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Java Returns to the Desktop

Java began on the desktop and, despite success on the server, it's heading back to the desktop.

At the recent JavaOne show, Sun Microsystems unveiled JavaFX, a desktop scripting environment for Java browser apps. JavaFX is not a threat to JavaScript (no relation to Java) on the desktop: JavaScript's main advantage is that it's supported by most browsers, whereas JavaFX will need a Java run-time installed.

JavaFX is really about making that run-time itself a more attractive platform for apps that can't use pure JavaScript--because they involve multimedia or are intended for mobile devices. Especially interesting, however, is the desktop, where Sun is aiming to catch up with Adobe's Flash and Microsoft's planned Silverlight platform.

With Rich Internet Apps and Web 2.0 all the rage, everything old is new again. We'll see if JavaFX can compete.