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Leading-Edge Java
Jacob Lehrbaum Explains JavaFX Mobile
Interviews from JavaOne 2007
by Frank Sommers and Bill Venners
May 24, 2007

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Summary
Sun's biggest announcement at JavaOne 2007 was its renewed interest in the client and, specifically, a client-side framework the company dubbed JavaFX. Obligatory keynote demos notwithstanding, many conference attendees were buffled just what JavaFX meant. In this interview with Artima, Jacob Lehrbaum, Sun's client systems group product line manager, describes the mobile version of JavaFX, and provides the big picture of where JavaFX fits in with other client-side Java technologies.

Sun's renewed interest in client-side Java was welcomed by many JavaOne 2007 attendees. Just what that interest meant, however, was not clear to many, not the least because Sun decided to introduce a new technology, JavaFX, to further cloud the client-side landscape.

JavaFX was understood by many to be primarily a high-level scripting language based on Sun engineer Chris Oliver's Form Follows Function, or F3, language. JavaFX, however, is meant to be more than just a scripting language for the client. In his interview with Artima, Jacob Lehrbaum, Sun's product line manager for client-side Java, explains that JavaFX is a client-side layer above the regular Java APIs that allow the easy creation and deployment of media-rich Java applications.

Lehrbaum manages the mobile side of JavaFX, and in the interview talks about how JavaFX relates to APIs already available in Java ME for consumer-facing applications. While mobile Java standards, such as the Mobile Services Architecture (MSA), JSRs 248 and 249, are important to provide a broad technology base that all mobile infrastructure providers can leverage, JavaFX is a Sun product that the company hopes to license to mobile phone makers and even to set-top box manufacturers.

JavaFX Mobile's main value is that it provides an integrated stack that developers can rely on for various pieces of a mobile application, such as accessing Web services and displaying multimedia. The mobile JavaFX stack will pick up where the various Java ME JSRs left off, and fill important wholes in mobile Java, such as providing multimedia codecs.

Click to download audio Jacob Lehrbaum, product line manager for client-side Java at Sun, describes Java FX Mobile (6:12 minutes).

What do you think JavaFX mobile as a client-side platform?

Post your opinion in the discussion forum.

About the authors

Frank Sommers is Editor-in-Chief of Artima Developer. He also serves as chief editor of the IEEE Technical Committee on Scalable Computing's newsletter, and is an elected member of the Jini Community's Technical Advisory Committee. Prior to joining Artima, Frank wrote the Jiniology and Web services columns for JavaWorld.

Bill Venners is president of Artima, Inc. He is author of the book, Inside the Java Virtual Machine, a programmer-oriented survey of the Java platform's architecture and internals. His popular columns in JavaWorld magazine covered Java internals, object-oriented design, and Jini. Bill has been active in the Jini Community since its inception. He led the Jini Community's ServiceUI project, whose ServiceUI API became the de facto standard way to associate user interfaces to Jini services. Bill also serves as an elected member of the Jini Community's initial Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), and in this role helped to define the governance process for the community.



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