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Sun Debuts JavaFX As Alternative To AJAX

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the YASL dept.

Java 441

r7 writes "Internetnews is reporting on Sun's introduction of JavaFX at JavaOne today. Looks like a combination Applet, Flash, Javascript, and AJAX with a friendly programming interface. Does this really spell the end of AJAX? I sincerely hope so. Nothing built on Javascript will ever achieve the security, cross-platform reliability, and programmatic friendliness that Web 2.0 needs. Proprietary solutions and vendor lock-in are also dead ends. JavaFX has the potential to satisfy this opportunity even better than did Java over a decade ago. Along with AJAX, let's hope JavaFX also puts paid to Microsoft's viral Active-X and JScript, and, more importantly, that it really is a web scripting language that developers can grok."

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441 comments

Have they fixed the startup time? (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043453)

Applets, and Java in general, are notorious for long startup times.

It has been found that people give a web site about 2 seconds to respond before they determine it is not going to load and surf away.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (5, Insightful)

Fireflymantis (670938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043509)

Java 5 and (even more so) 6 have really helped curb the init time of applets. Plus on windows, IIRC it stays resident so after the first instantiation of the Java VM, load up times are very small. This is not including the time required to download the required classes for the applet, but it would probably be no worse than waiting for a heavy javascript laden page to load up.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (5, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043657)

It's the first instantiation that matters.. Applets are so uncommon that the average user will only come across them once per reboot.

Also, because of the most stupid thing Sun ever did, people tend to deliberately close the JVM after that first initiation. Why? Cause Sun puts a stupid little Java icon into the systray. It immediately draws attention to the fact that the JVM is in memory and people think they might get a speed boost or something by closing it. (Or something equally irrational that users think.) This was a pretty predictable result.. and the icon serves no purpose anyway, so why bother?

 

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1)

Fireflymantis (670938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043767)

And if this "JavaFX" takes off (for better or for worse) then we would all be seeing a lot more applets, and then like I said, only the first init would be bothersome (on windows at least). I know on my linux box, Java applets load virtually instantly, so it would be no inconvenience to me. Also, a bit of a discaimer, I am a little bit in love with the Dojo project, so I see this as being potentially disruptive to it, but nevertheless, If it really is a decent tool for pushing out good, usable, and accessible web apps, I would be all for it.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043833)

If it means I can write web apps in a statically typed language that is compiled I'm all for it too.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1)

Fireflymantis (670938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044013)

If it means I can write web apps in a statically typed language that is compiled I'm all for it too.

The Cross-platform bit is nice too. :)

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (5, Informative)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044033)

I've not had, in 10 years, an easy or simple or quick Java "first time install."

Every single time it has been hard, complex, and slow. This despite wanting it to be good.

I generally have to go visit some download page, figure out which of the myriad Java acronyms I need to install, have it fail, then have to visit the page again and figure out how to do it manually, work at it, fail, and then ultimately, give up. In the very few occasions I've seen it work, there is the infamous Java load time to roll my eyes at.

Contrast with Flash, which I hate, and which I practically have to struggle, to avoid having on my computer.

That is, with Flash apps: I visit, it says, "You need flash," I click on the "OK install Flash thing," and after like 2 seconds, it's installed, and then playing whatever it was I wanted to look at.

After the very first install of Flash, I don't notice that it even loads, at all. I don't even think about it.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19044219)

figure out which of the myriad Java acronyms I need to install
What? There are only three different "flavors" (if you will) of the JDK: Java EE, Java ME, and Java SE. If you go to www.java.com, you'll only be presented with Java SE, and it doesn't even mention the SE bit. I clicked a "download java now" button, it automatically figured out which platform download I needed. Done.
Maybe you're in some other interweb?

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044223)

and the reason for that is Adobe actually worked with browser makers to have Flash pre-installed, pre-loaded and, if it is not, easy to install. They actually did QA to ensure that the plugins work in all the different configurations of hardware and OS that people run browsers on.

As far as I can tell, Sun never did that for Java.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1)

aled (228417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043957)

That's just not true. The icon means that Sun JVM is running within your browser process. You can open the Java console right clicking on the icon.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044135)

The average user will never do that.

It's just confusing to them.. and it has a negative effect on performance when they fiddle with it.

More importantly, it's a change to their desktop which happens outside the browser window in response to going to a web page. Users don't really understand that it is the browser that spawned this.. they think that it was the web page that spawned this, and they understand that web pages shouldn't be able to put icons into their systray.

All in all, it's a dumb idea.. and Sun should have done some user testing to see what the user's reaction to it was.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1)

aled (228417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044271)

You can hide from the right button menu or open the control panel (in same menu) and disable it. It's a bit intrusive but it seems that every windows app want to put an icon there this days.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044443)

It should be hidden by default.. it confuses users.

The first 30 seconds of user testing would have told the engineers at Sun that.. so clearly they didn't do any.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044329)

Also, because of the most stupid thing Sun ever did, people tend to deliberately close the JVM after that first initiation. Why? Cause Sun puts a stupid little Java icon into the systray. It immediately draws attention to the fact that the JVM is in memory and people think they might get a speed boost or something by closing it.

And then from the summary:

Does this really spell the end of AJAX? I sincerely hope so. Nothing built on Javascript will ever achieve the security, cross-platform reliability, and programmatic friendliness that Web 2.0 needs.

Personally, I believe the dumbest thing Sun ever did was to strongarm Netscape into renaming JavaScript into JavaScript. They have nothing to do with one another, and they confuse the heck out of people. JavaScript has become an official part of the web. Java is just another plugin, like flash, that is NOT part of the web.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044481)

the dumbest thing Sun ever did was to strongarm Netscape into renaming JavaScript into JavaScript.
Uhhh.. they did? I vaguely remember them suing someone because they called it Javascript.

