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Has JavaFX Hurt Client-Side Java?

34 replies on 3 pages. Most recent reply: Feb 6, 2009 6:30 PM by Ray McDermott

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Quinton Wang

Posts: 1
Nickname: wruoca
Registered: Feb, 2005

Re: Has JavaFX Hurt Client-Side Java? Posted: Nov 12, 2008 12:51 AM
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Wasn't Swing running underline for JavaFX?

IMHO, JavaFX is a great invention as it combines the speed of Java and easy-use of script languages. Though Sun currently targets JavaFX for client-side, it may have a lot of potential for broader use, e.g. server-side.

Cheers,

Quinton

Jiri Goddard

Posts: 54
Nickname: goddard
Registered: May, 2007

Re: Has JavaFX Hurt Client-Side Java? Posted: Nov 12, 2008 4:45 PM
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imho there's a binding to sql and some services that should be available in the future...

Stephen Graham

Posts: 5
Nickname: sgraham
Registered: Jan, 2006

Re: Has JavaFX Hurt Client-Side Java? Posted: Nov 15, 2008 5:51 AM
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I think Swing is pretty good right now. It does just about everything I need for the wide range of applications that I write. I would dearly love for Sun the parent of this technology be more supportive and proud of the technology, as I believe this would give GUI developers confidence in choosing Swing for their GUI applications. Flex is a great example of what can be acheived when a company whole-heatedly gets behind supporting, developing and promoting a technology. I'm amazed by how many times I find myself thinking "gee maybe I should get into Flex, it's got a lot of momentum, and some of the people spruiking it are former heavyweights of the Swing community". I'm amazed because of how ridiculous I find the idea of programming in XML.

My major concern about Sun's current attitude towards Swing is that it makes it much more unlikely for new projects to choose Swing as the GUI technology. Sure there's a reasonable amount of Swing work available now, but what about in two years time when the current projects have finished and nobody has chosen Swing for new ones.

I haven't examined this in detail but it seems to me that posts on Artima about Swing get many more responses than posts on other subjects. This tells me that the Swing community is very large, passionate and busy. (subjective of course).

Frank Sommers

Posts: 2642
Nickname: fsommers
Registered: Jan, 2002

Re: Has JavaFX Hurt Client-Side Java? Posted: Nov 17, 2008 1:57 AM
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Thinking from Sun's perspective, the client is probably very important, because it's a receptacle for, and collector of, data: The client is what entices customers to use an application, and it is where users interface with data. Developers do spend a significant amount of time and effort creating UIs, so making that easy would be a big win.

And it really is all about the data. Successful business models are those now that enable customers to make better use of their data, e.g., make better decisions, better analysis, etc.

Sun has all the ingredients to make that easy, both in terms of hardware and software, but few layers work seamlessly well together. Why not finish the job, and create a seamless, end-to-end story of how to capture, process, store, and analyze data in the most efficient manner possible? My opinion is that they'd need a Jobs-like person who'd make that seamless usability the top priority.

For example, if Sun made it very easy for developers to create enticing GUIs that simplify customer-facing application building, especially for business applications, in such a way that those UIs can directly pump data in and out of Java-based back-ends, and then offered compelling products to slice and dice that data very fast, I think that would be a compelling business model, because that sort of capability is worth a lot of money to enterprises.

Such UIs have to be accessible via HTTP, and it has to be easy to model relatively complex data relationships with such UIs. Swing is only half-way there now: It lacks an official, well-supported data binding standard, it's data presentation capabilities are lacking components (formatters, tree-tables anyone?), and it's deployment story is still not complete. SwingX, and some other projects, came up with some of those. I think they'd need to finish those and roll them into a Swing 2.0-sort of release.

Most important, however, Swing offers no clear, easy-to-use mechanism to tie a Swing UI into a back-end application. There are, of course, many ways to achieve that, but none of them are trivially easy. Yes, you need the Web services gunk (Swing doesn't even have that seamlessly integrated), but have a simply asynchronous model for data access directly to Java objects, to EJB3, or something like that. Again, it can be done by developers, but there are tons of ways of doing that, and there'd need to be one, well-supported way that comes directly with Swing.

Flex, by contrast, provides extensive data visualization and presentation abilities, provides a simple data binding mechanism, and its deployment story is as good as such things can get. Also, Flex has a very simple, but effective, mechanism to tie into Java-based back-ends.

I would love to see Swing succeed, in part because, again, this would benefit Sun, too. And there're an awful lot of terrific people working at Sun who really deserve to see this thing just completely succeed.

Ray McDermott

Posts: 1
Nickname: 54621
Registered: Mar, 2008

Re: Has JavaFX Hurt Client-Side Java? Posted: Feb 6, 2009 6:30 PM
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> blah ... java is COBOL ... blah ... All the other major
> languages have corporate angel... blah blah

Hmmmm ... pure trollware. And I fell for it ;>)

To which major languages do you refer? Who are the angels for c, c++, ruby, perl, python... even sql, fortran and smalltalk?

Corporates often seed innovation (for various complex motivations), though IMO open source accelerates innovation in unbounded ways that corporates finally limit. Which is why sun is going with openJDK. Of course the VM is a fabulous place for new languages and I don't think that level of variety has been seen before...

Back on topic, FX is the new (corporate seeded!) language on the VM that makes building many Web 2.0+ visuals easier - languages should always focus on making the possible easy, since that is their essential value proposition.

JavaFX augments client-side Java in the short term as they inter-operate well. Swing will be replaced over time as its core capabilities are quickly duplicated in this powerful new language.

blah blah ;-)

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