05 February 2010

Oracle's Intentions With JavaFX

After Oracle made announcements of their various strategies it is a good step in the right direction. Especially when they announced that they “will invest heavily in JavaFX”. However Oracle have not mentioned a single word on what they plan to do with JavaFX Script. Will some of Oracle's investment include further developing JavaFX Script?

Many people that have reviewed JavaFX have often cited JavaFX Script as one of the major strengths of the JavaFX platform. Currently Oracle have not revealed if they intend to further develop JavaFX Script, and if so what improvements will be made. If Oracle is serious about supporting JavaFX (especially in their own business) then when will they start migrating all of their Flash/Flex applications to JavaFX?

What hasn't been mentioned by Oracle is their roadmap for JavaFX. At the moment nothing concrete has been revealed about the long term plans for JavaFX so that the community knows exactly where it is heading. Hopefully under Oracle's watch they will do a good job of covering what is currently happening with JavaFX on a reasonably regular basis, which does not leave the community almost completely in the dark. Although it is understandable that Oracle have not delved too much into the details surely additional information could have been provided.

Although this may sound like a crazy idea Oracle should consider buying RIM. Not much momentum is expected with this although I could be proven wrong about it, we will have to wait and see. JavaFX needs a proper mobile hardware platform to show what it can really offer to businesses and mobile developers. If Oracle were to purchase RIM they would benefit by:

  • Having a missing part that will make the solution even more complete (can provide mobile hardware – via Blackberry smart phones), unification
  • Being able to provide an optimal JavaFX experience (for users) by being able to tweak the hardware to run JavaFX mobile applications very well
  • Accessing additional markets that RIM are currently involved in like government, business professionals, consumers
  • Being able to deliver unique mobile solutions that not only cover software but also the hardware
  • The increased adoption of JavaFX on mobile platforms with providing an official mobile hardware platform where JavaFX mobile applications work very well

Clearly from Oracle's strategy with JavaFX they know the technology very well, and are mostly heading in the right direction with it. However Oracle need to provide safe multi-threading (concurrent programming) capabilities for JavaFX Script, and bolster the JavaFX APIs with support for a wider range of UI technologies (eg touch screens, 3D graphics). On the official Customer Feedback And Ideas For JavaFX forum these are the top ten feedback/ideas (ordered by rank):

  1. Create more native components, like form items, grids and menus
  2. Quick application startup
  3. Allow us to distribute the JavaFX runtime binary
  4. More JavaFX Runtime Ports, Windows Mobile/CE, Symbian, BlackBerry, Ubuntu on ARM, Chrome OS, Maemo
  5. Thread-safe JavaFX
  6. 3D support
  7. Multi-touch capabilities
  8. A full featured editor for editing Animations, UI
  9. Table widget with sorting, scrolling etc
  10. HTML renderer

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