Pinky promise?

Java FX open-sourcing “may take until February”

Elliot Bentley

Despite lofty JavaOne promises, JavaFX code unlikely to be pushed by end-of-year deadline, says platform architect.

unexpected surprise of this year’s JavaOne was
the news
that the codebase was to be fully open-sourced by the
year’s end, spurring fresh interest in the four-year-old

However, the lofty promises of the JavaOne stage were brought back
down to earth last week as client Java platform architect Richard
Bair admitted that it “may take until February”, having been bogged
down by red tape and security reviews.

In a
message sent to the ‘openjfx-dev’ mailing list
, Bair gave a
frank assessment of the progress made so far, and outlined the
internal steps needed to be taken to allow code to be released to
the public. This includes updating the build system, reviewing code
for security, sanity checking of headers and identification of
licensed sections.

The long pole in this process is the “review for security”. In
some parts of the code, as we audit we may find a potential
security hole. Much of the code we will be able to simply fix and
then release (or may have no issues anyway in which case it can
just be released after audit), but there will likely be some parts
that need to wait until the next security release in February 2013
before we can even apply the patches to the workspace, let alone
open source the code.

Also revealed in the message is that the project’s
open-sourcing, which started around nine months ago, “stalled
[while] awaiting internal approvals”. Bair also said that the
project structure has become “difficult and cumbersome”, which he
said will be the project’s next big task.

Still, these are relatively minor issues compared to the
criticism that plagued JavaFX
during its early years. Perhaps,
four years on, the project may finally be finding its feet.

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