JavaOne 2008: How JavaFX Has Grown in Just One Year

If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought I was at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Vegas yesterday morning instead of the opening keynote at the JavaOne 2008 Conference in San Francisco. Demos featured handheld book readers and graphics-rich “eye candy” applications on mobile devices, desktops, and the web; video presentations featured young hipsters immersed in the pop culture content and communication features of their mobile devices; and much of the talk from Sun Software EVP Rich Green centered on the consumer’s digital life and rich experiences on various devices. So what’s all that stuff have to do with Java? The devices all run Java, and the JavaFX Runtime that Sun announced during the session attempts to allow seamless portability of Java SE and ME applications among all devices through the Java platform.


Enter the theme for JavaOne this year: Java + You (if you’re reading this, you’re probably a Java developer and that “You” likely is closer to the 2006 Time Magazine Person of the Year than to you in particular); it refers to consumers, graphic and web designers, and scripting language programmers who use PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, Perl, and others. Sun continues to court designers and scripters by making the Java platform more accessible to them, largely because their numbers are much larger than those of core Java developers. With enterprise Java entrenched in data centers all over the world, Sun can—and has—turned its attention to higher levels of the software stack—focusing sharply on RIAs (rich Internet applications) for desktops,  mobile devices, and the web, and their ability to leverage features of the underlying Java platform. JavaFX is another step in that direction.


I wasn’t overly impressed when Sun first announced JavaFX at last year’s JavaOne, but this year, the demos (more to come on those) showed that Sun has worked to close the gap between a JavaFX vision and real JavaFX technology.


Stay tuned to the DevXtra Editors’ Blog for more details from JavaOne…

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