Some questions...

When will the authoring tool be released?

What will it cost?

Can people using OGL in Java use FX for GUI work in the same way that Scaleform lets PC game developers use Flash as a GUI for 3D games?

Strong questions ;D

Authoring Tool Release: We’re trying to get some stuff off the ground here that will change a lot of things this end, it depends how far down the rabbit whole we’re aloud to go. The tool is indeed in design production, we started many moons ago, things are moving forwards, big boat sun a lot of rowing required.

Cost: Surely you know sun by now? I wouldn’t know at this point, I’m focused on making a Tool.

OGL: I think I sneek peeked FX NextGen at javaone ( - also have a look at MoonTank along with something that ran on the amazing nVidia APX phone, i’m with all of you “2d, 3d, animation, audio and video + high performance pls”. Thats what we are pushing for here in FX future land, push push push.

FX 1.0 uses Java2d as its internal engine so it should be ok. FX 1.0 also has the starting points of audio and video (yes video!) along with a really handy animation timeline api’s. I was told its shipping very soon indeed (must be because theres lots of people over-excited and running around here). Another 18 months then! hahhahaha, no no no only joking i think its around the corner. Hype wave any day is my guess.

TBH I wish they would charge for it, then there might be some powerful incentive (and budget) to actually make the product even more betterer.

Cas :slight_smile:

I think Cas was saying that if it made money, Sun would have an incentive to keep people working on it (i.e. instead of moving them on to other things, or letting the project rot when it’s not the fad of the week - see Java3D, or letting them go when things get a bit tight.) rather than the team themselfs being motivated by the product making cash. Moreover if the product became a revenue producer Sun might have more incentive to apply the extra resources required to make an actual flash killer instead of just beating a drum and hoping it’d happen.

The team of course would do the best job they possibly can with or without money, fame or publicity simply because they’re professionals :slight_smile:


Spot on. I believe the product should simply be made to pay for itself. Good for the developers, good for the bottom line, good for the shareholders, good all round. Sun are terrible about making money from Java - here’s a great opportunity. I don’t believe software should be free.

Cas :slight_smile:

there are a number of resources at Sun that we will push into play, i have no idea if we’ll charge for the design tool; my focus is to get it rocking along. the team is motivated by giving people the opportunity to make there creative ideas real- its a nice motivation; do we get dragged off on other things? well yes ggurrr- we all have to help others now and again, its the norm anywhere.

I would also add that we (Sun) are lucky that we have aNt leading the design tool work. Given his background in professional game development, aNt brings that design expertise that will resonate with media creators :slight_smile:

I agree in principle, but I think in this particular situation, what you’re suggesting would be suicide for the project.

Whatever the stated target of JavaFX, the battle here is for all intents and purposes over Flash’s ground, and Flash has a lot going for it:

  • Tons of content
  • YouTube as killer app
  • Free development tools readily available, at least for pure AS3
  • A robust marketplace for monetizing and publicizing Flash content of all forms - I can’t think of the last Java game that has been sponsored for a decent sum of money, but Flash devs routinely see offers in the several thousand dollar range that even let them keep their own ads. This is the primary draw to Flash development for a lot of folks, and is the main reason that it’s considered worthwhile to actually buy the expensive official development studio (one sponsored game can cover an entire CS4 purchase fairly easily).
  • Perhaps most important, and related to all the above, a browser plugin that worked better five years ago than the Java one does today

If Sun charges for a content development tool, there’s no possible way enough developers will take the plunge and hit the critical mass of content that will need to be all over the web to make the platform take off - I’m a very interested party here, but given what I’ve seen over the past several years I would not dream of making even a small financial investment in a product whose usefulness depended on Sun following through on a promise involving the browser. As kevglass noted, projects that could have been useful if they were actually given some attention have been pumped and dumped many times throughout Java’s history, and I think most people outside of this community are far more skeptical about Sun’s follow-through than even the least generous of us here.

I could see a free/premium split working, though, a la Visual Studio (ick, I can’t believe I just suggested Visual Studio as a model to follow for anything!). As long as the free version was featureful enough to allow fairly efficient development, that could entice enough people to come to the platform for it to take off, thus warranting an investment in a full product.

A free/premium split would work just fine (if you can figure out where the split should be!)

Cas :slight_smile:

I don’t think they need to charge for it, I think it just needs to make them a profit, no matter how they do it. There are a lot of different ways for this to work, but no best way. Java itself is free and would never have taken off if it costed anything. Obviously it’s a programming language so that puts it in a different category, but the potential for free software is often much higher than it is for something that costs. The reason Adobe’s products do so well is because they’re just so damn good, and typically have no peer whatsoever. I mean, really, what can you use instead of Photoshop? Gimp? Not really. And what can you use instead of Flash? Swish? Bleh. Adobe has blazed trails and small developers have tried to make a product that is satisfactory and fills the niche filled by people who can’t afford the real deal. It’s like going to the supermarket and buying the generic version of the ice cream instead of the Haagen Dazs.

So, that being said, really what Sun needs to do is make JavaFX good and new. Nobody wants another Swish, especially not if it costs money. But if whatever is released is actually somehow better than Flash or provides some different functionality altogether, then that will give it the biggest foothold. One reason the Java3D example Kev mentioned failed was because OpenGL was already so mature and so much better that it was silly to try to spend time making something again that does the same thing.

