Oracle recently release Netbeans 7.1 Beta and JavaFX 2.0 and made them available for download from javafx.com. I managed to get the download for Netbeans 7.1 Beta last night without fuss and completed the installation, also without fuss. I expected the JavaFX SDK to be bundled, but it was not.
Trying to download the SDK has become an exercise in futility as I’m presented with Login screens, failed login attempts, password resets and lastly server error pages. Switching browsers from Opera to IE gave me more than an error page and at least enabled me to access my Oracle accounts to reset my password, but the download for the JavaFX 2.0 still gives me an error message at the time of writing.
Oracle need to understand that if they want people (developers) to adopt a product they need to make it available without hassle, and then provide compelling services on their website where people can choose to register to be a part of. Even Microsoft are giving away downloads of the Win 8 OS without the need for an account. Oracle need to step up and move away from bureaucratic thinking and get with the programme.
Enough ranting, going back to try the download again.
After hearing about Oracle’s new Road Map for the JavaFX 2.0 release expected to be made available next year, I found it sort of funny to realize the similarity between what it took for Java to become successful and what it probably is going to take for JavaFX to be become successful.
Up until version 1.6 of the currently successful Java Platform, it carried the brand “Java 2 Platform v1.x” and this was basically the platform I met when I begun my programming career. According to Wikipedia:
J2SE 1.2 (December 8, 1998) — Codename Playground. This and subsequent releases through J2SE 5.0 were rebranded Java 2 and the version name “J2SE” (Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition) replaced JDK to distinguish the base platform from J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) and J2ME (Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition). Major additions included reflection, a Collections framework, Java IDL (an IDL implementation for CORBA interoperability), and the integration of the Swing graphical API into the core classes. a Java Plug-in was released, and Sun’s JVM was equipped with a JIT compiler for the first time.
So what is similar in between Java and JavaFX at this point? That will be their version number. It seems Java and JavaFX will potentially owe their success to their “second” major version. From the road map presented by Oracle and the expected changes with respect to API, language and integration changes, I expect if finished in time and coupled with a possible Java 7 release around the same time, JavaFX 2.0 is set to become the next best thing in the RIA and Java UI development arena.
I so far have not used JavaFX for anything more than a demo app and an attempt at making a Flash type web banner animation. But with the proposed changes, I feel I can immediately drop JavaFX 2.0 into my current application to pimp up the UI and deliver a whole new user experience for the next version of the application. So I only hope Oracle lives up to the current road map and plans and deliver a kick ass platform with all the proposed widgets and finally what seems like JWebpane.