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Rebooted: JavaFX 2.0 Beta Released

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Oracle released the beta SDK for JavaFX 2.0 yesterday, following up on the announcement from last years JavaOne that JavaFX was to be rebooted. The major differencein the new version is that it provides Java APIs for JavaFX, allowing you to use JavaFX from within your normal Java applications. There's also a a new hardware accelerated graphics pipeline and a new media engine. You can now download the beta SDK and runtime, as well as a JavaFX 2.0 Beta plugin for NetBeans from the JavaFX download page. It's worth noting that your old JavaFX applications won't run on the new runtime, as JavaFX Script is no longer supported. 

Following the announcement, many people on Twitter have noted their disappointment that  JavaFX is currently only available for Windows at the time being - Mac and Linux support is due to follow later for the general public. An early access version for Mac OSX is available for members of the JavaFX Partner Program. 

This release will allow developers to kick the tyres on the reincarnation of JavaFX, and submit bug reports/request features to Oracle: 

If you believe you've found a defect in JavaFX and would like to submit a bug report, or if you would like to suggest a new feature or feature enhancement to the platform, you can do so by visiting and creating an account at http://javafx-jira.kenai.com. Once you have logged in, select 'Issues', then 'Create Issue' from the top navigation bar on the page. Next, select the 'Runtime' project, and select whether you are submitting a bug or a feature request. Follow the instructions on the page to give us as much information as you can. If we need anything else from you we will contact you for more details, but the more you can tell us ahead of time, the better!

While looking at the JavaFX site, I was very impressed by the level of documentation and tutorials to get users started with JavaFX 2.0. This shows a real committment to the language from Oracle. 

The Getting Started With JavaFX tutorial will show you how to write your first app from within the NetBeans IDE.  From looking through that article, it looks very easy to get an application together. 

I have no doubt that this release will improve Java's presence on the desktop. With community involvement from the beginning with this early version, there's enough of an opportunity for JavaFX to evolve properly. Like a lot of other Java developers, I'll be spending my weekend getting to grips with the new API. 

Are you positive about the future of JavaFX, and do you believe it will revitalize Java on the desktop?





Otengi Miloskov replied on Fri, 2011/05/27 - 3:50am

This is awesome. Java GUI on the desktop it is a reality really. Kudos to Oracle!.

Aymen Ben Hmida replied on Fri, 2011/05/27 - 7:07am

hope javaFx will evolve rapidly to counter the adobe Flex platform

Anew Hope replied on Fri, 2011/05/27 - 9:12am

This is very nice. I installed it on Windows 7 but had difficulty with the Netbeans plugin installation. If you install Netbeans 7 (I installed the JEE version) without updating the stock plugins (go to plugins menu item and update everything), it will not work... After installing the JavaFX plugins, Netbeans is unable to load even the most basic stock plugins. Thankfully I had noticed a news feed about Netbeans 7 patch 1 and figured I had to make sure I had that before installing the JavaFX plugins. That did the trick. The examples provided look and perform much better than the old ones... still cheesy but better nonetheless. I'm sad that the Linux and Mac versions aren't in public beta yet but am relieved that they are available in the private early release.

Marko Milicevic replied on Fri, 2011/05/27 - 9:54am

Anyone know of any webstart demos?

There is a lot of potential here. But it's not clear how much life is left for the non-HTML5 RIA runtimes, such as JavaFX?

My guess is that the majority of future use will be HTML, but there will still be some usecases (high performance scenarios like games, heavy multimedia/interaction, maybe business apps?...) where the benefits of JavaFX will outweigh html.

HTML integration is essential, and they have delivered well with the Webkit Scene Graph Node, which is awesome. 2D/3D, multimedia, hardware acceleration, all great.

Having this fully integrated into the Griffon framework would be sweet.

Oracle should pay JIDEsoft (or buy them) to create hyper-souped up versions of all their business components, that also integrate seamlessly with their current Swing components. That could quickly launch JavaFx into the business world.

For the consumer-side, maybe the play is for Oracle to either get in bed with Adobe or buy them? Ultimately JavaFX needs designer support. The fast track to that might be deep, first-class, Adobe designer tool Suite support. Going a step further (and probably a very difficult feat), if Flash was re-implemented using JavaFx so that every Flash download was a JavaFx download, then things could get interesting from the consumer-side.

"FlashFx" would also allow Flex to integrate with JavaFx. I know the Flex community is dying for a more robust, developer-oriented, evolution of the Flex framework.

Guido Amabili replied on Fri, 2011/05/27 - 10:14am

Sorry I do not have time to test JavaFX 2 right but I am curious about the licensing model.
Still something special ?


