Why JavaFX Script and not JRuby?

The news this week from JavaOne is that Sun has decided to create a new language called JavaFX Script. I am still shaking my head wondering why does the software industry need another scripting language? Also, what has happened to Sun’s support for JRuby?

Before JavaOne, I was convinced Sun was heading down a strategy of pushing JRuby as their dynamic language. They hired the key guys on the JRuby project; the new news about NetBeans is all about JRuby; there are sessions about JRuby at JavaOne; everything pointed to Sun adopting a big strategy for JRuby. However, at the keynote JRuby was barely mentioned and there just seems to be no buzz about JRuby at JavaOne. Instead Sun decided to create a new language, that was created by an individual Sun engineer as a research project, there does not appear to be tools support but it is being positioned as the killer of MS Silverlight and Adobe Flex? I just have to think MS and Adobe are laughing at the thought.

I certainly hope the work on JRuby keeps going. To me that seems like a winning strategy for Sun and Java.

5 thoughts on “Why JavaFX Script and not JRuby?

  1. I haven’t looked into JavaFX Script enough to be able to comment if the advantages that it supposedly brings are worth yet another scripting language. However, I would like to correct the comment about the tools support. There is a plugin for Eclipse _and_ one for NetBeans[1]. Not sure how good they are though.

    [1] https://openjfx.dev.java.net/

  2. The news about JavaFX isn’t really so much about the scripting language, which is a lot like SVG but with declarative expressions replacing all the procedural DOM programming and without all the XML. The news isn’t even that Sun is trying to compete with Silverlight or Apollo (although they are). They seem more interested in the play this gives them on mobile devices and TVs than on the desktop, which they consider to be much a bigger market than the desktop. JavaFX Mobile is actually a complete platform built over a Linux kernel and a bunch of Java technology Sun acquired from SavaJe. It’s been put together rather hastily, but the interesting thing is the new thrust of Sun’s business.

  3. Although the name JavaFX sucks, the actual project itself (which is nothing like SVG, by the way; a closer analogy would be XUL) had some interesting ideas. I’m not sure that it merits being pushed as The Way To Do Things, when there’s bigger problems afoot with the size of the runtime. Silverlight and Flex stand a far better chance of succeeding; it’s not just whether it’s GPL or not; it’s how easy you can get the code running on someone’s browser.

    Whilst the Java modules system will help, that’s sadly too far off to make it useful for most. And don’t get me started on the Java installer, which is going through *another* round of changes to provide automated updates …

  4. Why not Groovy? Groovy’s SwingBuilder has a much better syntax, and it’s closer to Java syntax. They should fix the deployment/startup time issues of Applets and WebStart instead of reinventing yet another wheel.

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