JavaFX at JavaOne 2014

Johan Vos johan at
Tue Jun 24 18:24:16 UTC 2014

Hi Mike,

Not all JavaFX applications are a good candidate to be "ported" to run on
Android/iOS. Note that the definition of "ported" varies between simply
repackaging and rewriting the whole user interface. JavaFX is useful in a
number of scenario's, some of them don't make sense on mobile/tablets but
others do. I'm not going to convince anyone to port or deploy their app to
But a number of applications I'm working on myself, or that I'm aware off,
do benefit from JavaFX being available on Android/iOS.
There are about 10 million Java developers out there. That's a lot. I guess
at least some of them are as lazy as I am, and don't want to learn HTML5,
Objective C or Android. It took me a long time to understand "the feel of
Java" and now I want to take advantage of it, rather than learning a
scripting thing. With some creativity, the JavaFX platform is very usable
on Android/iOS, so I'll stick with JavaFX -- but I respect everyone's
opinion to use something else on mobile/tablets.

I posted a tweet yesterday announcing a website (sic) dedicated to JavaFX
on mobile/tablets: ( Got 36 retweets
and counting. More than 1000 unique visitors to that site in 24 hours. I
noticed the Java Google+ account mentioned it, and that post got 114 likes
and 40 shares at the moment, which seems to be a lot if I compare that with
other posts. So apparently, there is some interest in JavaFX on

Most feedback I got was very positive, there were a few critics as well.
Guess that's normal. In the end, we're increasing the options for the
developer. Ain't that great?

Oh, and the javafxpackager is one of my favorite areas as well. I hope we
can add android and ios support to it soon.

- Johan

2014-06-23 13:17 GMT+02:00 Mike Hearn <mike at>:

> If it is correct that JavaFX won't be supporting iOS or Android
>> (officially), IMO JavaFX will start fading away as soon as there is a
>> reliable technology that can create apps for all platforms.
> People have tried HTML5 as a way to create apps for mobile platforms. Most
> of the big names who tried this e.g. Facebook have abandoned it.
> Personally, I don't care much about JavaFX on Android or iOS because
> mobile has such different UI requirements and conventions to desktop
> platforms. I can write a JFX GUI that looks and feels good across
> Mac/Win/Linux with very little platform specific code because those
> platforms are all quite similar and anyway, the respective developers of
> those platforms trained users to expect apps to not fit in perfectly.
> On mobile, things are different: you can't just use a desktop UI, you need
> a totally new UI and maybe even feature set built from scratch. On Android
> the UI toolkit is closely linked with the lifecycle rules. And UI's tend to
> be a lot more consistent, with the worst offenders being apps that weren't
> updated to the latest UI conventions yet rather than apps which simply
> reinvent the look and feel from scratch.
> I'd actually prefer that Oracle focuses on making a great desktop
> solution. Hype aside there are still many apps not appropriate for mobiles
> or tablets. Then with a Java or JVM-language backend I can have just two UI
> codebases, one for desktop, one for Android and that gets most mobiles.
> Then RoboVM's Cocoa bindings can be used if need be for iOS.
> BTW I don't think JavaFX can "fade away" given that it's starting from
> obscurity already ;) Truth is the world lacks a convincing cross platform
> UI toolkit at the moment:  there's Qt, which is fine for C++ but is not so
> pleasant from other languages, there's Swing, there's HTML5. Both Swing and
> Qt have a reputation for making ugly GUI's. That may or may not be deserved
> these days, but people remember the history. Plus deployment is horrible.
> That leaves HTML5, which despite its manifest limitations at least can be
> made to easily look good via CSS, follow modern fashions, work on
> everyone's computers and people don't have to download an extra app
> runtime. So for many apps it's appropriate especially when the bulk of the
> app logic runs on a server.
> JavaFX 8, at least based on my experience so far, can be used to make
> attractive and web-style UIs, thus matching the first of HTML5's
> capabilities, plus it has the benefit of actually being designed, unlike
> HTML which just evolved. This leaves deployment as the primary problem. For
> this reason Danno is my current fav member of the JavaFX team :) Nothing
> personal guys, I just see cross-platform deployment of *reasonable sized* apps
> to be the biggest competitive weakness right now.

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