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Java FX, the strengths, and the weaknesses.


images1With the release of the latest version of Java FX, 1.1.1, in March 2009, we thought it would be a good idea to offer a roundup of ideas concerning the software platform.  As we all know the concept behind Java FX, is that it is a platform that can produce rich internet applications that can function on mobile phones, game consoles, browsers, television set-top boxes, and blu-ray players, with more uses planned for the future.

So what is good about Java FX?

Well so far, bearing in mind the latest version has only been kicking around for a month, one of the most positive comments to appear is that it is easy to use, both in developing code, and to integrate it with other applications.

In comparison to Java, the code is far more succinct when used to “bind” keywords.  In short, gives far better results than its Java predecessor.

Java FX can be used for programming simple games, and if care is taken when using the software platform, the quality of the animation can significantly improve the quality of the end-user environment.  Java FX can be used to produced quality key-frame animations when combined with  “bind”, which can be developed quickly and easily.

Java 2D effects are very quick and easy to apply, and can improve the application appearance substantially.

Though it is a little early to tell, Java FX feedback is showing that graphical designers, and software developers, can work on Photoshop to create Java FX plugins.  The feasibility of this approach to development, is yet to be fully tested.  Only time will tell if this is a viable way of working.

It is very easy to integrate multimedia into an application using Java FX.

Java FX is far easier to maintain than its Java equivalent, when developing terse code for DSL.

It also leverages existing libraries extremely efficiently, in terms of enabling seamless integration.

Java FX is proving to be powerful when used with web services, especially ones that involve XML parsing.

It is also proving popular for mobile devices, with most coders developing for mobile applications initially, then enhancing as necessary for new, desktop related, projects.

Although developers are managing time consuming asynchronous processing, the calls are automatically handled when Java FX is used for RESTful.  This means there is very little code required for web-service invocation.

Now we have heard about Java FX’s strengths, what is letting it down.  The word on the servers about Java FX’s weaknesses are…

Web developers are finding layout difficult and more time consuming.  The lack of a grid layout managers, or something similar, is proving problematic, especially as Java FX’s text fields are of limited use.  Though swing widgets can be used.

Many applications require codecs to support H.264.  Java FX’s current codecs On2, don’t support it.  Not good.  Though you can  install codecs separately depending on your environment, the application is then no longer truly portable.  Again, not good.

The future of Java FX is not totally clear, as rumors are circulating that Oracle that recently acquired Sun, are going to dump Java FX altogether.  Other rumors contradict that view, and that they are going to try and develop it to its full potential

Whatever the outcome, there is no doubt that exciting plans are in the pipeline for this software platform.  3D is due to emerge later this year, with TV integrating being brought out too.  The smart money here, is that it will build on JSR927.

There is also a rumor that something like an APP store could well emerge.  We can only wait and see on this one.

Whatever happens to Java FX, all developers can do in the mean time is to explore its strengths and weaknesses, and as always explore to its full potential

One Response to “Java FX, the strengths, and the weaknesses.”
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