Test Center preview: Sun JavaFX Preview SDK
Sun's new rich Internet application framework should be a hit with Java developers, but the promising preview trails Adobe Flex/AIR and Microsoft Silverlight
There are other disappointments. JavaFX apps cannot be directly embedded into HTML but must be launched as applets or from the desktop via Java Web Start. The Preview SDK lacks streaming video codecs, though On2 Technologies has been tapped to fill that gap for the final release. Unlike Adobe AIR, JavaFX provides no access to the host file system. And finally, Windows and Mac OS X are the only platforms supported today.
But the JavaFX SDK is only a preview edition -- and a good one, at that. With Version 1 not set to launch until the fall, Sun still has some time to shine up this project. Easy integration with existing Java apps should make JavaFX an immediately attractive option for creating enterprise dashboards or bringing a modern look to Java relics. How far Sun's mature technology stack and the long reach of Java can take JavaFX against Adobe and Microsoft remains to be seen, but the Java camp finally has a heavyweight in the RIA game. It's long overdue.