Open source of Java FX 2.0 dangerously close

OpenJFX gets new public face, countdown on to first release

Chris Mayer

Mailing list and website for OpenJFX ahead of UI Controls source code release

It was only a brief announcement but it showed that the wheels were truly in motion towards Oracle open sourcing JavaFX.

Jonathan Giles invited all to join the OpenJFX mailing list and announced that the project had been given a communication hub ahead of the activity really ramping up in the new year. He also mentioned that the source code for UI Controls would become available soon in the Mercurial repository – signalling that the first part of JavaFX to be open sourced isn’t too far away!

Giles then explained the importance of this development –

This means that soon you will be able to build development snapshots of OpenJFX as it progresses towards each official release. This is exciting for me as it gives you early access to our APIs, allowing you to give us feedback (via our Jira tracker), which in turn allows for us to improve the API before it is released (and set in stone).

OpenJFX has a long history but developments this year have seen the open source vision come into view. The JavaFX toolkit evolved from the F3 project at Sun. Initial releases were based around the JavaFX scripting language, however, in 2011 the toolkit was completely rewritten in Java and released by Oracle as JavaFX 2.0.

In October, Richard Bair, the newly-elected project lead, proposed methods of moving forward, after revealing Oracle’s plans at JavaOne to contribute Java FX to Open JDK – thus creating OpenJFX with the goal to create to build the next-generation Java client toolkit. The project intends to file a JSR in the Java SE 9 timeframe and hopes to eventually be part of the JDK proper. So there’s plenty of long hard work ahead but the benefits could be huge.

In November, Iris Clark formally revealed the project, that Bair would be project lead and that Spring were the main Sponsoring group. Oracle’s motivation for committing towards OpenJFX was that:

Oracle’s motivation for open-sourcing JavaFX is to build community and ecosystem support and adoption of JavaFX by increasing transparency, and also to get patches and early feedback.

She also detailed the codebase which will contain:

  • Over 6000+ public API members (methods/constructors/etc.) 
  • Over 11,500 unit tests 
  • Core libraries such as observable collections and binding 
  • Scene graph, effects, graphics 
  • CSS support for JavaFX 
  • Media 
  • WebView 
  • Prism (hardware accelerated graphics, including openGL and D3D and java2D implementations) 
  • Glass (windowing system, base porting layer, including mac, linux, and windows implementations) 
  • UI Controls and Charts

With the last one on the list almost imminently available, the project is finally in motion with other parts released at later dates. Sign up to the mailing list to follow its progress and likely ascension to greatness.

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