Jonathan Fisher replied on Sat, 2011/05/28 - 1:03am

HTML5/Javascript will of course compete against JavaFX... I see JavaFX having potential in a couple of areas... One, it runs without a browser. So if your enterprise is stuck on IE6 (don't laugh, I know a very large wireless communications company that has IE6 as it's 'official' browser) this might be a good space. Two, Java is still light years ahead of Javascript on runtime performance (Why no good javascript implementations in Java still is bizarre to me). Three JavaFX is java, so if you can't hire an HTML5 expert, but you have Java talent laying around in your org, you could put them to work with JavaFX. None of these are real strong, and with Flash still dominating, I don't think we'll see an explosion of JavaFX apps. It's really cool technology, but it should have been released when applet died and flash wasn't installed by default.

Farouk Alhassan replied on Sat, 2011/05/28 - 5:16am

Why do people always think desktop  = browser?? Not every application must run in a browser and for most desktop use cases, the browser doesn't cut it. Any application that does anything with smart cards is hell to implement with a browser or any application that needs access to the operating system. JavaFX is filling a huge gap created by the RIA noise. try implementing an application that must push notifications to a runtime and you are in a void space. flash can only run as areceiving client. events are so difficult to synchronise back to a java runtime we had to go back to swing and in the end implemented it with GWT and tomcat on someone's desktop. So there is a huge new world created by this JavaFX release.

Jay Huang replied on Sat, 2011/05/28 - 9:03am

It's good news for Java but I don't know what's the prupose of JavaFX ? What's the problem that it's trying to solve. Is it becase "old" java non-productive with bad performance ? What's wrong with Java Swing on desktop and Java Applets on web ?  For me, the problem of Java on desktop or in RIA space  is always the deployment issue with ever large run time and takes too long to load at first time. If JavaFX has its own runtime that is as small as Flash runtime and can be loaded as fast as Flash, then JavaFX will take off. Until then, we'll not see much of JavaFX in RIA space. I agree with Marko Milicevic that Oracel should be in bed with Adobe or at least learn some success from Flash.



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Antonio Sorrentini replied on Sat, 2011/05/28 - 8:53pm

I really think this is a huge step forward for java on the desktop and in the browser and this is something I was desparately waiting for years. Finally JavaFX makes sense and this could really open a whole new huge set of opportunities for the java platform on the client side. The WebKit based web component is in itself such an enormous and long waited news that I'm almost crying for the happiness. Now there are just a few things left to hope for: a) that it works well and as soon as possible on both Mac OS X and Linux; b) That the startup time is really good and speed; c) (but maybe this is just a dream...) that java 7 and javafx could start working even on phones, tablets and the like (at least on those devices that are based on Linux and Windows). Well this would definitely pose a strong and greatly desired treat to the html/js/svg hellness for client side applications for both desktops and handheld devices. Anyway, as for now, I have to say it: thanks very much Oracle, I was almost losing any hope for java on the client side, instead you just made a very good move!

Otengi Miloskov replied on Sun, 2011/05/29 - 8:47pm

For the license go to this link and read : http://www.dzone.com/links/yesss_java_fx_runtime_is_distributable_the_future.html But I resume here, It will have the same license as Java SE deployment and Libraries so more Kudos to Oracle!. Java needs JavaFX 2, Java2D and Swing are nice but begin to show their age, with JavaFX2 I can skin a control with just css yeeahh!!. Big potential here people, The language we love, the runtime we love is receiving graphics and UI love!.

Jonathan Fisher replied on Sun, 2011/05/29 - 11:44pm

Another dream: JavaFX on android! Oh the portability... this would be amazing

Philippe Lhoste replied on Mon, 2011/05/30 - 7:43am

Some months ago, I would have jumped on this release.

Now, I think I will wait patiently a bit for the dust to settle...

I find strange that with a quick glance at the JavaFX 2.0 beta documentation site, I was not able to find the license... I mean, that's one of the first things one will look for, before making something beyond the usual test applications. Hey, even before starting to invest a good amount of time to learn the whole thing!

I had to go back to this article, read the comments to find somebody (thanks!) mentioning an article pointing to the FAQ which mentions a possible ("expected to be") licensing model... OK, I suppose we can believe them and expect the final version to be available with the same licensing as Java, ie. we can redistribute binaries as we want, for free. Addressing a big issue of the previous versions where offline start of a JavaFX application was simply not possible (not without some tricks), not even allowed!

Ah, I will probably finally go and try to adapt some of the old JavaFX code I wrote in the past. Most probably using Scala (at least the long gap gave me some time to learn the bases of Scala...). Will be nicer to use than Java and closer of our good old defunct JavaFX script.

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