It's been awhile since our last post! I know we shouldn't take this long, especially with all the stuff going on behind the scenes. We'll try to keep you more abreast of what's going on!

These past few months we've been working on the infrastructure behind our software development and web design. Right now we're at JavaOne in San Francisco, taking a peak at all the latest Sun (soon-to-be Oracle) has to offer through Java and its descendants. A few items are noteworthy:


Now at 1.2. That may not sound like a huge leap from 1.1.1, but as Java 1.2 was a huge push beyond Java 1.1, so also this new release of JavaFX opens many new doors for development. Most notably, both Linux and OpenSolaris are now within the JavaFX sphere, further establishing the lofty goal of "write once, run anywhere" of the Java-opolis! You can check out On The Mark, an open-source project we've been tinkering with that's built with JavaFX.


I honestly had never heard of this toolkit before arriving at the conference, but seeing it in action made me a convert in almost one afternoon. LWUIT is a lightweight user-interface toolkit for writing Java application on lower-end mobile devices. What that means is that LWUIT could potentially bring iPone-like functionality to non-iPhones. As a fearless hand-me-down cell phone user who grows secretly envious every time I see people whip out their iPhones, I'm thrilled to see image browsing, smooth scrolling, cube flipping, and other functional eye candy making its way onto devices that I can afford.

AJAX vs. JavaFX

So now that AJAX seems to rule the web, Larry Ellison from Oracle says that the company's next push will be to pit AJAX against the weight of JavaFX. That might seem ludicrous at first--why supplant open web tools supported in almost every browser and used in seemingly every website resembling the fit and finish of Web 2.0? I talked with one of the engineers working on JavaFX controls, and his answer is that the beauty of JavaFX is that it creates a unified platform with a consistent experience. JavaFX still has a long way to go, but its ability to build on the huge (1 billion?) existing Java userbase may carry it far.

One advantage of the JavaFX ecosystem he told me is that instead of hunting for the appropriate JavaScript libraries and furiously coddling them into some sort of integrated and non-conflicting framework as in AJAX development, JavaFX allows the developer to code from a single API. and because the code is written in a script-like format, even non- or novice-programmers can get on board. The engineer showed off the JavaFX Production Suite, which is really a series of plugins for Adobe products that further broadens the audience of JavaFX developers by allowing graphic designers to jump into the fray without having to worry about writing a single line of code. Now we're talking about team development!

We're looking forward to putting some of these tools to work here at Text Flex. It's been an invigorating conference and past few months, and we look forward to bringing you more development and design in the months to come!


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