Thursday, May 08, 2008

Sun Shows Flocked Up Demo of JavaFX

Yesterday at their 13th annual JavaOne Conference - Sun announced a new, ambitious plan for JavaFX - their answer to Adobe Flash, Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight and plan ol' AJAX.

Param Singh, senior director of Java marketing (and ex-Apple dude), apparently showed a demo (which had to be restarted twice) that took Facebook and Flickr pictures and applied a "flocking algorithm" (no, I'm not making this up).

When you enter a person's name all the pictures that have to do with that person "flocked" together out of a slowly moving mass of pictures moving on the screen. He then showed how pictures with similar colors could flock, etc.

The plan is to also allow the user to drag a app that is downloaded into the browser to their desktop to run without a connection to the Internet.

JavaFX will have a scripting language - not Java, not JavaScript, but that tried-and-true, non-standards based, Adobe-inspired ActionScript! Yeah!


Plus, at least initially, users will have to install a browser plug-in until the JavaFX stuff makes it into the standard builds of the JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

Oh, and they're planning on bringing this to mobile devices in the fall of 2009.

By now you've probably guessed my take on this - "Oh goodie - yet ANOTHER damn, half-baked, me-too, non-standards-based, piece of crap just to muddy the waters of an already clouded pond filled with the refuse and lack of interoperability between competing companies trying to get developer mind share and application lock-in."

And, ordinarily, you'd be right.

But for this one, I'm going to take a wait and see approach. I'm interested to see what kind of back end programmatic, Java-linking, server-based goodies MIGHT be in there. It all depends on the execution - how quickly they can get it out in the wild (rumored to be "this fall") and whether it can perform as hyped.

We'll see..

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