Wednesday, 21 January 2009

JavaFX - first impressions from a Flash developer (me!)




First impressions of JavaFX, having used it for about an hour. Can't be bothered with proper sentences for this! Here's the bullets:

  • The code IDE - NetBeans 6.5 - is great.
  • There's no visual editor that I could find - export from PhotoShop, Illustrator. For free versions try Paint.NET and Inkscape.
  • The language (JavaFX Script) seems like MXML and ActionScript rolled in to one language. A very different programming model to how I work. You never really write thing = new VisualThing(30, 20), it's all done with literals, so more like thing = VisualThing{param1:30, param2:20}.
  • That takes some getting used to, but I imagine if there was a good reason to use JavaFX for a project I'd be fine.
  • Certainly much easier to get started with than normal Java applets.
  • You can also use straight Java classes.
  • The plug-in update experience is still pretty horrible compared to Flash and even Silverlight.
  • Lots of the demo's are using Java Web start, which is also horrible.
  • Couldn't find anything about easy embedding - what's the Java version of swfobject?
  • Run-time performance seems fine and renders graphics nicely.
  • This technology has picked up seemingly zero traction amongst Flash community. Maybe will be a slow burner like Silverlight? Certainly Sun haven't thrown loads of money at Flashers like they did with Silverlight. (They probably can't afford to).
  • I hope it's not a flop because competition within the plug-in space can only be a good thing, but we'll see.
  • Nice range of 2D effects like we got with Flash 8 - drop shadow, blur etc
  • No 3D as yet, but it's on the roadmap.
  • Properly free and Open Source I think.
  • You can also develop Flash / Flex for free with MXMLC compiler, so that's not a reason to use over Flash.
  • Mobile version coming soon - don't know which platform supported yet - not iPhone or Android so who cares!
  • Now that I've sniffed around it I have no reason to use it, so back to Flash for now! Wish Sun the best of luck, because the technology actually seems ok.

1 comment:

Josh Marinacci said...

Thanks for the feedback. We really want to know what we can do to make the JavaFX platform more attractive to Flash developers. Feel free to email questions to me at joshua.marinacci@sun.com