JavaFX.com is DHTML Heaven

I just visited the (new?) JavaFX site in order to keep up to date on how the new kid to the Flash/Silverlight/”Rich” block was doing, and I was presented with an interesting site indeed. Make sure to click some of the “Resource” links on the right to get…

I just visited the (new?) JavaFX site in order to keep up to date on how the new kid to the Flash/Silverlight/”Rich” block was doing, and I was presented with an interesting site indeed. Make sure to click some of the “Resource” links on the right to get the full experience.

The whole thing is built in HTML and JavaScript, with the odd Quicktime player for good measure. Unfortunately the site creeks along at 100% CPU with jerky transitions, ugly styling and flickering madness as the browser can’t figure out what to render, with Quicktime movie’s and HTML Divs strobing in and out of existence as you drag panels around. So far not a great impression given.

I understand it’s possibly too early for them to have built the site in JavaFX itself perhaps, given that the examples all launch using Java WebStart, that archaic and most user-frightening of technologies. But there are technologies out there that would do this job better and hopefully more successfully demonstrate a platform that is meant to be fluid, powerful and rich. As a result the site left me slightly frustrated as it potentially gets in the way of the information it presents.

So is this a successful demonstration of Sun’s new rich technology, or perhaps this site is a hindrance? I’m very keen to see how JavaFX fairs against such strong competition, for developers it is rarely a bad thing to have more choice. It’s particularly interesting to note that whilst Adobe have strong desktop and mobile offerings, and also server side counterparts in BlazeDS and LiveCycle; both Microsoft and Sun have also got -or at least have committed to having- full stack offerings that range from mobile through desktop and server; and having your various teams all talking the same language is quite a strong driver in choosing your technologies when human resource is the most expensive factor.

Visit JavaFX.com and decide for yourself.

5 thoughts on “JavaFX.com is DHTML Heaven”

  1. I totally agree with you Richard.
    The website is a little bit heavy to run smoothly; the home page panels’ movement is using a huge portion of the CPU’s resources and they’re rendering really slow.

    The idea itself might be good, yet it could’ve been developed with some other technologies like Flash or Flex, but I don’t think Sun is willing to share the headache Microsoft had when it released the “Mojave Experiment” website which was developed using Flash instead of Silverlight.

  2. haha…out of curiosity I checked out the site to see what it was like for myself. If you don’t have the quicktime plugin, get ready for some disappearing browsers!!! The least they could’ve done was offered me to download it or not display any content at all…anything rather than shut down my browser!!
    I’m glad I develop with Flex!
    🙂

  3. Hi Rich,

    Hope all is well!

    I looked over that site the other day too and thought the same things 🙂 Some cool transitions (once they finally loaded).

    Nonetheless, Sun has even bigger issues than pushing JavaFX right now; and that’s staying alive as a company. IBM and Oracle are rumored suitors.

    Time will tell…

    Regards, Michael.

  4. Hey Michael,

    Yeah I just watched Sun’s EVP Rich Green’s keynote and unfortunately the machine crashes 3 times during the demo (this was one of their own Solaris systems and not even Win or Mac). Still, there’s something to be said for the cross platform success of Java in mobile so far, and the demo for Android was quite interesting so who knows right now.

  5. Yes, the site is terrible – they’re trying so hard not to use Flash it hurts: when that QuickTime window opened up I had to double take.

    That said, I think JavaFX could give Flash a run for its money in the mobile space – if I understand it correctly, any phone / device that can do Java now will automagically be able to do JavaFX. Compare that to Flash lite, which doesn’t even play on my brand new 3G phone, and there’s no contest, right?

    I’ve had a look through the JavaFX language specificaton – it looks pretty friendly – definitely easier than working without functions or objects in Flash lite 1 / AS1.

    I played with the stockwatch widget though – transparency didn’t work in XP and it looks rubbish, so maybe not going to beat AIR.

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