Monday, February 16, 2009

Sun targets Flash, brings JavaFX to mobile devices

Sun is bringing its JavaFX development framework to mobile devices. The latest release of the JavaFX SDK, version 1.1, offers full support for mobile JavaFX development and includes an emulator for testing mobile device compatibility. The move could help Java retain its relevance on handhelds as rival Adobe works to boost the popularity of Flash and AIR for mobile development.

JavaFX, which was first announced in 2007 and rolled out to the public in December 2008, is a framework for building rich Internet applications on top of Java. It includes a scene graph library and a unique scripting language that provides a declarative syntax for constructing sophisticated graphical user interfaces. Its graphics capabilities include support for animation, visual effects, gradients, and translucency.

JavaFX content integrates well with existing Java code, which means that developers can use it to bring better user interfaces to legacy Java applications and to build new Java software that can rival Flash programs in rich interactivity. JavaFX Mobile is designed to run on devices that support Java ME. A number of carriers and handset makers—including Orange, Sprint, Sony Ericsson, and LG—have already committed to bundling it on upcoming products.

"By delivering JavaFX Mobile on top of the wireless Java platform, Sun is now bringing expressiveness to the most pervasive and powerful platform in the mobile industry," said Sun client software group VP Jeet Kaul in a statement. "We are thrilled with the excitement and interest we're seeing for JavaFX from many of the world's top handset manufacturers, service providers and ISVs, which will help us bring this new technology to market and to the world very quickly."