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The Importance of JavaFX

Multiple people have told me that a very limited amount of time went into grabbing this from the labs and presenting it at the conference (like measured in days – not even weeks). Combining that with Sun’s lousy track record with Java UI technologies, I quickly wrote off the release / platform.

As of late, I have started to think differently about JavaFX. My change of heart comes from two main reasons:

Reason one, Adobe AIR of course! As I blogged about earlier this week, I can picture all of the cool things that our industry will be able to build as the browser and desktop merge (it’s not just about moving web technologies to the desktop – duh!). AIR is cool and I hope to build some interesting things on it, but it does have some significant shortcomings. First off, no JVM on the client, which means that business logic has to be duplicated in another lang. for offline features. Second, SocketListen. BitTorrent or peer-to-peer anyone? JavaFX is part of the Java platform – so these will not be issues for JavaFX.

Reason two, there are finally some interesting applications being built using JavaFX. Last week, I got to see an alpha version of a pretty amazing JavaFX application. It isn’t surprising that there haven’t been a lot of great examples of JavaFX applications yet, as it is still in alpha itself. I am not typically a bleeding edge adopter. So, seeing real applications built using the platform is a milestone to me.

All that being said, I am not completely sold on JavaFX – more than anything I would say I am hopeful. A successful JavaFX platform could really help to propel the RIA movement and the industry as a whole.