Stupid branding. (4, Insightful)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044543)

I'm so sick of companies thinking they'll somehow become relevant because they put reminders of their products in every nook and cranny on my system. Sun, like all other half-wit companies, feels the need to put useless tray icons in there to brand the user's computer. You'd think after the Internet's collective hate of RealPlayer they would have learned that the systray is not for advertising. Besides, people don't care what Java is, they want to look at what is on the page. But no, they have to sit there in the tray, completely useless. And lets not discuss needing to run a program 24/7 that monitors for updates to Java, or installing a control panel.

Sorry Java, you're not nearly as important as you think you are. QuickTime commits the same set of sins, which is why I swear by QuickTime Alternative, it is a bit less annoying.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (4, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044595)

It's the first instantiation that matters.. Applets are so uncommon that the average user will only come across them once per reboot.

And thus it really depends upon how this is used. If its used deep into a page say for something like an online word processor, where you know and expect to be waiting, versus a homepage which you expect to open instantly. Really its up to the developers to use it where it makes the most sense. Sadly few do.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043663)

On OS X, it's very fast even on my little G4. I believe that OS X pre-loads Java. On Windows, I know it can seem that way, but if parts were pre-loaded (or the whole thing kept in memory and just paged out when not in use) startup would be fast. If this became big (and lets hope, JS is terrible) then the browser would have a VERY good incentive to pre-load java and be ready to go. It wouldn't load up and unload all of Java each time you navigate pages.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (4, Funny)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044093)

Took my browser 5 seconds from clicking on the Slashdot logo, until the page started reloading.
Well, I'm off then. I'll surf away to the other Slashdot...
Oh, wait! I wanted to see the front of Slashdot again, so I actually waited for as long as it took.
Bummer!

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044191)

It has been found that people give a web site about 2 seconds to respond before they determine it is not going to load and surf away.

Actually, it's four seconds [bbc.co.uk] , but what the hell, you're only off by 50%.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (0, Offtopic)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044385)

There's 2 seconds different from what I said and what you said, how the hell isn't that "about".

It's still a shitload shorter than the 20 to 30 seconds it takes for the JVM to start up.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044563)

There's 2 seconds different from what I said and what you said, how the hell isn't that "about".

Uh, because it's off by 50%?

It's still a shitload shorter than the 20 to 30 seconds it takes for the JVM to start up.

Which could be done at browser initialization time.

It is also to be hoped that GPLing the JDK will lead to some performance improvements eventually.

Not all virtual machines take so long as Java to initialize.

Re:Have they fixed the startup time? (1)

JohnyDog (129809) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044553)

Applets, and Java in general, are notorious for long startup times.
It has been found that people give a web site about 2 seconds to respond before they determine it is not going to load and surf away.

Yes, this has been fixed for some time - for example on my linux machine surfing to page with java applet freezes the whole browser for seconds, leaving the applet enough time to load all the stuff, without the danger of me surfing away. It has also the added benefit of me remembering the name of your page, even saying it aloud, with lots of .. urm .. "superlatives".

Seriously though, competition is always welcome, although JavaFX seems to be aimed more at embedded/mobile devices (where java has its foothold, and flash or ajax are rarely seen).

Ok, let's try it... (0)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043463)

In Soviet Russia, AJAX debuts Sun!

Dammit, I'll get a good one someday.

Re:Ok, let's try it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19044031)

In Soviet Russia, Abyss stares into you!

Proprietary solutions & vendor lock-in (4, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043465)

So we're moving away from a de-facto standard that is already implemented with free software, towards the proprietary Adobe Flash platform and the vendor lock-in that it implies?

Re:Proprietary solutions & vendor lock-in (3, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043733)

We are moving from using an open language (Javascript) that can be a real pain (thanks to all the different browsers ways of interpreting and using things) to an open language (JavaFX will be open sourced according to the FAQ) that will have a good reference implementation and should alleviate many of these annoying little things about JS, without having to use something as heavy or overkill as Flash.

Re:Proprietary solutions & vendor lock-in (1)

aled (228417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044017)

Language are not open source, just particular implementations of a language (ie: a compiler, an interpreter, a runtime, etc) can be open source, as any program.

Freedom of a programming language (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044177)

Language are not open source, just particular implementations of a language (ie: a compiler, an interpreter, a runtime, etc) can be open source
The de facto quality of a programming language is defined by the quality of its leading implementations. Such qualities include freedom. For instance, C is free because GCC is free.

Re:Freedom of a programming language (1)

aled (228417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044247)

The de facto quality of a programming language is defined by the quality of its leading implementations. Such qualities include freedom. For instance, C is free because GCC is free.


Sun Java is open source, probably they publishing the code this month. Your point?

Re:Proprietary solutions & vendor lock-in (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044313)

We are moving from using an open language (Javascript) that can be a real pain (thanks to all the different browsers ways of interpreting and using things) to an open language (JavaFX will be open sourced according to the FAQ) that will have a good reference implementation and should alleviate many of these annoying little things about JS, without having to use something as heavy or overkill as Flash.


Is the JVM really less "heavy or overkill" than Flash?

Hahaha (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044399)

That pretty much destroys his argument. At least Flash has the decency to be less than 30MB to install.

AJAX Going Away? Oh noes! (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043469)

Does this really spell the end of AJAX? I sincerely hope so. Nothing built on Javascript will ever achieve the security, cross-platform reliability, and programmatic friendliness that Web 2.0 needs.

Did it occur to you that you're sounding exactly like the hype you're decrying?

