JavaFX on iOS and Android: The real problem and challenge

Tobias Bley tobi at
Sat Nov 9 11:23:52 PST 2013

The question is: Is JavaFX for mobile a business for Oracle to make big money? I suppose Oracle don’t believe in it. They believe in servers, cloud and the „Internet of Things“  - that’s why they invest in Rasp.PI, Freescale, etc.

btw: With „Oracle“ I mean „the management of Oracle“, not the guys of Richards team.

For me: RoboVM & OpenJDK is the right direction.

Am 09.11.2013 um 19:15 schrieb Tom Eugelink <tbee at>:

> Oracle has a strict do-not-communicate-what-is-not-certain policy and I actually commend them for it. Better to not communicate than make promises you can't keep (I'm seeing the effect on that in many of the projects I'm asked to assist). I think the urgency of mobile platforms is clear to Oracle, given the recent focus on JavaME and the internet-of-things. Patience is a virtue.
> My 2 cents,
> Tom
> On 2013-11-9 18:21, Pedro Duque Vieira wrote:
>> Sure we should listen to Richard. He is doing a great job as well as his
>> team.
>> I don't think however that enough is being communicated..
>> I don't think those legal boundaries are being layed out explicitly.
>> What are those legal boundaries?
>> Will RoboVM not be subject to those legal issues?
>> What's the difference between us creating a project and trying to integrate
>> it into openjdk and Oracle doing it?
>> Once we create a project and try to integrate it into OpenJDK what will
>> happen? Can javafx team members contribute to it (apparently yes)? Will
>> Oracle be helping out and telling us what's the best route to follow?
>> Once we get RoboVM correctly running javafx apps on iOS and Android what
>> will still be left out to do? Are things like comboboxes poping up scroll
>> wheels already in place? What about app notifications? What about saving
>> app configurations to the local platform db? etc, etc?
>> I think there is a lot of stuff to discuss. Also I think Oracle should be
>> telling us what have they accomplished so far, what exactly they are
>> working on (they are indeed actively working on this) for porting javafx to
>> iOS and Android... probably something that an email can't cover perfectly..
>> Regards,
>> On Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM, Rick Walker <thoughtslinger at>wrote:
>>> There is more to this issue than simply JavaFX, iOS and Android. There
>>> is a bigger picture here that involves the complex relationships
>>> between Oracle, Apple and Google.
>>> I think it is fair to say that we all have enormous respect for
>>> Richard Bair and his team. It seems to me we should listen to Richard.
>>> If I understand his postings correctly, he is saying that we, the
>>> community, should "create a new OpenJDK project" which, if it "used
>>> the OpenJDK class libraries" would let his team "put support directly
>>> into the OpenJFX build system for building FX and running FX apps ...
>>> directly on RoboVM".
>>> It seems to me that the message here is that Oracle is totally willing
>>> and able to support RoboVM as an OpenJDK project. Niklas - are you up
>>> for it? The optics here are important. The project must be created by
>>> the community (NOT BY ORACLE).
>>> from Richard's post of October 22:
>>> Personally I'm interested in RoboVM on Android, so that there is a
>>> single VM across both iOS and Android. Also if RoboVM supported the
>>> OpenJDK class libraries, it would make this so much simpler for us and
>>> provide a consistent story. For example, the OpenJFX project is an
>>> OpenJDK project and we really can't be officially promoting a VM that
>>> doesn't implement the Java standard. It puts us in a very awkward
>>> position. If RoboVM used the OpenJDK class libraries instead of the
>>> Android class libraries, not only could I push it at conferences like
>>> JavaOne, but I could also put support directly into the OpenJFX build
>>> system for building FX and running FX apps (like Hello*, Modena,
>>> Ensemble, etc) directly on RoboVM without developers having to setup
>>> anything special. This would be huge for making it easy for people to
>>> contribute iOS fixes to OpenJFX. But I can't do that if RoboVM doesn't
>>> actually implement "Java".
>>> and, from November 8:
>>> Totally, I think the normal process for this is to create a new
>>> OpenJDK project, is it not? Can you take a look at the OpenJDK bylaws
>>> and report back on the process? I think it would be awesome to do a
>>> port. Note that there are a few OpenJDK ports already which have ARM
>>> support, you might want to look there as a starting point?
>>> On Sat, Nov 9, 2013 at 8:59 AM, Pedro Duque Vieira
>>> <pedro.duquevieira at> wrote:
>>>> I'm sure the javafx team is doing a great job. My intention was not to
>>> put
>>>> that in question but to try to contribute further to this discussion.
>>>> Yes indeed oracle javafx team has fewer resources than what should be
>>>> preferred. We need to harvest the power of the community in the best way
>>> we
>>>> can to further expand the this "resources".
>>>> In that sense I think the best to do is to get better organized at doing
>>>> so.
>>>> Instead of a man for himself kind of effort we should have a kind of
>>>> corporate like structure with the intricacies of being a group of
>>>> volunteers...
>>>> On Nov 9, 2013 1:21 PM, "Felix Bembrick" <felix.bembrick at>
>>> wrote:
>>>>> 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
>>>>> figures.
>>>>> 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
>>>>> project.
>>>>> Felix
>>>>> 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
>>> --
>>> Richard P. Walker
>>> thoughtslinger at
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