Java FX updated, and a visit to the future of client Java

Open JFX updated

OpenJFX, the open source version of Java FX, was just updated. It has lots of improvements and demos, but the biggest thing is the first compiler, which will compile Java FX Script directly into bytecode rather than interpreting it. This is huge, because it makes FX Script a first class Java language, as well as being several orders of magnitude faster than interpretation.

Another big feature of this release is the better integration with NetBeans. FX Pad can now run directly inside NetBeans, further cementing NB as the Emacs of the 21st century. Now we just need a mail reader and mp3 player. :) I won't go into all of the new features, you can check it out for yourself here. Be sure to take a look at the SVG converter and chat client demo app: Casual. Lots of cool stuff in there.

The future of client Java

I've spent the last week in the bay area at secret clandestine meetings secretly planning the amazing top secret future of client Java and Java FX! Okay, that makes an endless week of meetings sound a lot more interesting than it really is, but there's some truth to it. We promised a lot of things at JavaOne, from designer tools to the consumer release of the JRE, and based on what I've seen in the last week I can say that we are really making all of this stuff happen. In fact, I'm going to come out here and make a bold (and not approved by my employer) statement:

2008 will be the year that client Java starts taking market share from Flash.

There, I said it. By JavaOne we will have completely re-energized client Java. And I mean client Java, not just desktop Java. Everything will be faster, prettier, easier to use, and easier to deploy. We will be better in the browser. We will be better on the desktop. We will be better on the phones. Existing technologies are being updated and new technologies will see their debut at JavaOne, if not earlier.

I'm not going to spoil things by telling you what's coming up. I'll just say that I have never been this excited about the direction client Java is going. Never! Exciting times are ahead for the Java community!

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Posted July 20th, 2007