In my mind, the most important thing JavaFX will offer is Java itself. I’ve used ActionScript in Flash and it’s just not very nice because of the fact that everything is, in the end, based around a movie scene. Java is a robust and mature programming language, ActionScript is not. This edge needs to be pushed over the content authoring tools, because those probably won’t ever be as good as Adobe’s. But if Sun makes something almost as good as Flash and it lets me use Java, I’ll be all over that.

That isn’t true. Java 3D offered (and offers) masses of stuff above and beyond OpenGL. Thats like saying Java offers nothing over assembly language. The primary reason Java 3D had that period of being “on hold” was that Sun were having financial difficulties and Java3D wasn’t making them any money - so having resources assigned to it was a mistake. Luckily someone at Sun realized what a dumb move that was and got them back to it (unfortunately not before the community panic resulting in the fortunate creation and adoption of Xith3D and JME).

I’m not sure if you were using AS2, but having spent the last month tooling around with AS3 using the free FlexSDK I disagree. AS3 lets you do basically what you want, the whole movie time line thing can happily ignored. It’s actually been incredibly easy to port some of my small games over and performance is working out pretty reasonable.

I would agree that AS3 is not a robust or mature language. It’s SDK is also an inconsistent bag of shite where API is concerned. However, for the purposes of writing simple web games thats just fine. Moreover, I can’t see the JavaFX script (which looks suspiciously like AS3 with all that reverse type declaration and function keyword) being particularly mature or robust (I assume it’ll be good of course :)).

Totally agreed here, however thats not what it looks like at the moment. JavaFX seems to be being billed as Flash killer and so is offering the same feature set. The scripting language looks remarkably like AS3 and the focus on video playback could be interpreted as a little dig at YouTube (et al).

You’re absolutely correct that JavaFX needs to bring something new and different to the table, but from whats been released so far there don’t seem to be any differentiators apart from that for a great many users right now a good JavaFX experience is going to rely on the end user having the latest version of Java, which as we’ve seen, most don’t.

Maybe, just maybe, if Sun were to see the JavaFX as a money making opportunity they’d invest some capital in getting the message and the JVM out to as many people as possible (OEM deals? High profile sponsored users or something).


[quote]JavaFX experience is going to rely on the end user having the latest version of Java
sorry if I miss it, I didn’t read about requiered Java version for JavaFX ? what it will be ??

update 10 on windows and update 5 on mac. More infos on (sorry deep links don’t work)

javafx 1.0 will run on mac and windows jre 1.5 and greater…

And update 10 is certainly not required, but will improve performance on certain systems and give
overall better experience (like deployment, etc). Some things (like dragging FX apps out of
the browser will only be available in the new plugin available in 6u10).


Will that dragging feature be available on OSX and Linux too?

Cas :slight_smile:

I hope it is available on Mac and Linux too.

I don’t want to offend anyone but I don’t like the syntax of JavaFX, it is fitted for people who don’t program but I prefer the Java syntax. Is it possible to use JavaFX with the Java syntax? Except video playback and dragging application, what does JavaFX offer that the Pulpcore API doesn’t? How can I use JavaFX with Java Webstart?

Take a look at for a quick rundown on Pulpcore features versus JavaFX. One notable feature that JavaFX provides that Pulpcore does not is Swing integration. But to be fair to David Brackeen’s Pulpcore project I should point out that he has already stated that Pulpcore is intended for use on platforms which do not have Swing --like mobile phones.

I do not like the JavaFX scripting language either. I feel that the programmers would have got up to speed with JavaFX in a tenth of the time if it hadn’t been for the JavaFX scripting language, which forces a new coding paradigm on them. True, the introduction of a scripting language makes the API more accessible to non-Java programmers but to be brutely honest, when we saw JavaFX we were expecting a class library, Java docs and a few examples, not a scripting language which the average artist won’t stand a cat in Hell’s chance of understanding without taking some programming classes.

I had to give JavaFX a thumbs down for our most recent project because of the time the programmers would have spent learning the scripting language. I’m loathe to say it because I could well be proven wrong but I do think that JavaFX will go the same way that Java3D went. And the reason is because the programmers will balk at using the scripting language.

IMHO Pulpcore represents a better investment of time because a) it is open source, b) it has better sprite performance (at the moment) and c) it is open source. Did I mention that it was open source? Yes, I think I did. Suffice to say that I’m not going to be spending any time at all beating the JavaFX drum mainly because I think that after all of the hype it is a bit of a let down.

If I had to sum up JavaFX in one phrase it would be: “It is a ten meg download and that scripting language really sucks.” And that’s the way I really feel about JavaFX.

Incidentally, the examples that come with Pulpcore are much more engaging than those that come with JavaFX.


[quote]Take a look at for a quick rundown on Pulpcore features
heu… what plain old applet means ?

[quote]Incidentally, the examples that come with Pulpcore are much more engaging than those that come with JavaFX.
yup, far away better

well javafx 1.0 hasn’t shipped yet, there has been lots of feedback and many things have changed. it didn’t take me more then a few hours to learn javafx 1.0, and Pulpcore may need to update its comparison soon :wink:

javafx 1.0 is also not just an API- if your looking for that, its all java you know; you can mix java into javafx however you like.