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Sun previews JavaFX for rich web applications

The company began its JavaOne conference by showcasing its new rich internet-application technology and its potential for developers
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Written by Adrian Bridgwater on

Sun officially started its JavaOne developer conference in San Francisco on Tuesday with a series of keynote presentations designed to showcase JavaFX, the company's new rich internet-application technology, due to be launched to developers this summer.

Described by Sun as a family of products for creating rich internet applications (RIAs) with engaging content, JavaFX is intended as a competitor to Adobe's AIR and Microsoft's Silverlight. Available by July 2008 as part of an early-access programme, JavaFX Desktop 1.0 is expected to be available in the third quarter of this year.

The company said that Java technology is now ready to be used by designers and content authors demanding rich web content. According to Sun, this will bring a new breed of web-application designers and social-application creators to Java, who will potentially take the technology in new directions.

Speaking to ZDNet.co.uk, Eric Klein, vice president of Java marketing at Sun, said: "Every major mobile carrier in the world delivers Java-enabled phones to their customers. Every Blu-ray Disc player, the consumer and industry standard for high-definition content delivery, includes Java technology. Our JavaFX platform now builds on the power of Java to enable content authors, designers and developers to collaboratively deliver RIAs."

Demonstrations of JavaFX in motion formed much of Tuesday's general session keynote at JavaOne. Despite some delays due to faltering live technology, presentations by Sun fellow James Gosling and executive vice president of software Rich Green featured Movie Cloud, a 3D graphical user interface (GUI) for displaying multiple high-definition videos from a user's collection simultaneously. Further presentations featured Sun's Photo Flocker, which enables users to search for photos by tags and view a cascading montage of the results.

Sun also showcased its Connected Life product. According to the company, Connected Life powers RIAs across the "multiple screens of your life" by delivering an application across a web browser, social network, desktop operating system and mobile phone.

As part of this summer's JavaFX preview programme for scripters and web developers, Sun said it will be looking for forum-based feedback on the JavaFX preview release before it rolls out the first officially launched version of the platform later in the year.

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