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I Hear Voices: Post JavaFX SDK Preview Release

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I like the way that GeekyCoder, a Java Developer In Singapore, put it in a blog post entitled JavaFX Preview SDK Finally Released:


"Many developers lament why the need for another language and why not improve Swing, the GUI toolkit library?  Well, RIA markets are now evolved to appeal to designers and not only to developers through creating a declarative language that much easier to learn and use while still allow flexibility and power through the core programmatic language. For example, Flex used MXML based on XML as a foundation to build UI with strong data binding capability and ActionScript for programming. Similarly, JavaFX uses JavaFX Script to create UI and Java to extend the application further. Why switch to JavaFX when competitors are already have version of products ahead of JavaFX?  Among the major reasons are existing Java developers can leverage on myriad existing Java open source libraries, existing investment and develop JavaFX application using state of art and powerful IDE like NetBeans, Eclipse and Intellij. Beside, another outstanding  component of JavaFX technology aka JavaFX Mobile, will give a boost in creating rich and powerful mobile application by having almost a full-blown Java SDK built into the phone compare to the limited environment of J2ME. The greatest advantage is that the same desktop application built with JavaFX can be used in the JavaFX-based mobile phone without changing the code base."

The JavaFX SDK Technology Preview Release has given mainstream developers the opportunity to see the capability and potential of JavaFX.  As one that has been enamoured with JavaFX for quite some time, I have been very pleased with the overall reaction from the developer community.

I'd like to congratulate Sun for achieving this milestone, and for their tenacity in continuing to move JavaFX forward.  Here is an interview with Param Singh (senior director of Java marketing at Sun), and Thom Theriault (CTO of MaldenLabs).  In it, Param stated the following:

"Each platform has a core strength. Our strength comes from the ubiquity of the Java runtime, in the mobile area where we are pervasive, and in the six million Java developers who can extend their capabilities to provide Web resident apps and can do it in a faster time frame."

In that interview, Thom had this to say:

"We initially thought Flash/Flex would be easier to start with, but in the end it was harder to do certain functions.  JavaFX gives us the advantage of tying into those tried and true Java APIs that are vital to our app. So while the tools are lacking, they are going to be there."

Also, Nandini Ramani (Director of Engineering for the JavaFX Platform at Sun) did a video interview and demo of the JavaFX Preview SDK with Michael Coté of RedMonk that you'll want to check out.

Because I place most stock in developer voices, I opened this post with a quote from a developer, and I'll close it with a JavaFX code example  that creates sphere with a shadow from Silveira Neto.  Silveira Neto is a Computer Science student and Sun Campus Ambassador at Federal University of Ceará.


Regards, and have fun with the JavaFX Preview SDK!

Jim Weaver

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Jim Weaver.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Thom Theriault replied on Mon, 2008/08/04 - 8:31am

Thanks for the post Jim!


Ronald Miura replied on Mon, 2008/08/04 - 10:28am

And where is the linux SDK?

Jim Weaver replied on Mon, 2008/08/04 - 11:15am in response to: Ronald Miura

And where is the linux SDK?


Please see this answer to a similar question from Mike G., the lead architect for JavaFX at Sun, quoted below for your convenience:


"Jim/Kevin -

From the JavaFX perspective, when we talk about cross platform, its simply not across desktop platforms, but across a range of consumer platforms including mobile and television devices.  As we discussed at JavaOne, we are actively developing both a desktop and mobile release.

Now what's up with Linux? The JavaFX preview release will only be supported on Windows and Mac OS-X.  These two platforms are widely used for the designer/scripter community JavaFX is attempting to reach and we wanted to get feedback from that audience as quickly as possible.  We do plan on supporting Linux in future releases and as Jim points out, you are able to run with the technology preview branch, but Caveat Emptor.

Best Regards,




Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Mon, 2008/08/04 - 12:00pm in response to: Jim Weaver

Just priceless. As an Ubuntu user who does all his open-source work on that platform, this just leaves me shaking my head.

