Future of JavaFX

Peter Pilgrim peter.pilgrim at gmail.com
Tue Dec 1 17:12:45 UTC 2015

Hi All

On 1 December 2015 at 13:27, Johan Vos <johan.vos at gluonhq.com> wrote:
> Hi Dirk, all,
> Although this person from Codename One attacked me a few times before
> (using words like we're selling snake oil), I tried to ignore it. This is
> very uncommon for the Java community. In the Java community, we have
> different views, we prefer different technologies, but we show at least
> some basic respect to other views and we don't insult people. Clearly, this
> isn't the policy inside Codename One. I wonder where they get the time for
> writing negative things about others, rather than writing positive things
> about their own technologies. So although I'm offended, I try to write code
> and keep my customers happy rather than fighting.

I saw this appalling behaviour on the aforementioned blog site. Shai
was hardly diplomatic, especially for an ex-Sun / Oracle wasn't he?
I have heard on that Japanese anecdote BEATING THE GRASS in order to
force the snakes to come out, but I wonder who is the enemy here.

> But the moment you may lose customers because what others write about a
> technology you want to use, a line is crossed. I keep all options open on
> how to respond, but here are already some thoughts:

It's a bad as somebody hating Spring Framework, however I think I will
let that rest again, because I already posted a response for that.
> * The JavaFX engineers at Oracle (current and past) are doing a fantastic
> job.

Yes. It also included Brian Goetz and others people who were on the
same mailing list circa 2008 and 2009 with JavaFX Script.

> * Yes, I wish Oracle would spend more resources on JavaFX (and on Java in
> general).
> * JavaFX is growing. Gluon is growing.

And many executives can understand that Swing is no longer supported
and there is a technology risk in terms of RECRUITMENT, TRAINING,
MAINTAINABILITY and ROBUSTNESS if they continue to use it. There are
financial services houses such Murex who are Swing based still and
sell solutions to investment banks. These rich GUI solutions inside
the big banks are very unlikely to go HTML5 and web based soon, so the
lead developers in those businesses probably have evaluated JavaFX.

So I asked Shai what needs to happens in order to cross the divide?
For all you involved in FX, and now that Oracle evangelism, advocacy,
whatever, has all but disappeared, need to come out three (3)
requirements that get the product over the line.

> * There are many JavaFX success stories, but unfortunately many of those
> are hidden behind company walls. At Gluon, we have great customers with a
> huge investment in JavaFX that make amazing products. But company policies
> often prohibit us from even mentioning those on our website. This is an
> issue, as I believe many people would be surprised to see who is using
> JavaFX and at what size. I'm not sure how to address this, and it is
> something Peter Pilgrim talked about in a follow-up post as well.

If these products can be exposed in some meaningful way then that
would really help.

Companies are willing to show these Responsive Web Design, Adaptive
Web Design, HTML5 and latest browser support, and yet this must be
achieve with JavaFX.

Clearly what is needed is a poster child. Some JavaFX application that
looks simple, does great thing, and work amazing well across all
devices. I wish I knew what that would be.

> * JavaFX on Mobile is getting there. Don't believe self-declared and
> aggressive "mobile experts" with a different agenda. I'm one of those
> people working day and night to make this happen. And apart from very few
> exceptions, the Java community has been very supportive to this effort. I
> don't let those exceptions ruining my day or my customers.

Nor should you or anyone else feel deflated.

Shai is frustrated, obviously, with the mobile story so far. He feels
that the scene graph solution is overkill for the current generation
of smartphone and mobile devices. He reckons the scene graph abilities
are hard to reach under GPU and the native operating system for the
mobile devices. I don't necessarily  agree with him, the scene graph
was what sold me on Chris Oliver's original vision on (F3 (form
follows function) precursor to JavaFX 1.0 (Script)). I think that
mobile devices will gain scene graph and better GPU/CPU very soon.

Johan has taken the mobile solution further with Gluon. At least there
are working JavaFX applications in the app stores. This is better than
2011 when we were dreaming off the ability to achieve this.

What is missing on mobile front? Common API for magnetrometry,
gyroscope, media, camera support and of course high performance

> * There really is a JavaFX eco-system. Oracle is spending resources on it,
> and there are a large number of individuals and companies providing free
> and commercial frameworks, services, trainings, books.
> * JavaFX is open source with a business-friendly license. You don't like
> something? Fix it.
> Dirk, keep up the good work. I hope your customer realises that there is a
> large community behind JavaFX, with both open-source and commercial
> offerings. They should feel safe using JavaFX.

And also now is the time to request changes for JDK 9 whilst it is
still in early access. From the presentations at JavaOne, there will
be only one FX module in the JDK.  (There was this thing to do with
DLL or shared runtimes when I was hanging around regularly in 2012 )
If you don't agree with it, or want to modularise FX in the JDK even
more, then now is the time to act and let Mark Reinhold, Alex Buckley
and Alan Bateman know asap.

> - Johan
> On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 5:13 PM, Dirk @ Google <dlemmermann at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi there,
>> there has been quite a shake-up in the JavaFX community last week when
>> Shay Almog (Codename One) first responded to a blog of mine (
>> dlemmermann.wordpress.com) with a lot of negative comments regarding
>> JavaFX and its future. He then followed up with a long blog asking the
>> question „Should Oracle Spring-Clean JavaFX“ (
>> https://www.codenameone.com/blog/should-oracle-spring-clean-javafx.html <
>> https://www.codenameone.com/blog/should-oracle-spring-clean-javafx.html>).
>> I do understand that it is often a good strategy to not comment on stuff
>> like this because commenting would just draw attention to it, but we have
>> now reached the point where potential customers are questioning the
>> sustainability of a JavaFX-based solution. They are now wondering if JavaFX
>> will still be around in a few years. In my specific case the customer
>> demands an answer from me and my partners within the next week, and if not
>> convincing they will go with something / someone else. We will loose a
>> contract worth around one million dollars because of one blog written by
>> Shay with no follow-up from Oracle.
>> What is needed is an official statement from Oracle / Oracle employees /
>> JavaFX development team, saying that Oracle is still committed to JavaFX
>> and that it will still be around for a while. Can somebody please do that?
>> Dirk

Best wishes

Peter Pilgrim,
    Java Champion / Director P.E.A.T.  LTD

 ++++   Scala and Java EE Software Development / Design / Architect
for `BlueChip' enterprises, London, UK ++++

I am currently writing ``Digital Java EE 7 Development'' Packt Pub
(September 2015)

++++ Digital ++ Finance ++ Adaptation  ++ Transformation ++ Software ++++

:: http://www.xenonique.co.uk/blog/  ::
:: http://twitter.com/peter_pilgrim ::
:: http://java-champions.java.net/ ::

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