AJAX is a stupid name developed for the ole' hype machine (mostly to sell conferences and books, methinks) but the basic web technologies behind it are NOT THAT BAD. To use the example from the article, am I "tearing [my] hair out over as [I] attempt to get the JavaScript working in both Internet Explorer and Firefox?" Actually? No, I'm not. And I just implemented a Comet [wikipedia.org] library in both Javascript and Actionscript. About the most frustrating thing was the fact that Opera ignored the cache-disable commands when using XML.load in Flash. So I build a solution into the library. And if you think that's fun, wait until I detect Server Side Events in Opera and use XMLSockets in Actionscript!

*shrug*

Oh, and I had to dynamically patch Safari and Opera to add support for the toSource function. Easy as for(var i in object) pie.

The problem with most "AJAX coders" is that they still think of Javascript as that cutesy language they used to do scrolling statusbar text with. But it simply isn't that bad. In fact, Javacript is a full-up, Object Oriented (or at least, OOP capable) langauge that fits the lightweight needs of the web browser perfectly. Java is a 600 pound gorilla that's better for designing heavyweight applications that are secure, robust, fast, and feature complete. The two target very different markets.

As for JavaFX, there is (if you'll excuse the expression) "nothing to see here". It's just a Silverlight competitor. Which makes it just as questionable as the product against which it's competing. If you really want a replacement for XMLHttpRequest, use XMLSocket [devpro.it] instead,

Re:AJAX Going Away? Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043651)

The main difference between JavaFX, Flash and Sliverlight is that fact that JavaFX is truly cross platform and based on an open source technology.

Ultimately, the toolset will determine the winner in the end. The flash kiddies need to be able to use JavaFX without being forced to get real programming skills.

My vote is defiantly for the open solution though.

Re:AJAX Going Away? Oh noes! (1)

thujone20 (1099497) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043755)

Thanks for your response -- saved me some typing!

Re:AJAX Going Away? Oh noes! (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043893)

Java Script isn't so bad! Sure I had to patch browsers and write a different version for each one. I made my own library and blah blah blah.

Sounds bad to me. Javascript is very annoying, mostly due to the incompatibility between browsers, but for other factors as well. I welcome this. And how do you know JavaFX will be so bad when they have only announced it and haven't previewed it? Worst case scenario, it feels like using the Google Web Toolkit but doesn't produce large .js files that you have to include. It isn't going to run the full Java VM and load up support for all the little libraries (OpenGL, sound, etc). It's designed for this, I'm betting it will be rather speedy. It will certainly be up there with Flash.

This sounds like it is targeting more than just "fetch this list box dynamically" by trying to be a way to make web pages that are currently only realistically implementable by making the entire thing in Flash.

Also, Javascript may have gained abilities over the years (like OOP), but Java has had it from the start. Java has the ability to do static typing. OOP isn't bolted on. It wasn't an afterthought.

Note: after reading your post once or twice, I'm having a hard time telling if the whole thing was sarcasm or not

Re:AJAX Going Away? Oh noes! (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044263)

Seems I confused you with my slightly sarcastic tone. "for(var i in object)" is a core part of Javascript and the way it works. That feature (and what it implies) are why it's so simple to fix different browsers to work like one another. If you don't know how to use it, you shouldn't be coding web apps.

Also, OOP is not bolted on in Javascript. It's been there since nearly the beginning. It's just that 99% of web coders never actually learned how to code Javascript.

How do you know JavaFX will be so bad when they have only announced it and haven't previewed it?

I've been a Java programmer for about 11 years. In that time, I've explored the VM and libraries inside-out, upside-down, and sideways. The conclusion I've come to is that Java in the browser is a bad idea. At least in the form of the J2SE. If it had been developed more like a J2ME plugin with access to the DOM, it might have been a decent replacement for Javascript. But it wasn't developed that way, and now I think it's not in a very good position to compete in that space.

This sounds like it is targeting more than just "fetch this list box dynamically" by trying to be a way to make web pages that are currently only realistically implementable by making the entire thing in Flash.

You bring me requirements, and I'll show you the magic that modern web technology can perform. And it's only going to get better. My comments about Server Side Events and XMLSocket are meant to mention how much better it's going to get. SSE will effectively obsolete Comet-style requests, resulting in rich server "push" systems that can transmit nearly anything to the client on demand. No need to worry about different XMLHttpRequest implementations, it will all be automatic in the browser. Opera already supports this, and thanks to the magic of Javascript, it's easy to branch to code that makes use of it when available. Wrap it in your libraries, and you're ready. to. ROCK! :)

Java has the ability to do static typing.

Which is its strength as a platform, and its weakness as a scripting language. Don't get me wrong, the computer scientist in me wants to go with static typing. I love static typing. It makes all the bad problems go away. But the web coder in me knows that distributed document technology needs something more flexible. Dynamic typing as in Javascript is that flexibility.

It's slightly out of date, but you might find this article I wrote [intelligentblogger.com] to be interesting. Web technologies are really accomplishing what Sun envisioned all those years ago.

Re:AJAX Going Away? Oh noes! (1)

diodeus (96408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043901)

I hope to never to have to program in Java. If it's so great, why am I not already using it?

Why put another layer on top of javascript and the browser in order to do something javascript and the browser already do well?

Unless I start letting untrusted people feed javascript into my site, my javascript code is as secure as anything else could be.

Re:AJAX Going Away? Oh noes! (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044477)

I hope to never to have to program in Java. If it's so great, why am I not already using it?


