System News
Innovating@Sun Podcast on JavaFX
A Look at Sun's New Rich Internet Application Tool
December 8, 2008,
Volume 130, Issue 2

JavaFX 1.0...a new and improved Rich Internet Application tool
 

Hal Stern, VP, Global Systems Engineering, and Danny Coward, Chief Architect of Sun's Client Software Group talk on the release of JavaFX 1.0. Java FX is described as a leading-edge software platform for creating Rich Internet Applications across all screens, including browsers, desktops, mobile devices and TV.

JavaFX is built entirely in Java with the programming environment based around JavaFX Script, which Coward describes as a special purpose language designed solely to leverage the great graphical support and the scalable high-performance features in the JVM, making it easy to expose into applications.

JavaFX Script is a Java-like syntax, declarative in nature, with such special features as data binding and triggers, that focuses on animated, very interactive applications, Coward continued. This capability addresses the change over that past decade that has created the need for direct interaction with customers. JavaFX 1.0 focuses on immersing consumers in rich media layered with graphics, animations, and transitions through the devices they use daily.

JavaFX runs on top of JVM, whether in HotSpot on the desktop or on the JVM's typically found on mobile phones, Coward explained. Layering on top of that has resulted in a more consistent development experience for developers who want to reach multiple clients with their applications, he explained. The JVM smooths out the differences underneath the device layer, making deployment easier.

While JavaFX can be delivered through a browser, it can also be used to write standalone applications. Included in the SDK is a mobile emulator, which alludes to the capabilities to be expected in the next release, which will include APIs for developing on mobile phones, according to Coward.

Coward said one of the more remarkable features of JavaFX is that one can pull an application out of the web page, close down the browser and have it still run. Furthermore, the application can be installed as a regular desktop applications: something the other RIA applications still can't manage. This, Coward emphasized is essentially a simple drag-and-drop operation.

Another useful feature that JavaFX includes is Project Now, Coward continued, a collection of plug-ins to such popular design tools as Illustrator and Photoshop that allow graphic artists to export their artwork to developers in JavaFX format. That artwork can then be put into a data-rich application.

Responding to a question from Stern about the target audience for JavaFX 1.0, Coward said, in effect, the intention was to let the solution sell itself, which he felt confident it would do once consumers learned just how much the solution can accomplish and how easily.

Stern also asked just why Sun should be involving itself with client software, and Coward responded that clients bring traffic that allows business to connect, and, hence, more infrastructure is required, which an infrastructure company such as Sun is ideally positioned to answer.

Stern suggested that mobile banking, by cell phone, would be a logical development of the adoption of JavaFX, and Coward concurred, adding that he expected to see JavaFX advancing very, very quickly.

Listen to the entire podcast through this link.

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