JavaFX – A Forever Unfinished RIA Technology
A couple of weeks ago, while I had a fun day with a bunch of my colleagues, showing them the wonders of flex development, another two of my bright colleagues used that same day, to uncover how far JavaFX is now, and what could be done with the technology today. And the answer was horrifying. It is still not done and production ready. The JavaFX project has been around for quite some time now, and it is still not done. It does not seem to be even remotely close to production quality. It just stays unfinished.
Meanwhile, Adobe has great success with the flex framework. Microsoft is pushing its silverlight technology, and will prevail on the Microsoft-minded and VisualStudio-triaged developers soon. But what does Sun and Java has to match up with? The unfinished JavaFX!
What makes it even more painful is, that JavaFX actually seems to have some good thoughts and ideas. Not anything new that we haven’t seen before, really, but still nice. Like flex, they have a declarative language for the UI definition. And like flex, one can couple that declarative language with a good backing language. Flex has ActionScript3 and JavaFX is going to have Java. This, combined with Java6 update 10 enhancements on the Next Generation Plugin and the Java Kernel for smaller runtime downloads, might even be able to make JavaFX a succeeding technology, to combat flex and silverlight. If it was done, that is.
Question is then, if not Sun already has lost the battle, simply by being too late to the party?