You don't have to program in Java to use JavaFX Script. Of course, if you want to code logic behind the UI in Java, you can, since it runs on the JVM, but I'd imagine that using it in an applet providing the front end to a web app often wouldn't involve anything other than JavaFX Script on the front end, and whatever you wanted to program your web app in on the backend, whether that's Java or a RESTful RoR webapp serving XML, or whatever else you want.

Proprietary (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043471)

"Proprietary solutions and vendor lock-in are also dead ends"

Or... not.

Using Java solutions over .NET because you have a stick up your ass is a little silly.

what excellent astroturf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043491)

I'm not usually one to point this sort of thing out, but what amazing astroturf. I can almost hear the marketing person coming over to an engineer's desk saying "Help me add a geek word to this so it rings true." ... "Grock, eh? How do you spell that?"

What? (1)

taupin (1047372) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043497)

a combination [of] Applet, Flash, Javascript, and AJAX
So... you're going to kill AJAX... with AJAX? And it promises security, while using Flash. Am I missing something here?

Hmm (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043533)

I really hate when people refer to Active-X as "viral" or something similar... Active-X is a technology like any other, which unfortunatly has been abused and misused in any kind of way.

OTOH Java is really known to be a very "heavy" and slow technology... Leave politics aside, Open Source or not Open Source, let the best player win. I hope is not Java anyway.

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043683)

I really hate when people refer to Active-X as "viral" or something similar... Active-X is a technology like any other

Actually, ActiveX is a patented Microsoft Security Hole(TM) big enough to drive a Mack Truck through. Effectively, Microsoft looked at Java Applets and said, "The biggest problem with it is that it doesn't access Windows APIs and has all that security BS. We can do better." Next thing you know, Microsoft "partners" are showing how you can access DirectDraw and Direct3D to make ActiveX components that were WAY more impressive than the simplistic animations that Java was capable of. Of course, the security implications hit Microsoft less than a year later as Malware started exploiting the system for all kinds of nefarious purposes.

Microsoft kinda-sorta shuffled it off into other areas after that. Now they're back with a vengence. Silverlight will be everything that ActiveX was going to be, but BETTER! Can you feel the excitement? :-/

Re:Hmm (2, Interesting)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044289)

Effectively, Microsoft looked at Java Applets and said, "The biggest problem with it is that it doesn't access Windows APIs and has all that security BS. We can do better."

No, they looked at Java and said "holy mother of god, this crap is slow".

Of course, the security implications hit Microsoft less than a year later as Malware started exploiting the system for all kinds of nefarious purposes.

Oh, without question. The problem with ActiveX is that it forces the user to implicitly trust a non-sandboxed piece of native executable downloaded from an untrusted network.

On the other hand, if you're OK with that (or just careful) then ActiveX is great. Otherwise it's not very appealing. Though it has made things like platform- and codec-agnostic streaming audio and video possible that would have probably been impossible with Java or anything else.

Who knows, if Silverlight does run on more than one platform it just might be the next big thing. It all depends on whether or not it's designed with security in mind rather than just snazzy features.

Re:Hmm (1, Insightful)

Jason Hood (721277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043979)

Okay, what exactly does slow mean? In many cases Java is actually faster than similar implementation is lower languages such as C. Specifically in memory intensive applications. google is your friend.

If you mean slow by startup time on low speed platforms, Java does lag behind a bit. However also announced today, is that sun is working on a micro-kernel for the JVM that will only load and install classes that are used by the runtime. They had some MB numbers, many common java apps had their initial memory footprint cut to 1/10th. Once this happens, JavaFX will load faster than flash, open source, be more portable and easier to code against. It will be used natively on phones, desktops and PDAs.

So I would think if you are for open software and are a developer, you certainly would want JavaFX to take off. Given its scope there is no current alternative anyway. Unless you are JavaOne (like the me) and seen the demos and spoken with the actual developers, it would be very hard to understand what JavaFX really is. Comparing it to AJAX is not accurate. Its an optional wrapper for swing that works in rich clients and flash like applets. FX apps might still employ AJAX depending on what you want to do.

Sorry, had to quash the disinformation.

Re:Hmm (1)

niteblade (764045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044045)

Based on the pathetic JavaFX demos Sun has up, Silverlight has nothing to worry about. Silverlight feels MUCH faster and the effects shown seem much more impressive (maybe Sun just didn't allocate enough resources to their demo). Also, from the blurb I read JFX seems to be a wrapper around Swing - Is Swing capable of Flash-type smooth animations? -NB

End of Ajax.... (4, Insightful)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043557)

That would be great, but in reality, when people invest enough money into something and there is ubiquitous support for it, it tend to stick and migration to something new drags on forever.

And there is so much big corporate inter politics involved with each side rallying their alternatives that it looks like we are stuck with the lowest common denominator, that beeing for the moment javascript.

This begs the question... (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043565)

Nothing built on Javascript will ever achieve the security, cross-platform reliability, and programmatic friendliness that Web 2.0 needs.

This begs the question, will anything built on Java achieve the security, cross-platform reliability, and programmatic friendliness that Web 2.0 "needs"? It is well-known that Java is a "write once, debug everywhere" solution. If it is running on the server side, It also begs the question, does it need all that? What does Java provide that other languages don't? It looks like it has a client-side component. FTFA, "One of the knocks on AJAX applications, aside from browser compatibility, is that it requires a large amount of JavaScript to be sent over the wire; that script could have something malicious embedded in it. JavaFX eliminates that need by using the locally installed Java SE files." Well well well, FUD FUD FUD. Yes, it could have something malicious embedded in it. And there could be something malicious in your Java code, too. Make a point, please?

Also, I'm interested in having this assertion backed up somehow. Javascript is an excellent language even if some implementations are somewhat lacking. In general the use of cross-platform toolkits seems to be accelerating Web 2.0 development for many people. Is it really true that you can't do the job with Javascript?

