JavaFX Script Community Reaction
What impact will losing JavaFX Script have on the language? And, have we really seen the last of it?
Thomas Kurian’s announcement that Oracle is no longer developing
JavaFX Script beyond the JavaFX 1.3.1 release, has met with an
overall positive reaction from the community.
Previously, the only language that could be used for building
JavaFX applications was JavaFX Script. Richard Bair refers to this as a “needless
restriction.” He also points out that, since all the JavaFX APIs
were written in JavaFX Script, JavaFX Script had to be modified for
writing APIs. Originally, it was optimised for scripting UIs. This
“design tension” could make JavaFX development difficult. Also,
since the JavaFX platform was built on JavaFX, the JavaFX team were
restricted when it came to fixing certain issues with the language.
In Bair’s opinion, decoupling JavaFX from JavaFX Script gives the
language a new freedom to evolve.
But, not everyone agrees that pulling the plug on JavaFX Script
is a good thing. Steven Chin alludes to the productivity
benefits of using JavaFX Script but, taking a look at some of the
new features in the JavaFX roadmap, he reasons that the loss of JavaFX
Script is balanced out by what Oracle are planning to add in the
Peter Pilgrim had a measured response to the
news, calling it “a cost-benefit decision and purely pragmatic
business decision” that will see future JavaFX releases “going
aggressively to the TTM (Time-to-market) launch.” Like Steven Chin,
he views the loss of JavaFX Script in a negative light.
But, is this really the end for JavaFX Script? The JavaFX Script
compiler is already open source, and JavaFX Script’s binding
capabilities will be exposed as a library in Java, meaning that any
updated JavaFX Script compiler will have access to the tools
required to implement language binding. This means the JavaFX
community has the freedom to develop JavaFX Script outside of the
JavaFX 2.0 time frame.