Mono/Moonlight will be out earlier on Linux than JavaFX. How incredible is that.


John Denver replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 3:59am in response to: Jacek Furmankiewicz

God damn, geez is what I was talking about in the last article, JavaFX is doomed, Only works on Windows, Linux doesnt exist, Mac it sucks beacuse can not run on a browser. What the hell is going on with Sun.

Flex Baby, Flex.

Sivlerlight I dont touch it never in life.



John Denver replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 4:07am

There is one solution guys why not use Groovy with Swingbuilder/GraphicsBuilder and is the same thing as JavaFX. But it works right now out of the box in Windows, Linux and Mac and with the Java6_10 can get all the benefits of speed hot, cold, kernel, applets so on. We don't need JavaFX.

Use Groovy with SwingBuilder/GraphicsBuilder.

Plus Groovy have an awesome Web framework called Grails so with Groovy is a dream come true for Java developers, RIA, Desktop, Web, JEE etc with just one language.

Thom Theriault replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 5:36am

Come on guys you are missing the point.

First - Please stop whinning about Linux support, it's a "Preview Release".

Second - The release is intended to give designers and developers of the two (sorry for using a real fact) main platforms, (Win + Mac) a chance to check out the technology.

Third - Did I mention it's a Preview Release? The technology is maturing. Take a look at Josh Marinacci's blog re: what the team has accomplished in the last 12 months - "Since JavaOne 2007 we've built (from scratch), a compiler for a new language with many non-trivial features, a GUI runtime with a new graphics and animation stack, new netbeans plugins with code completion, utilities for graphic designers, a new kind of javadocs (rewritten from the ground up), plus docs, samples, and demos. And that's not even counting the many improvements that are going into JavaSE 6 update 10. Whew! It's been a long year."

Fourth - There's a lot more "stuff" to come so evaluate the SDK for it is; for what Sun said they'd release (and when), and give it a shot.


Thom Theriault, CTO

Malden Labs


Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 5:44am in response to: Thom Theriault

I am not whining about lack of Linux support. I am just plain pi**ed off. There's a difference.

Sun is treating Linux users (one of the core 3 platforms the JDK supports) as second class citizens at every possible turn And I bet you there is a lot more Java *developers* (not necessarily users) on Linux than you think.

More importantly, where is the Eclipse support? Does Sun need to push NB down everyone's throat every time?






Mikael Grev replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 5:55am

Where are all the much needed cool and good looking demos? It should be the first thing released. All JavFX demos so far, except the initial JavaOne 2007 Flash cloned demos, are between "Hello, World!" and ugly.

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 7:45am in response to: Mikael Grev

Yeah, and where's the MigLayout integration? *grin*

Are these guys still in the dark ages? :-)


Mikael Grev replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 8:25am in response to: Jacek Furmankiewicz

> Yeah, and where's the MigLayout integration?

Hehe, yeah I should get to it should't I..

"Since it is Open Source you can add it yourself" I hear some are saying.. ;)

The Swing team is not aware of the layout problem. Or they pretend not to be so they don't have to support something not created in-house. Not even when they could start fresh with JavaFX they could do it right.

Seriously I am so sick and tired of the way that desktop java is run that I have switched to iPhone coding. Too bad Objective-C is so so bad compared to Java.

[getting a cup of asfalt strength coffee to stop the cranky mood]

John Denver replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 8:27am in response to: Thom Theriault

I read your message ttheriault and it let me thinking, Yes you are right is a preview, ok I retract to all what I said, Lets see how it goes with JavaFX, I really hope JavaFX success and it will be true multiplafrom because is based in the technology I really like a lot, It is Java.

The only thing Im not agree is why let out the Linux guys, JavaFX is or will be opensource and I think the best people for find bugs and try beta's or previews are Linux people. Lets be open with this, Sun loves opensource isnt? so why is using this tactics right now?, Also JavaFX looks awesome as technology but I think the syntax and all is more for programmers than designers, the designers will use and continue use Photoshop and Ilustrator, The programmer will use JavaFX, When I see JavaFX code I feel was build with the programmer in mind than the designer.


