Feeds

Sun's JavaFX must toolup against Adobe - pronto

Ask not for whom the school bell tolls...

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

JavaFX, part 2 Sun Microsystems lost the first Rich Internet Application (RIA) war when Macromedia (now part of Adobe) ate its applets for lunch following a schoolyard brawl. Now Sun has a second chance.

But, to succeed in such an unforgiving market, Sun needs something special. A mature, powerful platform, a buzzing community, some seriously talented people with an eye for visual design, and some butt-kicking WYSIWYG tools so that non-programmers are invited to the party as well.

JavaFX ticks some of these boxes, and it has tools on the way. These tools, though, are going to make or break its chances. And they're a little late, to be honest. Spring 2008 was mentioned for the visual development environment. Spring has given way to glorious summer.

Currently there's a limited NetBeans plug-in that provides some text editing and compiler support, but that's as far as it goes. There is no tree-based navigator view of a file, there's no properties view of the current node - you just have to either guess or know what properties are available or valid. And, above all, there is (as yet) no WYSIWYG graphical user interface editing. These are all things you currently get for Swing development.

If Sun's goal is to compete with Adobe's Flash or Silverlight from Microsoft, then a Matisse-based visual editor should have been one of the first toys to be pulled out of the box. It should be right at the center of the rich client development experience rather than a "potential add-on some time", leaving third-party vendors to pick up the slack.

Hard lessons of EJB

My main concern with JavaFX, though, is that there is no clearly targeted audience. Web designers? Java-literate programmers? What problem is Sun attempting to solve here? JavaFX is very programmer-centric, but not even as "friendly" as Swing.

Even those involved in its development don't appear to be sure. In this interview, senior engineer in Sun's Java client group Amy Fowler is asked about the target audience for JavaFX. Her reply suggests that there just isn't a clear answer at the moment. She divides JavaFX into two conceptual areas and talks about each area separately. This harkens back to the artificial separation of roles in the original Enterprise Java Bean (EJB) spec.

Given the success of Adobe's Flex, the mission statement for JavaFX should simply be: make JavaFX 1.0 just like Flex.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Java advantage

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.