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Paying The Price for JavaFX

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They say every silver lining has a cloud. We all got quite excited about JavaFX finally giving us Java across an array of devices and great video capabilities. Finally, desktop Java was going to make it. Then as I read Dion's blog entry entitled Sun is bleeding; More engineers leave as JavaFX is pimped, I started to get worried.

To summarise, with leading engineers such as Chet Haase and the CTO of the client division moving onto Adobe, we need to wonder what Sun are focussing on. Sure, it was great to hear that JavaFX was getting a push at JavaONE but I was under the impression that it wouldn't be at the expense of other parts of the platform - especially not Swing.

I hope that in the next few months developers aren't paying the price for Sun's decision to market JavaFX. If JavaFX could be looked on as an addition to Java, to get into some new spaces like RIA I'd be fine with that. Until Java 5, I don't think that Swing developers got a fair deal - but the improvements started to come in, and developers were more content with Swing. But that doesn't mean it's perfect. To keep up with the industry APIs like Swing need constant focus, and great developers behind it.

Things that are added to JavaFX don't need to be exclusive. For example, the ON2 video codecs that are being added to JavaFX would be quite welcome in the core Java platform too.

I'd agree with Dion, that JavaONE could be more productive - less focus on marketing and Neil Young, more focus on developers. I also don't see why a few big announcements couldn't be made, rather than just a full focus on JavaFX.

Do you think we'll be paying the price for Sun's focus on JavaFX? Or is it a good time for this shift in focus?




Mike Hurbert replied on Sun, 2008/05/18 - 7:12am

I think JavaFX is DOA.

Instead of JavaFX, Sun should have done some serious house cleaning of the Java platform and produced an "applet profile", giving a lightweight, high-performance plug-in.

Such an applet profile might look more like J2ME (and, in fact, start with that and add better browser integration.

It should probably also include a new, lightweight toolkit.

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