Posted by fabriziogiudici
on November 6, 2008 at 5:20 PM PST
The announce of Sun stopping funding of SwingX is spreading some irrational fears . I'm in the worst moment to blog about that, but I'd like to put some things clear immediately (for this reason I'm not commenting on Kirill's blog - sorry Kirill, I hope this doesn't sound rude, but I don't have the time to follow discussions and answer to others - let's hope for the weekend).
- We know that Sun is not in good shape from the financial point of view and there's the planetary financial storm. Unfortunately, and this is sad, this implies that the corporate has to cut fundings in many places
- Sun stopped funding SwingX, not Swing. SwingX is however an open source project and if people like it, should just keep on supporting it. Pardon my frankness: Sun for sure makes a lot of communication errors, it must improve the interface with the community, but too many people saw Java opensourcing as a "Santa Claus moment": Sun speding lot of money and delivering free software to people. It's not the way opensource works. If you like SwingX and use it, and if it's strategic to you, consider funding the developers, Jeanette and the others. It's the way opensource works: let's not forget that it's still a market thing.
- The recurrent point that Sun pays too much attention to backward compatibility (and Kirill himself points out this) should make it clear that nobody is thinking about withdrawing Swing from the core of Java. Consider also that NetBeans, which is one of the products where Sun most invested in the recent two years, is completely based on Swing.
- Sun is clearly focusing most of the remaining resources on JavaFX. You might like it or not, but it seems natural: they have bet on it and the project can't fail, or Sun would lose the face. JavaFX is in delay, but it's going on. The core libraries are still part of Java2D, which is the Swing container. Java 6U10 delivered many new features for Swing, including Nimbus. (edited to add) This means that we have new features for Swing, even though they are delivered for JavaFX.
So, please don't panic. Swing is here and will stay. SwingX is here and will stay if people support it. It's the open source thing, baby.