JavaFX moves forward while mobile variant on hold

At the JavaOne conference, Oracle said JavaFX 2.0 will arrive in Q3 of 2011; JRuby improvements are coming as well

JavaFX, the rich Internet application platform launched in 2007 by Sun Microsystems, will be refreshed next year, although the mobile version of the technology apparently has been placed on the back burner.

JavaFX 2.0 is set for arrival in the third quarter of 2011, said Richard Bair, Java client architect at Oracle, at the JavaOne conference Monday in San Francisco. Oracle acquired Sun early this year.

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"The main things with JavaFX is we've got hardware-accelerated graphics, [and] we've got some newer UI controls, It'll be smaller, it'll be faster, and it'll expose the APIs in Java," with version 2.0, Bair said.

But the mobile device implementation of JavaFX, called JavaFX Mobile, has been placed on hold, said Nicolas Lorain, group product manager at Oracle. Lorain declined to elaborate on the issue of JavaFX Mobile when questioned afterward.

Integrated with the Java runtime, JavaFX has had to compete with higher profile technologies, including Adobe's ubiquitous Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, and the latest entrant, the standards-based HTML5. But an attendee at JavaOne was firmly in JavaFX's corner, while acknowledging it has not had the kind of market reception of Flash and other technologies.

"[JavaFX] beats the socks off of Flash and all those other things," said attendee Richard Lowe, CEO of AlphaLowe of Vienna, Austria. "I'd just like to see it take off."

Also at JavaOne, developers of JRuby, which provides an implementation of the Ruby programming language to run atop the Java Virtual Machine, talked about improvements planned for JRuby 1.6, which is due in early November.

"The next big push for JRuby is getting performance improved," said Charles Nutter, a JRuby developer with Engine Yard. "We're using some standard compiler optimization techniques now to bring us closer to Java performance."

JRuby developers also hope to support the Ruby 1.9 specification in JRuby 1.6. This would offer better support for text encodings and performance boosts. A new OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) library in version 1.6, meanwhile, improves Windows compatibility, said Tom Enebo, also a JRuby developer at Engine Yard. Both he and Nutter had worked on JRuby as Sun employees before joining Engine Yard.

JRuby 1.6 also will feature compatibility with the recently released Ruby on Rails 3.0 Web development framework.

JRuby, Nutter said, has become the preferred Ruby implementation for applications such as high-load Web sites and graphical applications.

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