Thoughts on JavaFX for Android and iOS


So the big news is out: Oracle will provide the sources of their Android and iOS prototypes. While I agree this is great the announcement leaves me with many questions and doubts.

What Richard is telling us is that they release their (prototype?) code for iOS/Android, not more not less. This means the community has to put a lot of effort to turn this into something one can use to write and package iOS and Android applications – at least this is how I read Richards announcement.

Having the prototype code makes it easier to start because we can see how Oracle approached this but one has to have a lot of knowledge about the inners of the JavaFX’ Glass and Prism code, OpenGL-ES and iOS/Android. Gaining this knowledge will take time and is probably not something one can do on evenings / weekends.

Another uncertainty is “JavaSE Embedded for iOS/Android”. What is it? Does it provide us AOT compilation? In case it does not this is one more thing to be solved by the community so that at least performance critical parts of your application can be AOT compiled. There are solutions to this like Avian or xmlvm but one has to make things work. There is a reason Codenameone provides this as a cloud service for their platform!

The last thing to consider is that only having JavaFX on the system is not really enough. You need to interface with platform services and sensors without them you can’t write useful applications, so we’d need a cross-platform API for this to develop useful apps.

To round up this short post. Yes it’s good news but still leaves me with many questions/doubts.

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on JavaFX for Android and iOS”

  1. Porting JavaFX to Android also means dealing with accessibility for the blind and visually impaired.
    http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/accessibility/apps.html

    The AEGIS Group already worked on an open accessibility framework for JavaFX 2.0, maybe they can help to define specifications for porting the existing accessibility features to IOS and Android ?
    http://www.aegis-project.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=156&Itemid=25

  2. I think that you have another (more realistic?) possibility for an AOT compiler: OpenJDK Graal (officially targeted, one year ago, for inclusion in Java8).

    As a Java JIT compiler written in Java (coming from Maxine meta-circular JVM), it can be used as an AOT compiler, at least for itself (before being used as a JIT compiler of the JVM for Java applications).

    This is probably not perfect and need probably some enhancements / configurations to become a good Java AOT compiler in embedded world, but I think that Graal is probably an easier path for finding an AOT compiler.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Java desktop links of the week, February 18 | Jonathan Giles - February 17, 2013

    [...] Android plans. It is important to note exactly what Richard is saying, which I think is fairly well summarised by Tom Schindl over on his blog. This was also covered by Dustin Marx, Slashdot, InfoQ and Parity [...]

  2. JavaFX links of the week, February 18 // JavaFX News, Demos and Insight // FX Experience - February 17, 2013

    [...] Android plans. It is important to note exactly what Richard is saying, which I think is fairly well summarised by Tom Schindl over on his blog. This was also covered by Dustin Marx, Slashdot, InfoQ and Parity [...]

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