Why JavaFX 15 matters for you

Earlier this month, JavaFX 15 was released. The release notes were published on Github; a short summary of the highlights was made available on openjfx.io and foojay.

In his interview with jaxenter, Johan Vos explains why this release is important:

We want to make sure we keep supporting new hardware and software, with a focus on stability and backward compatibility. Companies that invested in JavaFX, or that consider investing in JavaFX, should be guaranteed that their code will still work in a secure and performant way.

A release note entry such as support for e-paper displays on i.MX6 devices is somewhat cryptic, but if you take a closer look at it, you’ll notice a major improvement. John Neffenger writes:

It’s unique. This […] makes JavaFX the only cross-platform application framework with built-in support for e-paper displays. It demonstrates that the Java slogan “write once, run anywhere” is as true today as it was in 1995, not just for different operating systems and processor architectures, but even for radically different display technologies like electronic ink.

For more info, take a look at the Status:6 website.
People are surprised that JavaFX is still actively developed. See for instance these comments on Reddit:

turboslak: Wow, seems like a lot of fixes. It seems like it’s being actively developed, while it felt like the opposite to me seeing JavaFX is not really breaking through as a Swing replacer.
nlisker: It has always been actively developed 🙂 As for replacing Swing, it’s my opinion that Oracle is just not investing in it enough to overcome the transition threshold. New projects tend to prefer JavaFX, but if you already have a Swing application then transitioning is a lot of effort (though through the JavaFX-Swing interop you can do it in steps). Give it 5 more engineers and you could see JavaFX in the headlines.

This is Johan Vos’ answer to the question whether JavaFX 15 is “old news”:

That impression was created when Oracle stopped offering Long-Term Support for JavaFX. What people overlook, is that this doesn’t mean that Oracle no longer believes in JavaFX. On the contrary! At Gluon, we have a good working relationship with Oracle. We have taken over the responsibility of offering LTS for JavaFX.

When asked for the “killer feature”, he says that the cross-platform capabilities of JavaFX should not be underestimated:

The same code that works on a Windows desktop, runs on an iPhone or an embedded Linux system. This makes development much easier and cheaper. Developers can use their existing and well-known IDE’s to develop applications for different platforms. In general, the fact that JavaFX is Java means that all the “killer features” of Java apply to JavaFX as well, including the focus on security, stability.

The cross-form capabilities are demonstrated in a screen cast that shows how easy it is to create iOS and Android apps in Java. As for leveraging Java in apps with a JavaFX UI, this illustrated in an article about using Java AI libraries with Gluon Mobile.