JavaFX, you using it? + TCK Response

by Tim O'Brien

JavaFX: Anyone out there using it? What are your reactions?

JavaFX was the big announcement at JavaOne this year, and in the intervening months, let's just say the roar of adoption and support has been underwhelming. Or has it? Post a comment if you are planning to use JavaFX in the near future.

Responses to the previous post: OpenJDK TCK License

Simon Phipps responded to my previous post telling me that I was "free to fork OpenJDK", but that wasn't the point. He also goes out of his way to paint me as an Apache partisan. He then went on to say that a TCK license wasn't even appropriate for Kaffe, Harmony, or GCJ because they weren't complete. Sorry to belabor this point, but all three of those independent implementations have sought access to the TCK, they did so because they wanted a measure of compatibility (or completeness if you will). Simon is essentially saying neither implementation is worthy of access to the compatibility tests because they are not compatible... Sun is playing word games, and if they want to use open source as a marketing tool, we should be holding them accountable. Play it however you will, but you are using your position as spec lead for Java as a lever to squash any hope for an independent, open-source implementation of an open standard.

Other than this TCK licensing curfuffle, I think Simon Phipps deserves a few minutes of sustained applause, possibly even an uncomfortably long standing ovation for helping to free Java. (I'm just a stickler for details.)

Red Hat's response to the TCK license

In all fairness to Simon, I wanted to repost some of the inital reactions of RedHat to the OpenJDK TCK License. Andrew Haley of RedHat posted this to openjdk-discuss shortly after the TCK license announcement on August 13th. Here are some excerpts:

...I'm disappointed that the TCK isn't going to be
available to all GPL'ed Java implementations, including those not
based on OpenJDK. I had hoped to get the Java Compatible stamp of
approval for GCJ.

And, more:

It has been somewhat frustrating that we haven't been able to work
more closely with Sun on ironing out these problems, but there are
still some legal issues to sort out, and opening up Sun's
well-established processes is doubtless a huge sink of time.

However I must point out that even given these problems we in the
free software community are in a far better position today than we
were with GCJ (and other free VMs) and GNU Classpath: with IcedTea
based on the OpenJDK code base we are much closer to Java

I'm very excited by the prospect of a 100% free and 100% compatible
Java, and I'd like to thank Sun for that. But still, there is work to
be done.

It's a mixed reaction but one that seems more positive than negative.


For people who don't know of the IcedTea distribution it is a temporary form of OpenJDK.


2007-09-20 13:10:56
Agreed; JavaFX seems half-baked at best, a lame attempt to resuscitate applets at worst. Some of the scripting capabilities seem rather powerful, but to be useful as an RIA, it will have to integrate with server-side Java code, which basically will necessitate at least some experience with "real" Java (which, by the way, embedding directly in FX Script code can be a little bizarre, syntactically). So, what development market are they really targeting?

From the (remarkably few) sample apps out there, I've been thoroughly underwhelmed with its capabilities and performance, especially compared to some of the whiz-bang UI's I've seen with Flex/Flash. Is it even possible to embed a JavaFX scriptlet within a web page or will it always be relegated to an external VM/sandbox?

Simon Phipps
2007-09-20 19:00:16
Hi Tim. A few of your assertions above about what I said aren't correct - see the * below.

The thing is, the JCK is a certification suite for a complete JDK, not a suite of independent tests for individual elements. Projects whose scope did not include being a complete JDK would not have scholarship applications accepted (*I did not prejudge their compatibility BTW, you're wrong to assert I did).

Realising that, the SOUJava user group in Brazil planned to combine Kaffe (etc) with Classpath to support a full JDK function set, and had they applied for a TCK I suspect they would have succeeded (not my decision though so I can't be sure). However, the people involved saw OpenJDK as a faster path to a full, Free Java implementation and so went that way instead.

*I did not list Harmony in my set in the comments to your earlier post. In the case of Harmony, it is a project scoped on complete implementation of the JDK and it is clearly eligible for the TCK scholarship scheme. Sun actually accepted their application and offered a JCK, but Apache declined the terms and the discussion is ongoing. Personally I wish the situation were different, but while it's in-flight I'm not keen to comment. Suffice to say that there are two sides to the discussion and I'm not saying where my personal view falls for now.

2007-09-21 08:05:38
JavaFX, while obviously in its infancy, is incredibly powerful -- I've used it, and the amount of code needed to do something is reduced tenfold. As for embedding it in a webpage, I assume that the Java Plug-in will be updated to handle JavaFX scripts.
2007-10-01 19:29:47
I just want to see the future of TCK, if the TCK is suitable for not individual, is there TCK for individual in the future?

i see that opensource is full fill any segment from enterprise to hobbyiest, and researcher, and they are belong to get access..

and the coordinator is only a long tail in one segment, but i am glad if sun is the center for those, but i dont see it

2007-10-11 06:52:35
After close review of JavaFX, I've decided I'm not going to use it anytime soon. The learning curve is big for Java developers. The offering is too little compared to the other tools out there, like Flash.

I don't understand why Sun decided to invent a new language. They could have done it differently. Maybe with annotations, XML, ...

2007-10-13 12:16:28
I made some examples for JavaFx - - how to embed script into HTML, how to use JDBC and so on. May be it helps.
2008-03-13 03:26:14
I don't understand why Sun decided to invent a new language. They could have done it differently