Michael Heinrichs

About Michael Heinrichs

Java, Android, JavaFX developer. Interested in agile management and public speaking. Loves his family and cooking.

Most often asked questions about JavaFX

Last week I did a talk about JavaFX at Jfokus 2012 in Stockholm, when I realized that there are three questions I am asked at every event. There seems to be a general interest, so I try to answer them in this post (as much as I can to be honest):

  • What about JavaFX on the iPad or other mobile devices?
  • Is Swing dead now?
  • How do I migrate my Swing application?

Jfokus is definitely one of the top Java conferences in Europe. There is a nice trip report from Arun Gupta and another trip report form Markus Eisele. There were many great moments and I enjoyed the conference a lot, but the one thing I liked the most was the fact that I actually helped a good cause. Speakers sometimes get little presents from the conference organizers, but the awesome Jfokus team had a better idea. Instead of a present, they donated a package of 30 doses of measles vaccine and 40 doses of polio vaccine to Unicef for every speaker. What a great idea, I hope it finds lots of copycats!
After my JavaFX talk, I got a lot of interesting questions and I realized a pattern, because there are three question, that I am always asked. They are pretty tough questions and I cannot answer them as much as I would like, but I will do my best.

What about JavaFX on the iPad or other mobile devices?

I am sorry, but I am not allowed to comment.
As much as I would like to answer this question, I am not allowed to. You can believe me, this really bugs me, especially since I hear time after time how important (and cool) JavaFX on these devices would be. All I can say is, that we presented prototypes of JavaFX on different tablets at JavaOne last year and asked, if this is something the community wants. The feedback was overwhelming. We continue to look into this, but for now I can only humbly ask you for your patience.

Is Swing dead now?

No, but…
Swing is not dead. And as the JavaFX FAQs say: “Swing will remain part of the Java SE specification for the foreseeable future, and is included in the JRE”. – But it is in maintenance mode now, no new features are being developed at this point. So if you want to use the new and cool stuff that was developed for JavaFX, you have to migrate to JavaFX or embed JavaFX in your Swing application. Which leads me directly to the last question.

How do I migrate my Swing application?

Honestly? I do not know.
I do not have an answer for this question yet. As a library developer, I do not write JavaFX applications. The only time I actually use the JavaFX runtime, is when I write small scripts to reproduce a bug or in my unit tests.
So for a start, here is what I am aware of. There is a tutorial about how to integrate JavaFX into a Swing application. I know there are efforts going on to build a JavaFX RCPs (Rich Client Platforms) on top of NetBeans and Eclipse although I do not know much about these projects. They may help, if your application was build on top of the NetBeans or the Eclipse platform. And on our mail alias, there is currently an interesting debate about an application framework for JavaFX going on, that you are welcome to join (openjfx-dev@openjdk.java.net).

This is certainly just a start, but at least I became (finally… :-) ) aware of this question and I hereby promise, that I will do my homework and try to find better answers.

Reference: Most often asked questions about JavaFX from our JCG partner Michael Heinrichs at the Mike’s Blog.

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