JavaJavaOne Spotlight: JavaFX Script

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The highlight of Tuesday’s general session at JavaOne was the debut of Sun’s JavaFX. Sun defines JavaFX as “a comprehensive set of runtime environments, widgets, development tools and scripting environments, that will make it even easier for you to create and deploy next-generation services that run across virtually any device.”

JavaFX will be released in pieces, with the two initial products being announced as JavaFX Script and JavaFX Mobile. JavaFX Script is a scripting language that can be used to create interactive GUIs; while JavaFX Mobile is the environment for mobile platforms that support JavaFX.

JavaFX Script

JavaFX had previously been called “F3” (Form Follows Function), which Sun acquired from Chris Oliver in September of 2005 with the acquisition of SeeBeyond. Chris Oliver continues to spearhead the technology now at Sun although under the name of JavaFX Script.

Sun, the producers of JavaOne, described JavaFX Script as “a statically typed language that allows good integrated development environment (IDE) support and compile-time error reporting and has type inference, declarative syntax, and automatic data binding with full support for 2-D graphics and standard Swing components as well as declarative animation. You can also import Java class files, create new objects for the Java platform, call their methods, and implement interfaces for the Java platform.

Plug-ins are available for both the NetBeans and Eclipse IDEs. There is support for “as-you-type” validation, code completion, syntax highlighting, and hyperlink navigation (with Control-mouseover). F3 attempts to demonstrate that we’re not exploiting the full capabilities of the Java platform for GUI development and that, together with supporting tools such as F3, the Java platform is highly competitive with or superior to competing GUI development platforms such as Adobe Apollo, Ajax/DHMTL Macromedia Flash/Flex/Open Laszlo, Microsoft WPF/XAML and Silverlight, and Mozilla XUL.” 1

To learn more about JavaFX Script, download the binaries, use the tool, or join the community go to the JavaFX Script page at


1: JavaOne session catalog.

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