I'd just like to leave with this C&P and short commentary:

"This really is write once and run anywhere," he said, reiterating a 12-year-old slogan for Java. The long-range plan is to make it so applications can be written to run on all platforms." Yes, that was Java's long-range plan as well. Note that so far, it has not succeeded.

Re:This begs the question... (1)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043939)

No, it doesn't beg the question [wikipedia.org] , it merely raises it. "Begging the question" refers to a Catch-22-esque incident of circular reasoning, not a logical connection to a further inquiry.

Re:This begs the question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19044357)

Living languages change. Sometimes a lot. For anything but very formal writing, it's perfectly acceptable to use "begging the question" to mean "invites the question". Did the OP's use of the phrase really confuse you?

For a good example of a big change, see how the meaning of the word "nice" has changed over the past 500 years.

ac

Write once, enjoy everywhere (1)

JochenBedersdorfer (945289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043967)

It is well-known that Java is a "write once, debug everywhere" solution.
Speak for thyself. For 6 years now we are deploying a complex(>3000 classes), swing-based client to windows, linux and even mac desktops. We never, ever had to debug something because of different platform quirks. Even better, we never compiled the code on those other platforms. Class files are compatible across platforms. Using fine grained security permissions, no code is executed we don't want to. No buffer overflows on our server, improved performance with every major JDK release. I could go on and on. It really saves a LOT of work!

Re:This begs the question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19044021)

It is well-known that Java is a "write once, debug everywhere" solution.
It is "well known" only for those that never used Java at all. I develop on a Windows machine and my applications run on Unix and Linux. The same code, no difference, and I never had any problem at all.

Java is the most cross platform platform there is, writing applications that run on many machines is easy.

Another Flavor of Java? (4, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043581)

Here's the JavaFX page [sun.com] and their FAQ [java.net] . Lots of polish but light on real information.

Also from the site:

Like all of Java, JavaFX Script will be available via the GPL license.

Re:Another Flavor of Java? (2, Funny)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043925)

How pissed are they that 'JavaScript' was already taken?
I bet they walk the halls in the JavaFX Script dev area muttering about 'ECMAScript'.
Bitter bastards, I'm sure.

what about gwt? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043583)

The google web toolkit (which google doesn't even use, but whatever) already lets you program in java, which is converted to javascript. This makes it a whole lot simpler (and accessible) than requiring javascript, java, and flash. Even if you think it's a dumb idea or impractical, it's worth browsing the svn repository [googlecode.com] to see how it's accomplished.

Re:what about gwt? (1)

aled (228417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044317)

But ask yourself: can you do space invaders in GWT? It doesn't seem that GWT is an alternative to Flash like JavaFx or Silverlight. It's comparing pears and cats.

Re:what about gwt? (1)

hpoul (219387) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044589)

i think you can .. not using (only) the bundled libraries, but since it's very easy to write "native" javascript libraries.. there are a couple of additional libraries which allow you to .. like http://gwt.components.googlepages.com/canvas [googlepages.com] - or see http://roberthanson.blogspot.com/2006/06/coding-sv g-with-gwt.html [blogspot.com] for using SVG

and personally .. i think GWT is great.. you have the advantages of java (simplicity, statically typed language) with compatibility with all javascript-ready browsers (ie. >99% of all browsers) without the overhead of any JVM (on the client side) ... and .. it is very very simple to extend.. and very clean even when you need to write native javascript once in a while.. because you would simply hide it behind some java method call ..

Re:what about gwt? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044601)

You probably could. I seem to recall a tetris game made for the wii/opera web browser, using the canvas api. GWT and javascript let you have arrays, monitor keydown events, have timers, etc. Opera, FF, and Safari support the canvas api for drawing (like flash). Or the graphics could be done with positioned html elements. Flash still wins out for audio/video.

AJAX? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043599)

only faggots use it

Umm ?? wait (1)

Assassin_for_Atari (691252) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043603)

"Internetnews is reporting on Sun's introduction of JavaFX at JavaOne today. Looks like a combination Applet, Flash, Javascript, and AJAX with a friendly programming interface. Does this really spell the end of AJAX? I sincerely hope so. Nothing built on Javascript will ever achieve the security, cross-platform reliability, and programmatic friendliness that Web 2.0 needs.

Umm....?? eehh....so its a combination of Applet, flash, JAVASCRIPT and AJAX....then you say Nothing built on Javascript is worth its 2 cents in materials. You sir, give me brain worms.

Re:Umm ?? wait (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043757)

You sir, give me brain worms.
Now, now ... I'm sure he didn't mean to. It must be that he has brain worms of his own and that they're highly contagious ... perhaps you can simply catch them by reading his posts.

Deployment still unresolved, probably (1)

JochenBedersdorfer (945289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043605)

Yesterday I installed firefox on a new machine. I went to a website which required Flash 9. Since I didn't have this plugin, I simply clicked on "Install plugin" or whatever and within seconds(!) I had flash installed and could watch the page without any other hassles. No braindead installer, no ridicously long loading times, just slick and smooth, THIS is what Sun needs to accomplish: A no-pain, mind-numbing simple and unobstrusive way to install a minimal, blazing fast VM on the client. The rest is just icing on the cake.

Re:Deployment still unresolved, probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043723)

Well, hopefully deployment of this means that Sun and Adobe will be working on 64-bit versions of their plugins so that those of us who bothered to upgrade recently can take advantage of all this wonderful junk.

Re:Deployment still unresolved, probably (1)

helzerr (232770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044103)

But then, how is Sun supposed to ask stupid questions such as if I'd like to install the Google toolbar.

