OpenJFX initiative

John-Val Rose johnvalrose at
Sun Sep 24 10:39:20 UTC 2017

Hi Mark,

I didn't actually "describe a proposed roadmap"; I merely questioned why
there doesn't appear to be one.

What does that mean?

Well, it could mean that one exists but that Oracle prefers to not make it

It could mean that their still developing one.

Or it could mean that the roadmap is an "all roads lead to Rome" scenario
where "Rome" is a euphemism for obsolescence.

If you look back the other way, i.e. the path travelled so far, you see
that there was one major change in the architecture of JavaFX between
versions 1 and 2.  Then they went straight to 8 (when they decided to align
the version numbers with JDK versions) but the changes were not really that
significant. Sure, they introduced *some* 3D features which are now
basically frozen and a couple of new controls etc. but mostly JavaFX 8 was
better than 2 because we got to use all the nifty new Java 8 language
features like lambdas and streams.

Then, if you look at JavaFX 9, it seems to be little more than a "jigsawed"
version of Java 8.

Now, look more closely at the time elapsed from JavaFX 2 to 9 and you
discover that between 2011 and 2017, there has been extremely limited
innovation and no significant changes or major new features.  Quite
frankly, I have never seen a product of this kind evolve so slowly.
Further, given that JavaFX entered the market and commenced it's slow
evolutionary path years (if not decades) behind established competitors,
this is the real *main* issue with JavaFX: it can't compete with something
like Qt on *any* basis including features, cross-platform support,
performance, professional support or user base, and that "gap" widens every

(Forget about the web and HTML5. They/it are not a competitor to JavaFX).

So, as for you idea about "promotion" of JavaFX, you must factor in that if
you are trying to sell a product on the basis of any of the factors I just
mentioned, then Qt (and others like Xamarin) will trump JavaFX on every one
of them.  Further, both Qt and Xamarin (now owned and heavily financed by
Microsoft) have large companies behind them that actually generate revenue
from them (which is a GOOD thing because it ensures their survival and
enables rapid innovation).

Also, it is yet to be seen if JavaFX is even viable on mobile/tablet
platforms.  We will only know when Gluon release their Gluon VM.  So, it's
probably not wise to go around now promoting what is (at least right now)
still basically "vapourware".

(N.B. I *do* have full confidence in Johan Vos and Gluon to deliver on
their promise of a "blisteringly fast Java experience on iOS and Android" -
I just need to get my hands on it, as do all JavaFX developers).

As for me, well, all I want to do is contribute whatever I can to improve
JavaFX.  My comments are not meant as an "attack" on JavaFX (which is
actually something I love), but more a shot of reality and a "battle cry".
It's not too late for JavaFX but a lot of things need to change and change
soon for it be viable long term.

We have a vibrant community and I believe we need a mechanism to coordinate
all the passion and talent into an army of JavaFX soldiers, all with the
unified vision to "make JavaFX great again" (only without the fake news,
alternate facts, rhetoric, gaffes and, of course... no comb-overs).


John-Val Rose
Chief Scientist/Architect
Rosethorn Technology

On 24 September 2017 at 00:14, Mark Fortner <phidias51 at> wrote:

