Status of XAMJ Language Effort & A Word About JavaFX

The intention of this posting is to officially announce that the XAMJ language effort is inactive, as if that wasn't pretty obvious already. The whole project will be renamed as of version 0.97, when we will release a new and improved browser, which will also be renamed.

We haven't spent much time on the XAMJ language effort given that developing the HTML rendering capability has been time consuming, and that's where most user interest has been focused.

In the meanwhile, Sun Microsystems has come up with a new declarative language, called JavaFX Script. We've become interested in having our browser render this language as a first-class citizen, much like we were doing with XAMJ before.

We believe JavaFX has some advantages of interest over competing alternatives:

- It can be declarative, like XML, but unlike XML, it is designed from the ground up to be both a declarative language and a procedural GUI language. XML is not very good as a programming language and it is very general purpose.

- It is open source and runs on top of an open-source platform. It appears Adobe is scrambling to make Flex open source, but it will take a long time before Microsoft does the same with XAML.

- It is Java-based, which makes it platform-independent in a natural way. (.NET will probably never be nearly as platform independent as its design is inherently Windows-oriented).

The obvious drawback of JavaFX has been discussed elsewhere: Deployability is not that good. That's why we think it's a start to demonstrate how it works in a browser that renders JavaFX as a first-class citizen.

It is not clear when the JavaFX rendering capability will be available, given that there are some technical issues and some legal issues (the runtime does not have a license yet) to be resolved before we can release the JavaFX extension. But we have experimented with it, and the idea seems feasible short term.

Posted by xamjadmin 2007-06-30

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