JavaFX on iOS and Android: The real problem and challenge

Felix Bembrick felix.bembrick at
Sat Nov 9 05:21:08 PST 2013

What we do know is that Oracle are working on "something" and that RoboVM
is already out there.  We also know that RoboVM has serious limitations
such as being based on the Android class library, not supporting JDK 8 or
OpenJDK or invokedynamic etc. so is not really a viable solution at this
stage.  This is not to say that the work of Niklas is not first-class as it
clearly is an awesome technology even in its current form.

I think the key factor we need to consider here is that RoboVM is
essentially a one person project and even the JavaFX team at Oracle itself
is not that large.  Although it's difficult to gauge exactly how many are
on the team, I would say from the various names that pop-up on the OpenJFK
list and in private conversations we are possibly looking at a dozen or
less active staff and possibly a total head count of developers in single

Clearly then, with such a small pool of talent, it is not practical to
dilute the effort over more than one project.  In an ideal world where we
had two or more projects backed by large corporations with infinite
resources then the more competition would be helpful for long term
viability and quality.  But our world is hardly ideal and it makes sense to
have everyone on the same page.

To this end I tend to agree with Pedro DV in that we need Oracle to come
clean and "open up" the porting of JavaFX to iOS, Android and any other
potential OS.  I am not going to comment on whether Oracle are doing a
good/bad job as I am sure there are many more factors and issues that we
are not privy to that prevents them from doing exactly what we would like
them to do.  They are not out to derail JavaFX and in fact are very much
behind it being viable on mobiles and tablets.

I know Richard Bair and I have to say that he is one of the most passionate
developers and believers in Java and JavaFX there is so I am sure he is
keener than anyone for it to succeed on all platforms.

Perhaps we have to approach Oracle with positivity and a willingness to
help and hope that they are in a position (technically/legally/etc.) to
open things up and invite us in.  I am absolutely convinced that JavaFX on
iOS and Android will never be a success if we don't all work together which
means pooling our resources and code and contributing to an Oracle-driven


On 9 November 2013 23:06, Pedro Duque Vieira <pedro.duquevieira at>wrote:

> Hi,
> Pardon me for saying this but I think Oracle is really handling this issue
> very badly. I think very poor communication strategy is the real issue and
> source of much frustration from the community.
> I can see that Oracle is indeed working and assigning programming hours to
> bringing JavaFX to iOS and Android but there is very little communication
> going on about Oracle progress on this..
> I think Oracle should tell us more about their work with javafx on iOS and
> Android. Oracle should create an article or wiki or whatever about their
> progress on this:
> 1 - That site/article/whatever should detail what's the current state,
> what's missing, what's the roadmap..
> 2 - Oracle should tell us how can the community help with the current
> effort. Creating a list of tasks that could be accomplished by a community
> member would be very helpful! That would assure that we are not working all
> on the same thing and thus wasting time. Each community member could than
> pick up a task and say he/she is working on it and provide pointers to
> their project and current work so anyone can chime in and help.
> I think tasks that can be handled by the community should preferably be
> tasks that should not be too big in scope/development hours - community
> members usually do this on their spare time for a couple of hours.
> Currently the only tasks we have are:
>   - Develop iOS port or iOS jvm
>   - Develop Android port or Android jvm
> This is too big for any community member to pick up. Too big in scope and
> too much to wrap your mind on.
> 3 - Oracle should provide an estimated time/effort for each task and for
> each project. Also an indication of the task importance level would be very
> helpful. Preferably tasks with a very high importance level should be
> handled by javafx team members.
> 4 - Oracle should be the steward of this effort. I think this point is very
> important for the following reasons:
>   4.1 - Oracle has more know-how on this than any community member can
> possible have. So it does not make sense for community members which are
> less prepared to accomplish this to be the stewards of such effort. It
> would be like asking a sailor to command a ship and have the captain mop
> the floors of the deck.
>   4.2 - By having Oracle as the steward, businesses will be more inclined
> in betting on developing projects for iOS/Android/Windows phone. This is a
> credibility issue.
>   4.3 - By having Oracle as the steward community members are more inclined
> to help and contribute than say contributing to RoboVM. No offense intended
> here, I think RoboVM is a great effort and probably the best thing to
> happen on the javafx space since its start.
> My 2 cents,
> Thanks, regards,
> --
> Pedro Duque Vieira

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