Finally, Oracle speak about Java Roadmap especially for the client side at JavaOne 2010 JDK BOF session which you can see from Amy Fowler blog. From what I can understand, it boils down to several things:
Java Swing Future
It is still not very clear yet, how Java Swing will evolve in the future as said in the blog above
The crux of the problem is that Swing is rooted in the antiquated AWT, rather than being integrated into the 2D coordinate system. Fixing this would require some massively incompatible changes and once you march down that path, well, you start asking yourself what other incompatible improvements should be made ….pretty soon the remodel becomes reconstruction and you realize that a new foundation is really needed.
But don’t get me wrong, it is not whether Swing will vanish or not, of course everything will be evolved. But, the focus is on the evolution of Swing and it is still unclear how Swing will evolve in the future. As you can see from the things that I quote above, “Swing is rooted in the antiquated AWT… and fixing this would require some massively incompatible changes …remodel becomes reconstruction …”
However, the good news is that whatever decision Oracle made to Swing evolution, “it’s still there and it isn’t going anywhere” as Amy said.
Java FX Future
On the other hand, Java FX get the most focus and attention for Java client side and have much more clear roadmap. In contrast to Swing, Java FX has more modern underlying structure (Prism + scene-graph + UI controls) plus a hardware-accelerated graphics pipeline with a UI rooted in a 2D/3D scene-graph can do. Imagine what you can do as Java developer for either business application or RIA media frenzy application like you saw on iPhone, etc with hundreds of rotating media cubes or jumbling block. It will gonna be interesting.
And from what I can understand from Amy’s blog. Currently, Oracle is converting JavaFX to a proper Java library and killing JavaFX script. So Java developers don’t have to learn a new language to use it. And the good news is “… Much of the JavaFX stack has already been ported off of script, so this is all quite real and the team is ecstatic to be doing Java again..” said Amy
Development Environment/Tools (Netbeans)
“A sleeper detail from Thomas Kurian’s keynote is that NetBeans will be the Java development IDE of choice going forward. This is very good news for Swing, ensuring it’s support and upkeep for a long time to come.”
And on the JavaFX front “we are working closely with that team to ensure JavaFX2.0 is toolable from the start.”
So my summary are
- Swing evolution is uncertain yet, but Swing is here to stay.
- JavaFX script is dead, but soon there will be JavaFX as Java library.
- Netbeans will provide tooling support for JavaFX