Since apparently Sun believes I'm totally incapable of finding the Google toolbar for myself.

What an insult.

Uptake.. (2, Interesting)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043607)

First of all there is nothing at all hard about cross platform ajax programming, those hurdles have
already been overcome. However it is over 10 years since java and applets where introduced and they
are still slow as mud, I highly doubt any success in market penetration.

New toolkit, not a "combination" (5, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043611)

Bad phrasing on the part of the submitter and/or editors: according to the article, JavaFX isn't a "combination Applet, Flash, Javascript, and AJAX" in the technological sense, but in the sense of the kinds of features it provides. It's actually an extension to Java.

Anyway, there is one drawback it's going to have as compared to AJAX: It will require end-users to install something. As it is now, AJAX will run (to some extent) in MSIE, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and a number of browsers with similar rendering engines. Even if it gets built in to the standard JRE, that still requires people to install Java, putting it more on par with Flash (though at this point a lot of people do have Java installed).

So, how long before Sun convinces Apple to include JavaFX in their version of the JRE? Last I looked you couldn't just download a JRE for MacOS X.

Re:New toolkit, not a "combination" (2, Informative)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044007)

That's what I see as the biggest drawback to this approach: it requires installation of at least one additional plugin, unless they could somehow piggy-back it on Flash. However, Flash is still an installation in of itself, and many web-savy users block it all together.

Re:New toolkit, not a "combination" (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044077)

Last I looked you couldn't just download a JRE for MacOS X.

You must be looking in the wrong place [apple.com] .

Re:New toolkit, not a "combination" (1)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044279)

>So, how long before Sun convinces Apple to include JavaFX in their version of the JRE? Last I looked you couldn't just download a JRE for MacOS X.

OSX Java SDK is downloadable in a number of places from apple's website. Prerelease versions are in their developer site ADC (requires free registration). I think the final JRE's get pushed to users automatically over the automatic update system.

What is the relationship between Apple and Sun's java? I always assumed that apple just licensed and customized Sun's sources. After all, apple really doesn't have the resources to rewrite java from scratch, and if they did it would still be a waste.

Anyway, I'd assume that OSX won't be far behind in implementing whatever class libraries and runtime stuff that SUN has. They've put a lot of effort into making OSX a nice java development environment, including adding java support to xcode (king of redundant now that eclipse is around) and writing a java wrapper around cocoa.

Re:New toolkit, not a "combination" (2, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044549)

Sorry, I meant to say that you couldn't just download an alternative JRE for Mac OS X. My point was that you get Apple's version with your operating system, and you can upgrade to a newer version from Apple, but you can't get one from Sun or (AFAIK) anywhere else.

That means you have to wait for Apple to incorporate the library into their JRE and push it out to users. And here's the key: Apple's Java always seems to lag behind the upstream version. They're still on Java 5. Java 6 has been out for, what, 4 months? From what I can tell, they're even several point releases behind on Java 5. The most recent release I could find was 1.5.0_07 [apple.com] Sun's version of Java 5 is up to 1.5.0_11.

So yes, waiting for it to appear in Apple's JRE is a concern.

F3 (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043623)

If this is what's been known as F3, then the guy who wrote it has been posting some pretty impressive demos [sun.com] for a while now.

Re:F3 (1, Interesting)

Scott7477 (785439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043861)

Thanks a lot, pal. Now I'm going to get in trouble at the office for playing Space Invaders all day:0 I agree, it's a pretty impressive demo. It took a total of about 30 seconds to get the demo up and running....

Re:F3 (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044055)

Some of the others are, I think, more impressive, and also if you follow the progress you'll see that he whipped up some of those in very short order.

Frustrating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043633)

Since when was AJAX frustrating, as TFA claims? People invented such wonderful libraries as prototypejs for a reason.

We're all switching to Java (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043635)

Does this really spell the end of AJAX? I sincerely hope so.
Yes, we will all be switching to Java for the sole purpose of defeating the evil that is AJAX. Dumbass.

Re:We're all switching to Java (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044309)

Didn't java applets disappear in the late nineties for good reasons? Web 0.5 is more like it.

Whenever a new technology comes along to replace.. (1)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043731)

..an old one, I am always glad I never bothered to learn the original technology in the first place. In a few years, when something comes along to replace JavaFX, I'll be glad I didn't waste any time learning JavaFX.

What trolling (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043737)

"Does this really spell the end of AJAX? I sincerely hope so. Nothing built on Javascript will ever achieve the security, cross-platform reliability, and programmatic friendliness that Web 2.0 needs."

Use Dojo or a similar framework, or Rails has it built in to the back end programming, which is even better(again using a mature framework).

And security? "JavaFX will also trigger desktop integration of over-the-wire applications with Java" desktop apps from? Yeah, high security results have always been achieved there. That's why I give activex unlimited control on my computer.

The goal is to make it so people never have to see code," said Gosling.

Sounds like even more code will be sent "over the wire." And I'm so glad for disconnected use, my broadband takes forever to dial in... oh, wait, no, nevermind. Had a 90's flashback there.

Although I'm glad for the Java ME stuff, I'd love to see better web pages for the mobile market, and they don't have to be flat like we did before all this fun stuff happened(I don't call it web2.0, although you can if you like).

It really sounds like it's DOA. Talking about "disconnected." "Imagine running gmail in a disconnected state" well it already does that, runs just fine, the data is on one end of the disconnected pipe and you can't see it until you're connected again. How do you have a remote database and a disconnected web app unless you download the database. And even then you wouldn't get new mail as it comes in.

