Posted by rbair
on November 7, 2008 at 1:16 PM PST
There's been a lot of rumor recently about enterprise Java development and where its headed, and what Sun's commitment is, particularly with regards to JavaFX. Here I talk about some of these issues. Questions welcome!
The past couple months have been incredibly busy for the Java client group. After JavaOne we started essentially from scratch writing and rewriting the JavaFX APIs and implementations to get them ready for general use. When we do release the bits, bear in mind it won't be perfect, but our commitment to JavaFX is strong and as you would expect, future versions will always be better than the last. There is a talented team of developers working on the JavaFX SDK, including Kevin Rushforth, Chris Campbell, Jasper Potts, Jim Graham, Dmitri Trembovetski, Igor Kushnirskiy, Amy Fowler, Tony Wyant, and on and on, and it is a pleasure to work with these folks on a day to day basis.
As many of you know, I've been the SwingLabs lead for 4 years now (has it been that long?). When Hans left, I took on a lot of responsibility in the JavaFX SDK and haven't had time (along with the rest of the team) to properly interface with the community. I personally very much appreciate the work and interest in SwingLabs even while I've not been able to participate in the day to day operations as I had before.
Our team of Swing & AWT engineers in Russia have also been very busy on some pretty important skunkworks projects. Alex Potochkin has taken ownership some months back of JSR 296: Swing Application Framework. He's also going to be the main day-to-day Sun contact at SwingLabs. He's the author of the JXLayer component which is quite cool. We have a number of additional announcements in this area which will be made at Devoxx.
Alex has also been heads down for the past couple months absorbing the design of the App framework and looking at directions he'd like to take it. JSR 296 is definitely staffed and supported and you will see forward progress.
Sun is committed to enterprise Java development, both with Java and with JavaFX. Sun is also committed to rich internet applications and mobile applications and consumer applications. These are not mutually exclusive.
When I say we're committed to enterprise Java development, I mean everything that that implies. We're committed to powerful and extensible GUI toolkits. We're committed to frameworks and tools for validation, authentication, web services, etc.
We're also committed to ease of use and good documentation. You haven't always gotten that from us in the past. We understand the issues and are addressing them. We're committed to making our UI toolkits easy to use, without giving up enterprise class power.
There has been a bit of discussion about JavaFX, specifically that putting time and resources into JavaFX is "wasted" or for "toy demos", or that by investing in JavaFX we're abandoning enterprise developers. Nothing could be further from the truth! We will have more announcements going forward as things are released. But I want to make this point very clear:
Sun is committed to enterprise application development.
If you have questions, please leave a note or contact me directly, I'll try to keep up! Also, please come to Devoxx and bring all your burning questions. We'll be making a series of announcements at Devoxx that relate directly to the question of the future of enterprise Java development and all the continuing work in both SwingLabs and Swing.