Java News from Monday, December 8, 2008

Sun has released its rich internet application development platform JavaFX 1.0 for Windows and Mac. Linux and Solaris are notably absent. Umm, wasn't Java supposed to save us from platform-dependent development? Interestingly, Java 6 is required on Windows, but only Java 5 on the Mac. (Why not just go Java 5 or later on all platforms?)

Had this been done 10 years ago, JavaFx would have been a game changer, but now? Meh. There are still a lot of missing pieces here, but the really critical question is what can be done with JavaFX that can't be done with Flash or AJAX. If the answer is, nothing, then JavaFX is an also-ran: too little, too late. New development platforms only succeed when they open up new vistas to developers. The same thing again, even the same thing better, never succeeds. Right now I can't imagine a rich client app that could be built with JavaFX and couldn't be built with Flash. Unless there is such a program, JavaFX is doomed.