Tuesday, February 12, 2013

JavaFX Coming Soon to an Android or iOS Device Near You?

There has been big news recently in the world of JavaFX regarding many more components of JavaFX being open sourced as advertised at JavaOne 2012. In February Open Source Update, Richard Bair compiled a table of JavaFX projects that have been open sourced as of that post's writing (Monday, 11 February 2013). As exciting as all that open sourcing is, there was something even more exciting highlighted below the table: "We’re also going to open source our iOS and Android implementations over the next couple months."

Bair adds some timing and background information to this significant announcement:

The first bits and pieces for iOS should be out next week, with the rest of iOS and Android coming out at about the same time as the rest of prism (there is some timing dependency there). Both our ports are based on an as-yet unreleased version of JavaSE Embedded for iOS/Android.

After expressing the expected caveat "I’m not a lawyer", Bair also addresses licensing issues on iOS and points out that "both OpenJFX and OpenJDK are both licensed with the same GPLv2 with Classpath Extension." He further describes his understanding of the licensing situation: "this means that if you take OpenJFX + OpenJDK (minus any binary stubs released under a different license), then you can safely combine this with your application and release your application under your own license as a single application co-bundle." I am sure we'll hear more about the licensing details in the future as this develops.

Being able to develop Android and iOS applications with JavaFX will likely be a game-changer for JavaFX. I echo Bair's concluding sentence: "I am looking forward to seeing what you all will do with this contribution, and hope to be running many Java apps on my phone / iPad in the near future." I look forward to using (and maybe even writing) some JavaFX-based apps on my Droid! I am presenting on JavaFX at Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group (RMOUG) Training Days 2013 tomorrow, so the timing of this announcement couldn't have been better.


Unknown said...

What a great news. If this thing happen it will become top of development, i dont know if this will support native. if will do that will be a great A+. thanks for letting us know.

Unknown said...

There was a pretty major update to Oracle's post on 2/19 that really changes how this news can be interpreted:

"Update 2/19/2013: The response to this post has been incredible! I got a ton of positive feedback, both here and in the press. It’s great that there is so much interest. In reading all the feedback and media coverage, I’ve realized that I there are a few things I should clarify. I mentioned “We’re also going to open source our iOS and Android implementations over the next couple months.” It turns out that that statement can be read in a bunch of different ways, and deserves a clarification. I’ve made the same points previously on the openjfx-dev mailing list, but not everybody reading this blog is also reading the mailing list and so some context is missing.

A few years ago at JavaOne 2011 we showed a demo of JavaFX running on Android and iOS devices. This was a proof-of-concept which has two essential elements. The first is a port of the Windowing / Graphics layer of JavaFX (Glass & Prism) to use iOS & Android APIs. This is what we are open-sourcing, nothing more nor less. We are not providing a JVM for these platforms, nor am I aware of any such plan, so it’s not in any way a complete solution. Nor do we have a plan for releasing these ports in any release. We’re just opening up JavaFX code to the Java community for further experimentation.

Speaking of which, there are a ton of things that we continue to look toward the community for help with in the core platform which apply to all our target platforms including desktop and embedded (such as the Raspberry PI). There are a lot of areas that need more work, such as support for X on Raspberry PI, a Windows 8 Metro port, more controls (formatted text anyone?), performance optimizations, 3D, printing, internationalization, camera and video recording and much more. If you want to pitch in on any of these projects visit JIRA or our openjfx-dev mailing list!

I also received some questions about my statements regarding the GPL and Apple. I told you I wasn’t a lawyer and I wasn’t kidding! Law is complicated so it’s probably just best to disregard any statements I might make on the subject.

Lastly, cross-platform development for these mobile platforms isn’t a first for Oracle — check out what my colleagues over in Oracle’s Java Tools and Frameworks group released a few weeks ago with Oracle ADF Mobile. You may have seen the announcement at this past JavaOne. You write your logic in Java and use HTML5 for the UI. The best part is that if you use JDeveloper you have an environment with declarative binding to datasources and the whole bit. So far, they’ve released it on iOS and Android – and it’s fully supported. Oracle is basing most of its mobile application development going forward on ADF Mobile and customers are already having success like the folks at ECSTeam. You can download it and try it out for free.

I hope to see you on the dev list and can’t wait to see what we can do together in this community!"