another because this means that the Java plugin cannot be immediately relegated to the scrap heap where it belongs. Other than the support of legacy software that incorporates applets, there is absolutely no reason why the browser plugin should continue to exist.
And so back to the main point. In all the recent kerfuffle of press and social media over the security flaws exposed by running Java in the browser, where has Oracle been (or for that matter any pro-Java lobby group)? Sure, they were very quick to release an updated JRE (and kudos to them for that) but where are all the tweets, posts, articles and press releases from Oracle clearly explaining:
(1) the differences between the Java browser plugin and Java itself
(2) the simple way to disable Java in all browsers on a machine since Java 7u10
(3) the many, many merits of the language that is Java
(4) the reasons to use Java for just about *any* new software project
(5) the brilliant new technology that is JavaFX and that it is a viable alternative to HTML 5
I’d like to be able to add this one too:
(6) how JavaFX enables the development of rich graphical applications with 2D/3D graphics, video, audio, charting, animations, embedded web content and sophisticated data binding that can be deployed to *any* platform ranging from desktops (Windows, Mac, Linux) through embedded devices (Raspberry Pi, Beagle Board etc.) to mobiles and tablets (iOS, Android, Windows RT, Blackberry) from a single code base using a single language and single suite of development tools.
but clearly I can’t.
Wouldn’t be awesome if I could? There is no other technology that could claim (6) and even though JavaFX cannot claim it either at this time, there is a golden but limited opportunity for JavaFX to be the first and only product that can achieve this Holy Grail. Why isn’t Oracle telling the entire world this?
To their credit, Oracle’s website does include access to articles on many of these subjects and in general does a great job of assisting developers working with Java. But what about *non-developers*? How many of them are going to trawl through a multitude of “dry” technical documents or even know where to locate them?
It is very clear to me that Oracle needs to be a lot more active in publicly defending, explaining and praising Java in general and JavaFX in particular. There needs to be a balanced critique of Java in the public domain and who better to level things up than the custodians of Java themselves? At the moment, it’s almost all negative. Oracle needs to reach out to non-developers and build (restore?) confidence in the Java brand.
After all, Java (and especially with JavaFX) *is* a truly fantastic language and platform that is used by more developers world wide than any other. It just doesn’t seem appropriate (or fair) that its reputation, standing amongstthe community as a whole and future be tarnished by issues with the almost-irrelevant browser plugin.
Oracle, please speak up – Java needs you!
Functionality in JavaFx is incredibly important to the ability to write programs that provide a rich user experience. The important aspect for me is to be able to have an application that can run across platforms including mobile phones and windows servers.
I never liked JavaFX before, but recently I’ve changed my mind – I reckon JavaFX is going to be big for embedded type applications for small ARM/linux devices.
What came out of this survey ? Any news on this ? Hello ?
…yes, this was the really promising news!!!
I am not too much inside the Open Java Community process. So it would be interesting to know for me: what will follow after Oracle having passed the sources?
…are there any concrete developers to take over and continue development?
…will there be some kind of roadmap, so that FX developers can tell their users when to expect FX based applications on Android/iOS? How far away are we – is it one year? or much longer?
…what kind of contribution is required / expected from all these ones who want to use FX on Android/iOS?
Maybe someone of you knows some responses – it would be great if you could add them here…
I do not work for Oracle and neither am I privy to Oracle internals but here’s my understanding of things at the moment:
“…are there any concrete developers to take over and continue development?”
No one in particular has stepped up that I know of as yet but I do know there are hundreds of very keen and very capable Java/JavaFX developers who are both willing and able to contribute to this project. I think it’s only a matter of time before people do get involved.
“…will there be some kind of roadmap, so that FX developers can tell their users when to expect FX based applications on Android/iOS?”
Yes, I think this is a reasonable expectation although don’t expect any such roadmap for some time yet!
“How far away are we – is it one year? or much longer?”
For many, this is the key question. My own feeling is that we are at least 18 months to 2 years away from being able to, for example, purchase a JavaFX app from the Apple App Store. Why? See my answer to the next question.
“…what kind of contribution is required / expected from all these ones who want to use FX on Android/iOS?”
There is much, much to be done. Completion of this work will require experts not only in Java and JavaFX but also people skilled in iOS, Android, compilers, C/C++ etc.
The main problem is that what Oracle are contributing is only a prototype, not a solution. And while it includes code which is extremely helpful and vital to the overall goal, it is based on an interpreted-only version of Java which will not only not perform well enough to be commercially viable but will also probably not get passed Apple’s strict “no interpreted code” requirements for iOS.
What is needed is a full Java AOT compiler that compiles Java and JavaFX source code directly to machine code. This is effectively a JVM that runs pre-compiled Java source instead of using JIT as JIT relies on executable memory which is not permitted on iOS.
There are some VMs out there that (almost) fit the bill (and that other Java-to-mobile technologies are using) but there’s currently nothing that ticks all the boxes that would allow any Java/JavaFX application to run on these platforms. Someone has to either develop one from scratch or adapt an existing product. Either way, it’s a lot of work.
Oracle have not committed (and may never commit) to an official JavaFX release for iOS and Android. The success of such a port is entirely dependent on the community. Oracle will no doubt help and encourage the project but if we really want this to happen then it’s up to make it happen.