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Sun JavaFX Targets Rich Net Apps

JavaFX is not a serious threat to JavaScript (which has 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. Although Sun's open-sourcing of Java means that JavaFX could in principle be included in browsers, Microsoft and other closed-source vendors are extremely unlikely to use GPL code.
But JavaFX is really about making the Java run-time itself a more attractive platform for browser-based applications that can't use pure JavaScript--because they involve multimedia or because they're intended for mobile devices whose browsers tend not to support JavaScript. In multimedia desktop apps, Sun is aiming to catch up with Adobe's Flash, which includes scripting. Java is popular on mobile devices, but faces serious threats from Flash and Microsoft's planned Silverlight platform.
Java's main advantage over Flash Silverlight is that it's used in the back end of most Web Services and is (mostly) open-source.
JavaFX's claimed ability to work offline will also appeal to developers of more complex rich Internet applications, particularly those aimed at laptop users, though Adobe and Microsoft are also adding similar functionality.
Andy Dornan
Senior Technology Editor

Sun Microsystems this week launched JavaFX Script, a simple scripting language the vendor sees as the glue holding together Internet apps running across a variety of devices.

JavaFX Script applications run on any JavaSE technology-based platform. To extend that user base, Sun this week also introduced JavaFX Mobile, a run-time for mobile handsets, TVs and other embedded applications from automobiles to game systems. The broad user base for Java run-times is a key advantage for getting adoption of JavaFX, Sun said. The scripting environment will also integrate with more full-blown Java components that run on the server or client.

Sun said it will enhance JavaFX with content tools, widgets and other offerings to create a more full-fledged scripting development environment.

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