A number of things have happened since it was announced that JavaFX will be offered as a component separate from the core JDK. Most importantly, a mirror of the OpenJFX repository has been created on GitHub, and a number of new developers have arrived to increase development efforts. These new contributors arrived because GitHub made it easier for them to get started – after they signed the contributor agreement, they could quickly commit code that is pushed upstream to the official OpenJFX repository on the OpenJDK infrastructure. Oracle developers are actively developing JavaFX, and they are now joined by a larger group of individuals and developers from a number of companies. This is great news!
With Gluon, we have been very active in the JavaFX ecosystem for a very long time. JavaFX allows for a single codebase containing the code for a rich, interactive user interface on many platforms. Given the fact that users access information from a myriad of devices, it makes a lot of sense from a cost perspective to have this single codebase, which is easy to maintain and which interact with enterprise and cloud services.
One of our core products, Gluon Mobile, allows Java developers to build cross-platform mobile applications that run on Android and iOS devices. In order to achieve a cross-platform UI, Gluon Mobile leverages JavaFX. As a consequence of Gluon Mobile, JavaFX is now used to enable developers to create compelling user interfaces on their development platform of choice, using their favourite IDE, and then deploy their software to a number of clients, including desktop, laptop, mobile, and embedded.
Recently, Gluon increased our investment in OpenJFX (the development project for JavaFX), and our co-CTO Johan Vos is the co-lead of the OpenJFX project. The code in OpenJFX is in great shape, and we and others keep working on it. Having said that, code is one thing, but developers should be able to use it as well. There are a number of ways in which they can do so: they can download the OpenJFX SDK, or they can use the artifacts that Gluon upload to Maven Central. We described these options in our getting started documentation.
Since things are progressing as planned, we are confident we can release JavaFX 11 GA in the second half of September, close to the release of Java 11. A JavaFX 11 stabilisation repository has been created, in which only blocking issues will be fixed. From this repository, Gluon has been given responsibility for building and releasing JavaFX 11.
Meanwhile, development has started on JavaFX 12. Gluon, Oracle, and the wider community will follow the same core principles of the new Java cadence: release often, and include features that are ready. If a feature isn’t ready for a particular release, no problem, it can be targeted to the next release, which is only 6 months away.
With this approach, developers can always use the latest, feature-rich, stable, well-tested code in their projects. They don’t have to wait years for a feature or bug fix to be in a released version. It also allows the OpenJFX developers to work on future versions, and to include new technologies and ideas into the JavaFX code.
While we make it very easy to move from one version of JavaFX to the next one, we do understand that not everyone can jump every 6 months to a new version. For these users and companies, Gluon provides JavaFX Enterprise Support, where we maintain a Long Term Support version of JavaFX 11. Subscribers of this support package will have access to builds that contain critical or important fixes that are backported to JavaFX 11.
We are still about a month away from the release of JavaFX 11, and we encourage developers to work with the early access versions. The latest early access versions are available on our new JavaFX download page, and the maven artifacts are in Maven Central and JCenter. Easy examples on how to use them and get started are available in our getting started documentation.
JavaFX is developed in a very open environment now, and we encourage bug reports, issues, and feature requests to be in the open as well. We recommend using Stack Overflow for questions, the OpenJFX mailing list for feature requests, and the JBS issue tracker for issues. If you don’t have an account on JBS, report the issue via bugreport.java.com or you can enter your issue in the GitHub mirror as well.
At Gluon, we are very excited to see the activity around JavaFX. We are committed to its development and support, and in case we can help you with consulting, services or products, please contact us.