More community participation in JavaFX

Stephen Desofi sdesofi at
Sun Feb 4 01:58:01 UTC 2018


     The point I am making is that Swift is catching up as a cross platform toolkit and is available on:

Mac and iOS, (Full Support)

Android (early)

Linux:  (early)

Windows: (early)

Browser:  (very Preliminary)

Server Side:  (Mac and Linux)

So my point is that soon Swift will steal the Cross Platform Mantra from Java.   It is happening very quickly and Swift has great graphics and gaming capabilities as well.

Why would a new developer start with Java?    If we are looking 10 years out, I think Apple is coming head on.

Also when you say this thread is about the ease with which the community can contribute to JavaFX, it begs the question "what kinds of contribution?".    Are we here to push the platform forward and contribute new ideas or just do bug fixes?

Swift is a real threat to Java being the cross platform development King.    Java can hold on to that story for only a couple more years.  It surely won't last.

Dart also runs on Android and iOS via Flutter, has Server side Dart option, runs in the Browser very well today with full support for SVG and Canvas -- and if WebGPU becomes a Web standard, Google will most certainly support it.

Looking toward the future, if Java doesn't run in the browser, doesn't support games on any platform, and only works on iOS and Android via Gluon VM, and does it with only limited graphics capability,  then I think JavaFX will be a tough sell in the future.   Even tougher than it is today. 

If the point of the discussion is to build the developer community, I think we first need a compelling story as to why developers should join and contribute.

The fact that I am using Dart and JavaFX, and I am seriously considering if I should switch to Dart everywhere, or to Dart and Swift (instead of Dart and FX) means JavaFX doesn't have the lead we think it does.    I love JavaFX and would love to contribute, but it's hard when I myself am looking at other options mainly because I also want my software to be here 10 years from now, and I am seriously questioning if JavaFX will keep up.

I think there is a small window of opportunity for JavaFX to make a stand before it is permanently relegated to a Server side language.   This cross platform story won't fly too much longer, especially when Swift starts to run everywhere and in the browser too, and if Google does the same thing with Dart, and they both support games, where will Java be?

If we are looking 10 years out then surely this will happen.   The big question is what will we do, and where will JavaFX be?

Steve Desofi

On Feb 03, 2018, at 03:09 PM, John-Val Rose <johnvalrose at> wrote:

Stephen - I’m not quite following you.

This thread is about improving the ease with which the community can contribute to JavaFX.

I see no point in comparing JavaFX (a cross platform graphics toolkit for JVM languages) with a Swift (a general purpose programming language that runs on Apple hardware).

On 4 Feb 2018, at 00:18, Stephen Desofi <sdesofi at> wrote:

This begs the question,  why has the bar been set too low?   I am new to this community and don’t know much history other than a couple weeks of bug fix messages flying by.   

I am not even clear of what our role and purpose is supposed to be.   Are we here for only bug fixes, and follow the direction and flow that is already set, or as contributors would we be allowed to contribute to the goals and direction of JavaFX?

FX is a good platform with great potential, but it biggest deficiency is “mind share”.  People don’t see too many real world accomplishments that knock your socks off.   Most people use web and phone to run apps.  PC and Desktop apps are a small part of the market.   

Gluon has just recently released gluon VM and Gluon Mobile to allow FX on phones and tablets.   

The problem I see is once I can use FX on phones how will it compete with Swift?

True that “write once, run everywhere” is important and Java has a lead over Swift.  But Swift has a lead on capability.

In the end Swift will catch up with Java in the “write once, run anywhere” mantra.   Will FX catch up with Swift in graphics by then? 

Java has a lead in many areas, but if we look 10 years out, it seems clear to me that Java needs to raise the bar or face extinction as a client side development platform or forever be confined to the server.  

This is why I need some clarification as to what our role as contributors is going to be.   I don’t believe an open source project can flourish if the contributors have no say or stake in the direction.

Steve Desofi

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 2, 2018, at 11:55 PM, John-Val Rose <johnvalrose at> wrote:

I think Kevin outlined in his opening post what would be considered "out of scope".

However, I agree with you on the basic premise that, in general, the bar has been set way too low as to the potential use cases and performance of JavaFX.  In fact, I firmly believe that games & complex visualisations etc. *should* be possible with JavaFX given that most of the heavy lifting is being done by the GPU.  It's just that, at the moment, the scene graph rendering pipeline is significantly slower than it could be and it is for this reason that we don't find applications using advanced 3D graphics & animations etc. (like we see in games) being built with JavaFX.  It's just not possible when the node count reaches even a very small threshold.

This is a topic I have tried to discuss numerous times and also believe that I can improve the performance of the scene graph rendering in a very tangible way.

If things pan-out as they are being described and becoming & being a contributor is simplified to the extent where it justifies me devoting a large chunk of my time to OpenJFX, this is probably what I would want to work on first.


John-Val Rose

On 3 February 2018 at 14:07, Stephen Desofi <sdesofi at> wrote:
I don’t understand why discussing new graphics capabilities such as gaming or WebGPU, etc is so off limits.  Can you explain that?

Steve Desofi

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 2, 2018, at 8:51 PM, Kevin Rushforth <kevin.rushforth at> wrote:
> Looks like we have some good discussion so far.
> I see a few themes emerging (build/test, sandbox on GitHub, ease of filing bugs, etc) along with some discussion on graphics performance (which is fine as long as the discussion doesn't veer too far into discussing specific graphics features).
> I'll let more folks chime in before I reply to anything specifically (and I'll be offline over the weekend anyway).
> Thanks!
> -- Kevin

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