Startup times still slow, at least for the demos (5, Interesting)

caseih (160668) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043739)

A demo of JavaFX (embedded in Java WebStart--yuck) can be found at http://blogs.sun.com/chrisoliver/ [sun.com] . Seeing as flash comes up instantly in browsers, even if it takes some time to download code, etc, and that web pages with ajax also render near instantly, I don't see how JavaFX is really going to appeal to end users. The JVM plugin still takes time to load on all browsers and platforms and is quite big. And on almost all browsers and platforms I've ever used, tends to lock up the browser for 10-20 seconds at a time. Further how will JavaFX integrate with HTML? Javascript?

Flash and .NET don't have these problems, mainly because flash is a fraction of the size of the entire JVM adn runtime, and .NET is always loaded and ready to go on windows.

Anyway, given the current state of Java technology in the browser, I don't see this as being any different from WebStart, which everyone loves to hate because it is so clunky.

I dislike the idea of Silverlight entirely, particularly anything that relies on .NET (mono notwithstanding). I really want to like Java, I really do.

Re:Startup times still slow, at least for the demo (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044015)

Agreed. How it interacts with HTML and JavaScript are going to be very important. AJAX fits nicely in there, and really is nothing new except the techniques. The HTML is still indexable, and the ad and tracking javascript is still there. With this, that may not all be true.

Re:Startup times still slow, at least for the demo (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044023)

Anyway, given the current state of Java technology in the browser, I don't see this as being any different from WebStart, which everyone loves to hate because it is so clunky.

Speak for yourself. I personally love Webstart technology. It's a beautiful solution to installing/launching applications in a cross-platform way. You just click, and it loads. No guarantees about the quality of content the developers package on the side, though. :-/ (The SpaceInvaders demo you pointed to being an obvious example.)

Re:Startup times still slow, at least for the demo (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044213)

> I don't see this as being any different from WebStart,
> which everyone loves to hate because it is so clunky.

JWS is pretty sweet for internal apps, though. I wrote a Swing client for a J2EE app for an internal group and folks were quite happy with the easy updates. They'd suggest a change and half an hour later I'd come buy their office, ask them to restart the app, and the new version would get downloaded and Bob's your uncle. Pretty sweet.

The JavaFX code looks pretty nice [sun.com] , and here's the original press release [blogs.com] (got it from thenewsroom [thenewsroom.com] ).

ajax just works (0)

mo (2873) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043803)

The reason everybody uses ajax instead of Flash or Java applet remoting is because ajax works out of the box on all browsers.
If you're going to require people to download and install the jvm to run your app in their browser, you might as well just write a thin client app in java.

Re:ajax just works (2, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044075)

Really, Sun is pulling a fast one, JavaFX competes with Flash and Silverlight, a graphical environment for devices, with web browsers as a bonus. Security concerns and downloadable plugins are just a smokescreen to make the product look bigger than it is. Compete against Ajax for the browser? Noway, but it is an attractive solution for hand held devices.

Finally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043805)

Why didn't they do that back in the mid to late 90's when Java was purely on the client side? Alot of people were doing the AWT thing, but were disappointed with the limited widget set and screwy event model. Then Swing came out, but it was huge and slow. In the meantime Flash became the de facto in-browser rich client. I sure hope JavaFX succeeds. I hate that stupid Adobe movie timeline thing. What a dinky way to program.

Still screwing up on the mobile end I see (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043857)

The mobile version appears to be tied to Savaje's commercially unsuccessful operating system.

Despite having massive deployment of J2ME, it has always struck me that Sun's strategy to capitalize on that fact have been hampered by complexity -- for once not of the platform, but of the business model, which is tied up with phone manufacturers and mobile wireless providers. Basically, as a serious app developer, you probably have to partner with a wireless company.

So now we have this interesting "mobile" technology. But you won't be able to buy it, you'll have to find a wireless vendor that supports it.

IANAWD (1)

non (130182) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043859)

I am not a web developer, but despite having said that, i can assure you that this is >90% hype.

"You know all that AJAX code you've been writing and tearing your hair out over as you attempt to get the JavaScript working in both Internet Explorer and Firefox?"

no, i don't. i really don't. not anymore.

"offers interactivity, animation and programming"

so its not AJAX, its Flash/Silverlight/etc. and as regards Gosling's comment (possibly taken out of context?),

"Most scripting languages are oriented at banging out Web pages. This is oriented around interfaces that are highly animated,"

are we talking server-side or client side? with full DOM level 1 support there isn't that much guess work involved in designing controls/widgets/etc, and anyone working in this field already has a browser compatibility layer (my own has shrunken considerably over the last 5-6 years). frankly the only issue i have is when to download the code, all in one go, or as needed.

in short, while there is definitely a need for standard cross-platform browser support for such technology, i would be surprised if this was the answer. and as far as flash goes, when was the last time you gave the remote to the TV? i would be happy if i never saw another 'flash only' site that was nothing more than some corporate portal.

last but not least, there wasn't any mention of the _license_.

Re:IANAWD (1)

aled (228417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044203)

last but not least, there wasn't any mention of the _license_.


Open source.

Re:IANAWD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19044243)

That FA sucks. Try here:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=306 [zdnet.com]

"JavaFX will be open sourced under the same GPLv2 license used by Java SE (standard edition) and Java ME (mobile edition)."

FUD Maybe? (1)

Evets (629327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043869)

"Nothing built on Javascript will ever achieve the security, cross-platform reliability, and programmatic friendliness that Web 2.0 needs."

Just because you don't understand xml and javascript doesn't mean that nobody does.

A temporary solution? (4, Insightful)

abes (82351) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043965)

AJAX has given web-pages a new breath of life. Things like google-maps, netflix, etc. have definitely done things I wouldn't have thought possible before. And packages like RoR have managed to find ways to automatically generate most of the AJAX you need.

