Feeds

Time up for Oracle's HTML5 killer?

Message to Ellison: no more JavaFX reboots

High performance access to file storage

Open-source Java: Part Three Sun Microsystems in 2007 announced a re-imagining of GUI platform Swing with JavaFX. Swing, Sun said, had reached an architectural dead-end and need a reboot to compete on modern, Rich Internet Application (RIA) platforms.

As Sun pitched JavaFX, Adobe brought out Flex (which is based on its Flash Player plug-in) and Microsoft countered with Silverlight.

It's unfortunate that just as JavaFX 2.0 is being released, those who helped inspire it are going HTML5. Meanwhile, almost nobody uses the phrase "RIA" anymore.

Microsoft has all but sidelined Silverlight while the bell of uncertainty is tolling for Flex with Adobe's recent announcement that it is floating the Flex SDK out to the community. Adobe insists it is still behind the Flex SDK, but it seems more like a loving form of euthanasia. Adobe, meanwhile, has decided to stop development of Flash Player for mobile.

The culprit in both cases is HTML5, the next version of the web mark-up protocol that is killing closed and proprietary media stacks.

Is JavaFX - the subject of our third and final look at Java five years after Sun released it under a GPL licence - in the wrong place at the wrong time? Has it already lost and doesn't know it? Maybe not: Microsoft may have had Windows to leverage Silverlight but Adobe was the real leader thanks the the dominance of Flash and Adobe's surprise change of direction could make way for new, standards-based development tools - if Oracle can get serious on JavaFX. Delivering on its promise to open-source JavaFX might also help.

What does JavaFX have going for it? Keep a close eye on Edge, a "web motion and interaction tool" that uses HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. Preview 3 is already available. The key word in Adobe's description is "tool", and it's something that Oracle's JavaFX team appears to have misunderstood from day one.

With Adobe it's all about the tools: the platform is almost secondary, it just needs to be sufficiently kickass to support the designer-oriented toolset.

When it comes to Oracle and Java, however, the platform's the thing and tools are demonstrably an afterthought, as the database giant has shown with their continued lack of a JavaFX GUI editor.

Like a Quake Live match where all the players have dropped out leaving just one player to run silently around an empty map, Oracle may suddenly have the RIA arena all to itself. But is JavaFX good enough to capture the flag with no opposition, or will it manage to frag itself instead?

After the disaster that was JavaFX 1.0, Oracle has a lot to prove. Nevertheless, four years and another incompatible redesign later, we have version 2.0.

Time to 'fess up

While there's much that is good about this latest "'fess up to the mess up" reboot, JavaFX 2.0 is mostly defined by what's missing - a theme that also ran through the keynotes at Oracle's annual JavaOne this year. It's very revealing of the mindset involved that on the official website, the "What's New?" link actually points to the JavaFX Roadmap.

But let's start by looking at what the troubled GUI platform does have to offer.

JavaFX has three deployment models: Desktop, Applet and JNLP (WebStart). It also supports a "preloader app", which is run before the main app loads. For example, you could do things like provide a custom animated loading screen, pre-load options or run a security check. The Application class provides a convenient hook into the enclosing web page or other host service.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.