So we all know that both Ajax and Adobe’s Flash/Appolo have been getting lots of attention in the web development space. The following trend line shows how many developers are buying books on Rich Web Interface programming topics. As you can see the trend is growing steadily upward, so the attention is well deserved. The timeframe is October 2005 through April 2007. Now SilverLight has burst on to the scene from Microsoft. Seems like everyone wants in the RIA space.
Another familiar player is just about the jump into the space with a highly promising new approach to RIA development. You have probably heard rumors about Sun Microsystems’s releasing Java FX. Java FX is a new extension to the Java platform that gives developers a consistent experience for building rich web/desktop apps all the way down to to handheld device applications. Interactivity, animation and ease of use that rivals Ajax, Flash and Silverlight, are the features that Java FX deploys on the Java runtimes already installed on you local client. On the surface, it sounds more elegant and efficient.
But what is Java FX. It’s going to be a product family with Java FX Script being the tool for creating content for Web and Web 2.0-oriented applications.
So Sun’s Write Once, Run Anywhere could actually start to happen. We know that Java runs in both IE and Firefox, and that with ME you can get Java onto hardware devices like phones and PDAs.
Java FX’s promise: Create highly interactive and animated content running on computers, digital TVs, regular TVs and mobile devices, and have your content look the same across all platforms and behave the same way.
What do you think? Same old promise from Sun? Will Sun Legal cramp another promising technology with some arcane license or requirement on how you should document and write about it? Or, is this the real deal?