I don't claim to be an AJAX expert, but it seems really good for the simple things you need to do. You can find 10 libraries now that give you collapsable boxes, drag-n-drop, etc. But it gets much more complicated if you want to do something not covered with these libraries.

The big problem being that put very simply: HTML was not designed for full-fledged interfaces. Compare against a beautiful library like Cocoa, and it falls very very short. Which is fine. It's great for what it does.

Java is many ways was supposed to fix this problem. A method to create interfaces that can be spread through web pages. But issues besides just speed have been a problem with Java. AWT was not great for making interfaces, and Swing isn't (IMHO) much better. I haven't tried SWT, but even Eclipse, its flagship, suffers from all types of interface issues (compare it against an IDE like XCode).

I'm trying very hard not to be an Apple fanboi. I've used PCs for most of my life, and Linux for a good enough time (> 10 years). But I've seen enough interface libraries now (GTK+, KDE, Windows API, Javascript hacks, various ones using SDL, etc.) that I've seen both highlights and major downfalls from the different design paradigms used.

One of the largest design issues I've seen comes from at the end of the day from the language itself. Part of A large part of Cocoa's beauty derives from Objective-C. It does things that c++ wouldn't dream of doing for speed reasons. Both Gtk+ and KDE try to replicate features already in Objective-C, but because they are non-native, they don't/can't do it as well. Which is not to say Objective-C is the end-all be-all language -- it's just great for interfaces.

It's also something that from my personal experience Java can't do. So it's hard for me to imagine how using Java to make an interface for web pages will be a great advancement (again, I'm leaving speed issues alone -- this is a purely design argument). And maybe it will be better than AJAX, but that's not a great advancement .. a small increment without actually fixing any of the big issues.

So it's JSP with graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043977)

I happen to like JSP. It does a lot of things nicely and the built in try, catch structure rocks. There is also a heck of a lot of good awesome code out there for jsp/servlets that does for free what windows will charge an arm and a leg for. iText does barcoding pretty good and manipulates/generates pdfs on the fly to boot.

I for one welcome our new JavaFX overlords

Thank you, Sun! (3, Funny)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044113)

You know, the one thing I absolutely HATED about AJAX was how there was no delay when I loaded a page. For many moons, I have longed for the five second delay that a Java applet on a webpage incurs. I knew I was in for an interactive, highly responsive, good-looking user experience when my browser stumbled momentarily, as it loads the slim, petite Java runtime into the browser. It gave me plenty of time to prepare myself for the life-changing experience that ONLY an applet could deliver!

But now, I can be happy once again. Thank you Sun! And with a hip name to go along with it, as well! JavaFX! I wonder if it is compatible with WinFX? Or how about ActiveX?

Another Freakn "Alternative" (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044133)

Gawd, I'm so sick of everyone re-inventing the wheel. Just pick one dammit and improve it over time.

Show me an example of this working!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19044297)

Show me an example of this working!!!

AXAJ - hundreds of sites delivering real value.

JavaFX - I spent 10 minutes and could not find a single example. Come on, even if it was a standard Applet + JavaScript it would be more than nothing at all. Show me how it works, give me a realworld example and I may take a look at it sometime.

dumb fuck marketter (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044371)

"Proprietary solutions and vendor lock-in are also dead ends."
So you acknowledge the presence of product solutions for ajax exist yet disqualify the possibility of using them because they are "dead ends"?

there are no issues with javascript. cross site security simply demands you be resilient and durable and know when to fail user operations when they're asking for "funky" stuff, but that security was mandated at some level by traffic sniffing and packet generating long ago.

as for cross platform reliability, what other standard library would you propose?

the wonder of javascript is that things can be hacked to work cross site. greasemonkey provides an interface back into the web application and permits users to medal on their own. eventually cross site atom reading will allow sites to mix web content dynamically. 3rd party sites running their own js on your page is not a problem, authors that use shite namespacing techniques are. javascript is the only standard platform available that comes with a display layer. it will kick javas lily bitch ass.

Java is the dead end of all dead ends, the furtherest logical business case extension of c++. The fact taht there will never be anything after Java, to me, indicates is stasis decay and dead end. In this I agree very much with Alan Kay and his theories of languages.

marketter, fan boy, or run of the mill overly excited moron. you ought be fisked.

Why all the hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19044511)

Sun open-sourced Java. They've supported OpenOffice for years. They've opened Solaris (somewhat). Now they propose to slay yet another bete noire for Linux desktop users like myself: Flash. I have not forgotten that Linux was a second-class platform for Adobe/Macromedia until only recently. I know that I still can't run a 64-bit desktop without pissing around with 32-bit chroots 'cause eventually one of my kids is going to want to play a Flash craplet.

I also know that if Flash was open-source, we would've had 64-bit support ages ago, and that Linux would've been excellently well-supported from the get-go.

I applaud Sun for giving us a potential alternative under the GPL.

AJAX or DHTML? (1)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#19044525)

"Because it runs on the client and is not dependent on code sent over the wire, it also means applications written in AJAX, such as Google Apps, can be used offline."

So JavaFX Script is just a client-side UI library? That's not AJAX. That's DHTML.

Too bad they didn't fix the real problem: Javascript. I would rather see Java as a first class language in the browser to replace Javascript entirely. Instead of writing Java GUI applications to target Swing or AWT you would be able to write them to target the browser DOM directly. And you'd have compile time checking. The DOM+CSS model is a pretty nice for documents. Of course that would require all browsers to have compliant DOM implementations (maybe that's the holdup). But JavaFX sounds more like Flash.
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