Is this Really the End for JavaFX Script?

JavaFX Script – Community Reaction

Jessica Thornsby

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 future.

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.

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