My Oracle wishes (1): SwingX
With this post, I'm starting a short series of thoughts about what I hope Oracle will do for a set of popular Java APIs, that haven't been dealt in detail in their strategic keynote. Today I start with SwingX.
I think it's really good to see Oracle's commitment with Java on the desktop, a thing that in the past Sun started to do, but near to the beginning of their decline. Now the initiative could have a better success with fresh resources, but there are many things to do. From one side, there's JavaFX that must be pushed and completed with the required missing set of business components, such as advanced tables and trees, as well as the (in)famous JWebKit that has been promised since almost two years, and that nobody has seen so far (BTW it would be really useful in plain Swing too).
Now, I know that JavaFX brings a recurring debate in the Swing community. I don't think there's a lot of competition today between JavaFX and Swing, because even if we assume that JavaFX is a sort of "Swing 2.0" it's clear that we need Swing at least for five years from now, since it's so popular in the industry. I'm not even saying that Swing will disappear after five years - it's just that such a long time period is not worth making any scenario, IMHO - but I could understand that in the not-short-term perspective JavaFX might appear more appealing.
Today, the most interesting things happening in the Swing world are in the SwingX field. Even when Sun stopped financing them, development kept on because it's an enthusiastic community. I think that a good move by Oracle could be sponsoring (= financing) SwingX actively. It would be a nice way to cooperate with the community, and even if Oracle thought JavaFX is more strategic, it would be a smart way to optimize the investment of manpower.