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?