Sun to Clarify JavaFX Open-source Plan Later This Year

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While Sun executives have said that JavaFX, the company's nascent rich Internet application (RIA) development product family and eventual competitor to Adobe's Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight, will be entirely open source, a FAQ page on Sun's site appears to contradict that.

"The JavaFX Script language, currently being developed with the community's help (see OpenJFX project), will have a grammar and syntax that are open source. Some parts of the language are already open source," it states, but adds, "the JavaFX compiler, runtime engine, player, and tools currently under development are not expected to be open source."

Simon Brocklehurst, CEO of software development company Psynixis, noted the FAQ's wording in a recent blog post.

"I'm pretty sure that potential JavaFX developers would be interested in getting some better understanding on this," Brocklehurst wrote. "Certainly, the lack of clarity has stopped me getting my hands dirty with JavaFX technology for the time being."

A Sun spokeswoman declined to provide a direct response to the FAQ statement, but said Sun is looking into revising it and will reveal more information regarding JavaFX and open source later this year.

"Sun will be rolling out our open source strategy for JavaFX concurrent with the release of version 1 of JavaFX Desktop in the fall," she said in a statement.

She noted that a number of components are already open source, including the JavaFX Plugin for NetBeans. Sun has also started the OpenJFX Compiler project.

The company announced JavaFX in 2007. During last week's JavaOne conference, it presented some demonstrations of the technology and provided a road map.

Although Sun is coming to market with an RIA platform after some competitors, the company believes it has a built-in advantage due to the pervasive reach of Java.

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