JavaFX: New Paradigm in Rich Internet Applications

“Most scripting languages are oriented at banging out Web pages. This is oriented around interfaces that are highly animated.” —James Gosling, [1]

“There are parts of the world where a person’s desktop computer is their cell phone, and that’s the kind of end point that we’re going to et
to.” —James Gosling, [2]

It is a natural phenomenon to think about learning and adopting new technologies while there exists some well-established and popular ones, it is the scenario prevailing with the rich internet application (RIA) development landscape. There has been a constant demand
for RIAs to provide interactive content applications and services that would run on a variety of clients with new features and capabilities. RIAs are basically the web applications that have the features and
functionality of traditional desktop applications. They typically transfer the processing necessary for the user interface to the web client but keep the bulk of the data (i.e., maintaining the state of the program, the data etc) back on the application server.

To simplify and speed up the creation and deployment of high-impact content for a wide range of devices, Sun Microsystems announced
JavaFX, a family of products based on Java technology to create Rich Internet applications (RIAs).


JavaFX: Sun’s New Product Family and Technologies

The Java revolution, which started more than a decade ago, gains even more momentum with the arrival of JavaFX. It is a new innovation targeting the billions of consumer devices and computers powered by Java technology.

JavaFX comprises a comprehensive set of runtime environments, widgets, development tools, and scripting environments. It aims to provide a consistent user experience across a wide variety of devices including desktops, (as applets and stand-alone clients) set-top boxes, mobile devices and Blu-Ray players.

Sun Microsystems first announced JavaFX at the JavaOne developer’s conference in May 2007. The JavaFX products are intended to create Rich Internet applications (RIAs). Currently JavaFX consists of JavaFX Script and JavaFX Mobile (an OS for mobile devices), although further JavaFX products are planned. Sun plans to release JavaFX Script as an open source project, but JavaFX Mobile will be a commercial product available through an OEM license to carriers and handset manufacturers.

Now, JavaFX is going to compete with Adobe AIR and Microsoft’s Silverlight technologies to occupy space in the current RIA market.

Emergence of JavaFX

JavaFX began as a project by Chris Oliver called F3 which stands for “Form follows function”, and its purpose was to explore making GUI programming easier in general.

F3 attempted to demonstrate that we’re not exploiting the full capabilities of the Java platform for GUI development. Taking together the supporting tools like F3, Java platform is highly competitive with or superior to competing GUI development platforms such as Macromedia Flash/Flex/Open Laszlo, Adobe Apollo, Microsoft WPF/XAML, Mozilla XUL, AJAX/DHMTL.

Oct 2007 | Java Jazz Up | 9
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