Deployment: native application bundles

Igor Nekrestyanov igor.nekrestyanov at
Fri Jun 15 22:51:16 PDT 2012


thank you for trying it and your valuable feedback!

On 6/15/12 4:05 PM, John C. Turnbull wrote:
> This is very promising but has a few problems at present.
> I downloaded both the JavaFX Ensemble EXE and MSI installers along with the
> JFXtras Ensemble MSI installer.  They all install fine but the JavaFX
> Ensemble application doesn't work on my Windows 7 64-bit machine.  It runs
> but selecting any of the demos does nothing.  I am sure this is just a
> teething problem as the JFXtras app works fine.
Well, if application starts but misbehaves then this is probably 
sideeffect of using "private" copy of FX runtime.
One used by JFXExtras is likely to be different from one used by my 
samples and
one of them may have bugs.

 > The main deficiencies are as follows:

 > 1. There is no icon installed on the desktop. Putting an icon on the 
desktop is standard Windows application installer behaviour.

Desktop shortcut as well as programs menu shortcut are options (at least 
one of them is required) and this specific sample was built with desktop 
shortcut disabled.

I plan to blog about customization options next.
> 2. There is no notification that the install has completed successfully.
This default behavior is by design.
One size does not fit all and we need to stick to something.
Current thinking is that we can start with simple default UE and then 
add tweak in future releases if most of the users will need it tweaked.

For exe we expect program to launch at the end of install.
This will acknowledge it was installed ok.

For MSI there are no dialogs but expectation is that most of the users 
of MSI will do some kind of automated install from scripts.

And this is default behavior but not the only possible behavior.
It is possible to customize it by customizing packaging scripts used to 
produce them.
(this requires some understanding of these technologies but we hope 
people will be sharing customization steps for popular tweaks)
> 3. The EXE installer looks ancient and bland.  When compared to something
> like the Flash installer and updater which are sleek and modern looking, the
> JavaFX app installer looks very poor.
True, it is not very fancy.
Current goal was to get something simple, familiar to end users and robust.

JavaFX bundlers for MSI and EXE rely on 3rd party tools and some 
customizations are possible by deeply tweaking config templates.
Default configs may be improved and we may add additional "bundlers" in 
the future to support advanced
but i only expect minor tweaks to default UE for JavaFX 2.2 at this 
point. We are way past feature freeze.
> 4. When running the app, there is no icon set for when you use Alt-Tab to
> flip between running applications. It still feels like a Java app instead of
> a native Windows app.
Bug, filed it as
> 5. The app does not get installed into an appropriate location such as
> Program Files. Again this feels like a non-native app and doesn't permit it
> being run my more than one Windows user on the same machine.
This is actually a feature :)

Goal is to produce something that can be installed by user without admin 
Perhaps we should change it for MSI (needs more discussion).

It is not new behavior. E.g. Chrome does this.
> 6. The download size is way too big.  Having to download nearly 50MB for a
> basic app that just lets you select a few controls is a problem in this
> mobile platform centric world.  I realise Project Jigsaw will address this
> but it is definitely a problem at the moment.
Yes, bigger footprint is one of downsides of this approach.

Exe file is about 25Mb (anything on top is application) and can be made 
a little smaller with more advanced compression techniques.
Can not be much smaller than JRE though, i.e. we may reach 15Mb but not 
5Mb without serious JRE subsetting (and this is subject to JRE license 

> I look forward to continued improvements in this technology.
> -jct
> -----Original Message-----
> From: openjfx-dev-bounces at
> [mailto:openjfx-dev-bounces at] On Behalf Of Igor Nekrestyanov
> Sent: Friday, 15 June 2012 17:17
> To: openjfx-dev at
> Subject: Deployment: native application bundles
> Hi,
> One thing we are adding to JavaFX packaging tools in 2.2 is ability to
> produce native application bundles:
> vafx
> We are not seeing this as the only way to deploy JavaFX applications --
> webstart, embedded applications and doubleclickable jars are first class
> citizens (and it would be great to explore other options).
> But we hope it might be good option for many deployment scenarios.
> Please give it a try and provide feedback (and report bugs of course),
> -igor

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