Stephen Chin, creator of WidgetFX and co-author of the Pro JavaFX Platform book, spoke recently with Reviews Interactive on the subject of JavaFX and his involvement with it. Chin said he does his development work on a quad-core, 64-bit Windows box; a Mac that enables him to test WidgetFX natively across platforms; and an HTC Diamond on which he develops and deploys JavaFX Mobile code.
Among Chin's favorite new features available in JavaFX 1.2 are Skinnable Controls, New Layout Classes, and Charting Support. He also cited his JavaFX 1.2 Top 10 and Migration Guide as a helpful guide to additional new features.
As to how JavaFX has or will change the lives of developers, Chin opined that, while browser incompatibilities still figure into the picture, JavaFX is making the best use of client technology with a rich scenegraph, elegant animation support, and built-in
media playback, which it combines with web service access, designer skinning and tools, and full browser integration. "For the first time, Java client and web developers can join forces to build applications that are immersive rather than tiered," he said, adding that he personally plans to develop JavaFX apps for the Java Store.
Peering into his crystal ball, what Chin discerns for the future of JavaFX is a growing appreciation of its ability to deliver write-once, run-anywhere capabilities to such mediums as the Internet, television, mobile phones and desktop widgets, which will dramatically reduce time-to-market of innovative solutions, and unlock applications that are undreamt of today.
Comparing JavaFX to Flex, Chin remarked that the older Flex has an extremely large API but that, despite a smaller API for JavaFX, it is clean and provides access to the full breadth of available JavaAPIs and libraries. Further, he said, JavaFX enables users to access the full capabilities of the system right from the browser.
His own future plans for JavaFX include further work on WidgetFX, Chin said, noting the favorable response it has found in the developer community. He also plans to work on JFXtras, which he described as a small collection of essential utilities and add-ons to augment the limitations of JavaFX, along with work on the new JFXtras Community Site, an open resource for the JavaFX community. Chin also said readers could expect announcements in the future on mobile development and JavaFX UI testing.
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