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Using the JavaFX Preview SDK on Linux

08.06.2008
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The I Hear Voices: Post JavaFX SDK Preview Release post highlighted some positive feedback from the developer community.  The same post on JavaLobby was met with responses that made it clear that several developers in the Linux community are frustrated by the fact that only Windows and Mac are officially supported by this technical preview release.

I asked Mike Gionfriddo (JavaFX Architect at Sun) to join the fray during some questions about Linux support in a previous post, and he posted this comment, repeated here 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,
Mike"

As a result of the question about whether the JavaFX Preview SDK will run on Linux, Weiqi Gao posted an article on his blog entitled "Watch JavaFX SDK Run---On Linux". 

Javafxsdkrunningonlinux

In this article he explains the steps that he took in successfully obtaining, installing, and using the JavaFX Preview SDK on Linux.  Go there and check it out!

Thanks Weiqi!
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.)

Comments

John Denver replied on Wed, 2008/08/06 - 4:28am

Jim, do you think in the release of JavaFX it will be support for Linux or after some releases?, I think the support of Linux is critical as Windows and Mac for the adoption of JavaFX and it supouse that JavaFX will be opensource  as Java so it is important it runs in Linux and FreeBSD if is possible.

Jim Weaver replied on Wed, 2008/08/06 - 6:11am in response to: John Denver

Jim, do you think in the release of JavaFX it will be support for Linux or after some releases?, I think the support of Linux is critical as Windows and Mac for the adoption of JavaFX and it supouse that JavaFX will be opensource  as Java so it is important it runs in Linux and FreeBSD if is possible.

Sidewinder,

My crystal ball is in the repair shop, and I don't speak for Sun, but my guess is that Linux will be supported in JavaFX SDK 1.0

Thanks,

Jim Weaver

John Denver replied on Wed, 2008/08/06 - 7:59am

Heheh crystal ball, Thanks for the info Jim.

Best Regards.

PS.I just bought a copy of your book and it looks great, Thanks.

Jim Weaver replied on Wed, 2008/08/06 - 8:48am in response to: John Denver

Heheh crystal ball, Thanks for the info Jim.

Best Regards.

PS.I just bought a copy of your book and it looks great, Thanks.

Thanks.  The book was written for the older, interpreted version of JavaFX, so while the *concepts* carry over well, the syntax and API have changed.

Thanks!

Jim Weaver

Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Thu, 2008/08/07 - 3:58pm

"These two platforms are widely used for the designer/scripter community"

 Pfffff... I refuse to work on Windows, and the Mac doesn't do Java 6.  At least, my MacBook I bought 18 months ago doesn't.

As a Linux user for years, on which I've done all my Java development since last century, I'm deeply insulted.

I find JavaFX a strange rogue scripty type of weird language. It's far too "programmery", too "cody", in my opinion. Anything you do has to be done in this strange language. I have a much different vision of how to finally do something useful with Java2D.

Chandra Sekar.S replied on Fri, 2008/08/08 - 2:26pm in response to: Jim Weaver

It really may not be available for Linux.  This page says,

Supported Platforms
Java SE 1.6 Update 10 on Windows XP, Vista 
Java SE 1.6 Update 5 on Mac OS X

Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Fri, 2009/01/16 - 12:21pm

I'm re-iterating my belief that Sun is lying about JavaFX for Linux. Video playback seems to be the sole real actual problem. Video is very messy on Linux. It always has been kind of illegal on Linux, at least, that's my perception. If I want to play back video on Linux, I always find myself having to go to a Hungarian site and download mplayer, which is probably the most amazing video player ever made on any platform. In terms of features, it's literally insane, and there is nothing even remotely close to it. That program alone, makes Linux the best platform for video playback, period. But, it uses copyrighted codecs, and thus, we don't see these video codecs flourish in Java. All we're seeing is little hacky attempts for Java that come and go. Nothing sticks, and we're not seeing video management and editing applications in Java as a result. Java would be a great platform to write video applications on.

So back to JavaFX for Linux. If it does happen, great! Happy happy joy joy. But it won't I'm afraid, despite the reassuring sincere messages, which are already long past. And the clandestine instructions to hack a Mac distro and make it run on Linux is cute, but it still leaves us without video.

Legal video on Linux would mean one could make PVR and video album software for low cost tv set top boxes. And I think that's exactly the kind of control they don't wish for us to have. Maybe not Sun, but certainly the codec boys. Look at how Microsoft goes ass over teakettle to intentionally make everything as proprietary as possible. Java and Linux is a direct threat to these proprietary strategies.

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