future content of OpenJFX

Johan Vos johan.vos at gluonhq.com
Mon Feb 5 17:07:02 UTC 2018

In order to separate the "What" from the "How" (discussed in another
thread), I would like to start a discussion about what people think should
be considered for future JavaFX work.

I'd like to start with what I think is an important note on the context.
If I want feature X in JavaFX, I ask myself two questions:
1. Do I want to contribute time and do it (at least for a large part)
2. Do I want to spend money on it?

If that sounds too economic or commercial, I recommend reading the
excellent blog entry by David Blevins about funding Java EE development
(more than 4 years old and still very relevant):

Actually, this is a model we've been using at Gluon for a number of
customers. When people ask us about a specific feature, we ask if they are
willing to pay us for the development, AND if they are ok with us donating
it back to an open-source initiative (e.g. OpenJFX, but also ControlsFX,
JavaFXports, Gluon Charm Down, Gluon Maps,...).
As a consequence, the features we are working on are all relevant to (at
least a part of) the industry. Some companies doubt there is business value
in JavaFX, we prove the opposite while making the Open Source community

I think by now it should be clear to all that there is no free lunch
(anymore). If your business depends on a feature being added to JavaFX, how
much (time/money) are you willing to contribute? If the answer is
"nothing", you can still hope that others want to do it, and in many cases
that will eventually happen -- but you don't control the timeline.

This principle is a bit a simplification though. In many practical cases,
people want to have feature X and are willing to contribute "something"
(e.g. they want to work on it in spare-time, or fund 20% of a developer)
but not enough to do everything.
I think in this case it's a matter of gathering enough interest in this
community. Once enough developers are interested in that same feature, and
agree to spend resources on it, the burden can be shared. Having a sandbox
repositories with forks will make this easier.

Areas that I personally want to see on the roadmap:
* more alignment with mobile
* a clean and lean low-level rendering pipeline API that would allow easier
plugability with upcoming low-level rendering systems
* extensions for Chart API

- Johan

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