JavaFX SDK says NO to Linux?

Thu, Aug 21, 2008

JavaFX: Who better than he himself for the demo?

Photo by Charlton

JavaFX Who better than he himself for the demo?

After the advent of SDKs for Adobe AIR & Microsoft Silverlight and the considerable amount of market share they already have, Sun Microsystems has finally come up with their SDK preview for JavaFX. This was a result of two years of hard work so as to allow developers to play with the JavaFX technology. This may be a step too late, but it's not bad than never. It reminds me of the Open Source equivalent which also competes as a Rich Internet Application (RIA) development & delivery tool named - OpenLaszlo. It is released under the Open Source Initiative-certified Common Public License.

What is JavaFX SDK?

Java FX is a family of products for creating RIAs with immersive media and content. The JavaFX products include a runtime and tools suite that web scripters, designers and developers can use to quickly build and deliver expressive rich interactive applications for desktop, mobile, TV and other platforms. The freely downloadable JavaFX Preview SDK bundles the JavaFX compiler and runtime, the NetBeans IDE, and a NetBeans plug-in for coding and debugging in the new JavaFX Script language.

Some features/significance of JavaFX SDK:

# JavaFX SDK shall definitely be a springboard for Java developers who love java-like syntax to build RIAs.
# As per Simon Brocklehurst, a lot of features like - ON2 VP6 codec, 3d vector graphics, streaming video, local file system access, etc. are not bundled in the preview release but shall be incorporated in the upcoming version 1.0 which is due, later this year. Apart from these, the basic features such as standard UI elements, regular and key frame animation, 2d graphics, etc. are included in the preview release.
# The export feature which allows exporting from Adobe Illustrator to JavaFX shall help Sun compete Adobe's Flash and AIR products.
# The scheduled final release 1.0 shall also export from Photoshop.

JavaFX SDK & Linux:

Quite amazingly though, JavaFX SDK isn't available for the Linux platform! It's available for both Windows and Mac developer groups. It is difficult to get holdof the strategy or the shortcomings with Sun but having helped the Linux community with a JavaFX SDK would have possibly set standards in the Open Source community too. May be Sun has some other plans! Surprisingly, the SDK isn't available for Sun's own operating system, Open Solaris which is again a *nix based OS!

Where shall JavaFX fit in the best?

With the existing competition JavaFX has with similar products from Adobe and Microsoft, there shall not be a lot of arenas to look upto. However, JavaFX may suit well to certain devices like mobile phones, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, etc. that already have Java running on them. The kind of speed and functionality that we'll probably see on JavaFX Mobile after things get translated over to the mobile and embedded devices from the desktop, is something one would love to watch on. But Sun, for sure has a lot of opportunity with this.

Future of JavaFX?

I would need to be an astrologer to answer that! That's something no one can answer accurately. But the road ahead shall by no means be easy for Sun, considering Flex 3's growth with Adobe's control over the complete tool chain. They have a lot of experience in leveraging the trust of designers and developers.

Something that surprised me - The JavaFX home page doesn't actually use JavaFX! It uses Ajax and Quicktime movies. Now that's something strange and noticeable. What do you have to say?

Praval, the author of this article is available as a freelance writer and technology blogger. He writes reviews and stuffs related to Wordpress, Linux, Information marketing, Open Source Software, Life hacks and technology in general. He also provides information marketing solutions to his clients. You may reach him at