PS. To the Intellij people I hope it will be soon a JavaFX plugin because right now the IntelliFX plugin is very buggy and doesnt work. Maybe we don't need Flex after all. 


Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 8:34am in response to: Mikael Grev

Sometimes I think it's time someone forked Java (let's call it J2) and made it managed in some real OSS community fashion.

We wouldn't have resources put into something as useless as superpackages or modules (just use OSGi and move on) while ignoring layout, properties, binding, closures, ARM, XML support, etc, etc...all the stuff that was supposes to go into Java 7 but probably won't.

 P.S. My MigLayout training at my employer went great...I had folks using it the same day and vowing to never look at GridBagLayout again. :-) Thanks to you Mikael for the best outside contribution Swing has ever gotten!


John Denver replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 8:35am in response to: Mikael Grev

Maybe we need to write a new GUI API for Java or with C++, Do you know the next ISO c++0x, C++ will have closures and type inference, optional garbage collector, concurrency with threads or MPI and many goodies?, Looks good for a GUI api with 3D hardware RIA for Windows,Linux,Mac and possible IPhone using OpenGL-ES. In the backend using Java with Spring/Hibernate spitting Json or another protocol, Comet style apps.etc.

John Denver replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 8:40am

Don't fork Java let it like that, Better use Erlang, Concurrency on its core, Distributed, Fault tolerance, It is a Functional language with first class functions, lambdas so on. I think Erlang can replace Java. or Maybe Scala for the Serverside stuff and for the front end, the new C++.


Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 8:45am in response to: John Denver

But I like Java :-)

I'd just like to see Sun invest as much effort into keeping the language current as Microsoft is putting into C#. Is that too much to ask? *grin*

John Denver replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 8:54am

Erlang have the features you want from C# and more and more elegant, of course it is a functional language you have to switch little bit your way of thinking, no OOP, also Erlang have mnesia it is a distributed dbms with Query List Comprehension(it kind of LINQ) and many many goodies, if you want to try something new I suggest to try Erlang and is proven Enterprise ready, Ericsson have Erlang in production many years and another companies too.

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 9:00am in response to: John Denver


No, thanks. Not for me. As I said, I like Java and its general design and API (even though there's a lot of improvements in the implementation).

John Denver replied on Tue, 2008/08/05 - 9:12am in response to: Jacek Furmankiewicz

Yeah me too I like Java Jacek just I found Erlang and It looks very interesting, Erlang yes is no OOP but you can model OOP as think of Javascript but in elegant way, but Erlang is Cuncurrent Oriented means for the coming multicores era. also you have to split your code in blocks(me i call them Objects for example) and each block will comunicate each other by sending a message, think like smalltalk sending message paradigm. So it is not an OOP Language but I think in its roots it is a message sending, concurrent, functional, no share memory language.

The Erlang book from Joe Armstrong explain better the language than me if you are interested heheh.

Anyway Long live Java.



Greg Ewing replied on Wed, 2008/08/06 - 2:24am

Personally I am overjoyed to see this moving along. We have a hugely successful desktop app for sports analysis written using Swing and Quicktime but Apple are deprecating the Quicktime for Java API leaving us with no viable java solutions to do the heavy-duty multimedia work. Windows and Mac are where all our desktop customers are so I can happily wait a little longer for Linux desktop support. I will still be using Linux for any server-side needs.

Vincent DABURON replied on Wed, 2008/08/06 - 4:06am


I'm like gregeaus, very happy to see the launch of Javafx.

I use Quicktime for java for one of my sourceforge projets : contactsheetfromvideo (http://contactsheetvid.sourceforge.net/) extracts images from one or multi video files and create a contact sheet.


I try also Java for Videolan, FFMPEG-Java and finaly Quicktime for Java and and i hope JavaFx effectively replace these three solutions around the video processing.

With this JavaFx preview i can play DV video and WMV on Windows XP.


Vincent D.



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