Sun delivers applications and projects to support the JavaFX technology announced a year ago.
JavaOne here, Sun Microsystems followed up on technology it announced this time
last year and showed demos and new plans for bringing its JavaFX technology to
market in the near term.
Sun announced JavaFX at JavaOne in 2007, promoting the technology,
particularly JavaFX Script, as a competing technology to leading technologies
used for creating and deploying RIAs (rich Internet applications). Now in 2008,
the company has stepped up with real examples of the technology in use.
The question is whether Sun is too late to the party.
In his keynote address at the opening session of the JavaOne conference on
May 6, Rich Green, executive vice president of software at Sun, showed dynamic
content, sophisticated services and application mashups made possible by
Green discussed the future of JavaFX and described an initiative known as
Project Insight, which will empower developers with the option to generate
revenue through advertising on mobile applications. "Project Insight is a
project to monetize this stuff," Green said, by "providing
instrumentation" about how users use the applications built with JavaFX.
Green also outlined a road map for the JavaFX family of products that
includes JavaFX Script, a high-performance declarative scripting language for
Web scripters, designers and developers to quickly build and deliver the next
generation of RIAs for desktop, mobile, TV and other consumer devices.
Green said Sun will deliver an SDK (software development kit) early access
program in July 2008. The company will then deliver the first version of JavaFX
Desktop for the browser and desktop by fall 2008. Sun is also currently working
with most of the leading global handset manufacturers and carriers and plans to
deliver the first versions of JavaFX Mobile and JavaFX TV in spring 2009, Green
Meanwhile, Eric Klein, Sun's vice president of Java marketing, demonstrated
JavaFX Mobile running on the Google Android emulator that was created by the
community. The purpose of this demo was to show the portability of JavaFX to
other platforms, Sun officials said. "This is not a product announcement,
and Sun has no plans around Android at this time," the company said in a
Green also mentioned another project Sun is looking at known as Project
Hydrazine, which is to come some time after the delivery of the JavaFX family
"Imagine if we could bring all these things together and create a
platform, with access to disk, cloud, services" and more, said Green. That
is the vision for Project Hydrazine, he said. The goal of the Sun efforts is to
enable developers and users to "find, merge, deploy, share and
monetize" applications. Green said.
Some observers said Project Hydrazine sounds a lot like Sun's Project
Destination, which is "a comprehensive platform that can allow service
providers to realize their business objectives of being the services
destination for their customers," said a description of the project on a Web
page identifying it.
Anne Thomas Manes, an analyst with the Burton Group, who was in the audience
for the keynote, questioned the innovation in Sun's announcements. "So Sun
has discovered RIAs; they're only four years late."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.