JavaFX Script is dead, long live Visage
So, one of the big news from JavaOne is the death of JavaFX Script. Very bad news. A few people think it's good since Oracle will better focus resources, but it sounds as they are reasoning in the past. Over are times of the Java steward being in lack of resources, as it happened in the last Sun years. In the past, Sun dismissed a project mostly when they couldn't afford it; now Oracle dismisses what they think isn't interesting for their business. Since from the January announcements, when Oracle said it would go on with NetBeans, but "leave other languages support to the community", it was clear that Oracle has no interest in other languages than Java. I think it makes sense (for them), it doesn't hurt me personally, as I don't have any special interest in other languages; it should make some parts of the community sad, and not happy.
In any case, while I don't believe in the Next Big Language (for now and the foreseeable future), I do like DSLs. The inner-DSL capability of Scala, for instance, is the only thing that would attract me, too bad they want me to buy the whole pile of features of Scala, and they are too many. So, in the end it's ok for me to have a small, focused DSL with its tools instead (now, please, this is not a Scala post and don't comment about Scala).
Figure out what, one of the places where a DSL makes sense for me is when designing and implementing a UI. Being a mostly declarative task, where layout must anyway be mixed with behaviour (thus making XML mostly unfit), and being Java not declarative at all (hence the origin of typical problems, such as NetBeans not allowing modifying the Swing code it generates for the UI), you get the reason why I'll miss JavaFX Script.
Or not? Stephen Chin announced at J1 the project Visage: “a domain specific language (DSL) designed for the express purpose of writing user interfaces.”. The code is basically a fork of the original JavaFX compiler and it's GPL v2 licensed.
Since I'm used at trying to look at good things in bad situations, Visage has got even some better opportunities than JavaFX Script: it's decoupled from the actual widget toolkit (that is, it's not only a JavaFX/Swing thing) and it's not an Oracle product - thus I hope it's perceived as a neutral thing in the Oracle - Google war; in other words, I hope Google has not any adverse prejudice on it. You get my point, I'd be delighted to see Android supporting it (not expecting that Google should work on it, just not boycotting it).
It will need some IDE support, of course, even for visual designers.
Of course, it's also a matter of us, the community, to embrace it to make it successful.