> I must have missed the bit where you described a proposed roadmap.
> I think for the most part I've seen JavaFX used as a means of keeping
> older Swing-based projects alive. In the enterprise, those projects are
> dwindling, in part because people just rebuild them as web applications.
> It's easier to find that kind of talent, than it is to find desktop
> developers.
> The applications that remain desktop applications tend to require either
> access to your desktop OS, or need near realtime access to streams of
> audio, video, telemetry or financial data, which makes them ill-suited to
> be web apps.
> The reason that there's little interest in WebGL or 3d is because it
> doesn't fit into one of the enterprise app buckets listed above.
> I'm still surprised when people tell me that they have to write mobile
> apps in Java and Swift and maintain two codebases, and when I point them to
> JavaFX they admit they've never heard of it.
> There needs to be better promotion of JavaFX in the Java developer
> community. People need to compare the degree of complexity of web component
> and PWA development against JavaFX to see the advantages. And there needs
> to be a better deployment story than web start.
> A lot of that is simply promotion. It means reaching out to web
> development and mobile development communities, and giving talks and demos.
> Mark
> On 22 Sep 2017 5:32 p.m., "John-Val Rose" <johnvalrose at> wrote:
> Probably, but JEPs can take a lot of time from start to finish and time is
> itself perhaps the biggest enemy that JavaFX is facing.
> And how many JEPs are being initiated by the Oracle JavaFX team
> themselves?  I mean for the specific purpose of *true* innovation?
> On 23 September 2017 at 10:24, Nir Lisker <nlisker at> wrote:
> > I don't have any answer to those questions. A JEP is the only thing I can
> > think of.
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 3:19 AM, John-Val Rose <johnvalrose at>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Yes, well I'm sure there's a lot of truth to that as Johan has
> >> demonstrated.
> >>
> >> But, I think it's a bit of an over simplification.
> >>
> >> How do I know if *my* innovation (of say 9 months of effort) is
> "high-quality
> >> code that makes OpenJFX better"?
> >>
> >> I can do my best to write high-quality code but what exactly does "make
> >> OpenJFX better" mean? *I* might think it's better with WebGL and
> advanced
> >> 3D features but it seems most people disagree or are ambivalent towards
> >> such functionality.
> >>
> >> Who gets to say what does or doesn't get integrated?  And, how do I know
> >> *before* I potentially waste my effort whether it will or won't "make
> >> OpenJFX better" or be integrated?
> >>
> >> ​​
> >> Graciously,
> >>
> >> John-Val Rose
> >> Chief Scientist/Architect
> >> Rosethorn Technology
> >> Australia
> >>
> >> On 23 September 2017 at 09:08, Nir Lisker <nlisker at> wrote:
> >>
> >>> > What do you mean by “go with Johan Vos’s experience”?
> >>>
> >>> What he said here:
> >>> .net/pipermail/openjfx-dev/2017-September/020801.html.
> >>>
> >>> On Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 12:08 AM, John-Val Rose <johnvalrose at
> >
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> The concept of “innovation” no longer seems to apply to JavaFX, at
> >>>> least not from Oracle’s perspective.
> >>>>
> >>>> If you read the official list of changes in the just-released Java 9,
> >>>> AWT (yes, AWT) has more changes than JavaFX and even then the only
> >>>> significant change is to make it Jigsaw compatible.
> >>>>
> >>>> A product like this needs a very clear “roadmap” of development and
> >>>> introduction of new features but the link on the Oracle JavaFX
> >>>> Documentation page for “roadmap” leads to a place known as “404”. I
> hope
> >>>> that’s not a room number in “Hotel California”.
> >>>>
> >>>> So, innovation for JavaFX falls back as a community responsibility but
> >>>> is very difficult without any cooperation from Oracle themselves.
> >>>>
> >>>> I personally have not been able to get any response from them except
> >>>> “float your ideas on the mailing list to see what interest there is”.
> Note,
> >>>> that “interest” is only from the community itself... and then what?
> >>>>
> >>>> What do you mean by “go with Johan Vos’s experience”? Yes, he and
> Gluon
> >>>> are fantastic innovators and have built a small company of top-notch
> talent
> >>>> and are able to crank-out new products and enhancements with
> impressive
> >>>> frequency.
> >>>>
> >>>> Are you suggesting we all start similar companies? Johan is a former
> >>>> Oracle employee and probably has a well-established relationship with
> them
> >>>> and access to knowledge that others don’t. Personally, I love what
> he’s
> >>>> doing and hope Gluon expands rapidly to enable as much innovation as
> >>>> possible.
> >>>>
> >>>> But what about the rest of us? What are we supposed to do? How do we
> >>>> get large-scale changes to happen?
> >>>>
> >>>> Well, I don’t know. But we’re better as a team than a bunch of
> >>>> individuals each trying to get some feature implemented in an
> uncoordinated
> >>>> fashion.
> >>>>
> >>>> The other real issue is that everyone seems to have their own
> >>>> perspective on exactly what JavaFX is or should be. That makes the
> >>>> community ineffective unless someone manages innovation for JavaFX in
> >>>> general.
> >>>>
> >>>> I’d be happy to be that person but sadly, it’s not for me to make that
> >>>> call. Johan is like the de facto “Head of Innovation for JavaFX” at
> the
> >>>> moment but he has his own agenda (mainly in the mobile space) and
> monetises
> >>>> his efforts.
> >>>>
> >>>> That’s what businesses do.
> >>>>
> >>>> So, I think we need to firstly establish just what JavaFX is *now*
> >>>> (even this is not clear) and also what it *should be* (where we
> coalesce
> >>>> everyone’s own ideas) so we can move forward.
> >>>>
> >>>> That is of course *if* JavaFX is actually going to “move forward”
> >>>> rather than “sideways”.
> >>>>
> >>>> Honestly though, if you’re not moving forward, you are really going
> >>>> backward as you watch the rest of the world disappear over the
> horizon...
> >>>>
> >>>> Graciously,
> >>>>
> >>>> John-Val Rose
> >>>>
> >>>> > On 22 Sep 2017, at 22:38, Nir Lisker <nlisker at> wrote:
> >>>> >
> >>>> > I didn't see any update on the idea for our initiative. Are we still
> >>>> waiting for a reply from Oracle or do we go with Johan Vos's
> experience?
> >>>> >
> >>>> > I think that the least we can do without putting any work into this
> >>>> is have a semi-formal list of people who would like to work on this
> and a
> >>>> list of what features we would be working on. I feel that I still
> don't
> >>>> know the scope of what we are trying to do, only pieces of it.
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >

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