Avatar of Gregor Schmid
Author: Gregor Schmid
02. avril 2024

JavaFX – More alive than ever

After the JFX Adopters Meeting in late 2021, I asked the provocative question “Is FX Even Still Alive?”. How should the question be answered today? “JavaFX - more alive than ever” is my current answer. After the Covid years, when meetings of the FX community could only take place online, this is not a matter of course.

It was an impressive demonstration of the diverse activities of the FX world: organized with a lot of passion by Christian Heilmann, we came together at the beginning of March 2024 for the JFX Adopters Meeting at ZEISS in Munich. Meeting in-person felt really good after the Covid years - and I say that as someone who usually tends to avoid meetings and crowds in general.

JFX Adopters Meeting at ZEISS

The schedule was tightly packed. I want to take a moment to thank Christian for his impressive commitment to providing the community with a platform for professional exchange. The presentations ranged from live coding and practical examples to integration projects such as embedding Excel tables.

What else stuck with me? JavaFX impresses with its outstanding security features. I am curious about the latest FX features for version 17–22, rendering in FX as a great technology for 2D and 3D, subtitles for TV using AI… and much more.

Photo: ZEISS

A good overview of the FX community beyond the presentations can be found on the JFX-Central website (nicely set up with JavaFX and JPro). New projects are added there and in the JFX-Ensemble on an ongoing basis.

JavaFX and QF-Test

QF-Test has supported testing of JavaFX applications since 2014 (10 year anniversary, I just realized!), at that time inspired by Wolfgang Weigend from Oracle.

“Innovations in QF-Test and development of the FX engine compared to others” was the title of my presentation this year. In short: Of the engines supported by QF-Test (Swing, SWT, Web, Windows, PDF and Android), JavaFX is by far the one with the least support effort. Web at the other end of the list requires much more support. FX is very stable and has been in use at around 150 customers of ours - often in combination with other engines - for many years.

The be-all, end-all of test automation is stable recognition. I was able to demonstrate the latest QF-Test mechanisms live and in detail - in particular SmartID. Using the example of a car configurator running in parallel on the three platforms Swing, Web and FX, I was able to demonstrate that recording and recognition of components across the technologies works out-of-the-box thanks to SmartID.

The future of JavaFX - and the JFX Adopters Meeting

Finally, here are a few other voices with their personal impressions of the JFX Adopters Meeting:

Christian Heilmann (ZEISS, organizer of the JFX Adopters Meeting):

The JFX Adopters Meeting is the only user event in the world that enables the JavaFX community to meet in person in a safe space. We deliberately refrain from recordings in order to encourage intensive and open discussions during the event. 

The JFX Adopters Meeting has helped us to get in touch with many smart people, to gather the key players of the JavaFX eco-system, to get new inspiration and to learn from each other. 

Having an interface toolkit where we are able to fix bugs ourselves and a stable roadmap with a long lifespan are the pillars for long-lasting projects. 

JavaFX is a proven solution for this requirement. Java developers have extensive know-how with patterns that enable them to write long-lasting software with a lifespan of 20 years or more. 

The people behind such technologies and how they deal with them are much more important than the technology itself. Ultimately, it’s all based on dedicated people keeping the technology alive and solid financial support from the companies. The JFX Adopters Meeting has created long-lasting friendships and a solid community. 

And I ask myself: Who will you bring along to the next JFX Adopters Meeting?

Wolfgang Weigend (ORACLE Global Services Germany GmbH, Master Principal Solution Engineer):

JavaFX has demonstrated its reliability and stability in mission-critical Java desktop applications for more than 10 years. 

The Java SE Support Roadmap applies to JavaFX technology, taking into account “Web Deployment Technology and JavaFX” for earlier versions. Current JavaFX releases can be found on the Java homepage, as well as the JavaFX 23 early access builds. 

Remarkable is the seamless programming of graphical user interfaces with a single language.

Photo: ZEISS

The next JFX Adopters Meeting is planned for fall 2025, ideally the scope should be further enlarged. I will certainly be there - please include nice quiz interludes again like this year.

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