JavaFX provides a unified development and deployment model for rich applications across the desktop, browser, and mobile devices. Sun developer Joshua Marinacci describes it this way:
When you write JavaFX desktop apps with the common profile you are also writing for mobile devices. Desktop and mobile aren't different platforms...
It struck me this morning how much of a big deal this is. I don't know anything about Java ME, but I know JavaFX. Even though I'm not a mobile developer I can write mobile apps with JavaFX. I couldn't do that before. One SDK, one set of tools, one language, one set of APIs. There is no JavaFX Mobile. There is only JavaFX.
Joshua believes JavaFX is a fundamental shift in the way user interfaces are developed for Java programs. "I see JavaFX as Swing 2.0: rewrite from the ground up", he wrote in a recent twitter update. He should know: he's a member of Sun's Swing team and co-author of the popular book, Swing Hacks. Swing is currently Sun's preferred API for building user interfaces for desktop applications, but it's not supported on Java ME. Now JavaFX can be used for all systems.
On the business side, Sun has lined up an impressive array of partners that plan to deliver JavaFX enabled devices. They include Sony Ericsson, LGE, Orange, Sprint, Cynergy, and MobiTV. Here are a few quotes from today's announcement:
"Sony Ericsson expects that JavaFX will have a great impact on the mobile content ecosystem and plan to bring JavaFX to a significant part of our product portfolio." -- Rikko Sakaguchi, corporate vice president and head of creation and development at Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications
"We look forward to being the first company to deliver a JavaFX enabled handset so we can build new and exciting features that benefit our customers." -- Woo-Young Kwak, executive vice president, head of LG Mobile Handset R&D Center at LG Electronics, Inc.
""Sprint, in its continued support of an open framework and ecosystem, views JavaFX as an additional strategic platform in its open toolkit." -- Mathew Oommen, vice president, device and technology development, Sprint
"JavaFX really allows us to leverage our Java ME investment, and reinforce our core mobile video streaming value proposition." -- Cedric Fernandes, vice president, Technology at MobiTV
For more information on JavaFX Mobile, including a downloadable SDK and emulator, see the JavaFX web site.