JavaOne 2010 Part 2: Whatever Happened To Christopher Oliver, Inventor of JavaFX Script?
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Whatever happened to Christopher Oliver? What would he say now about the
state of the affairs in JavaFX development? I wonder whether if he
would be pleased or disappointed with the fact that Oliver are
deprecating support for JavaFX Script in JavaFX 2.0. In fact, Chris
Oliver, the inventor / creator of JavaFX Script is conspicious by his
Christopher Oliver originally presented the research for Form Follows Function (F3) in his infamous blog. I have been to every JavaOne since 2004 until now, and over here, in San Francisco, recorded his technical session from 2007. I have embeded it here again in order to give you all a chance to look at it.
Having spoken recently to some very knowledgeable people, Christopher Oliver, was not the best effective communicator out there regarding the internal goings on at Sun Microsystems. On the Carl Jungs chart of introversion / extroversion versus task / people oriented person quadrants, from hearsay, at least to me, and I am probably going rather inappropriate here, Christopher Oliver is/was a "competitive" personality. This stands to reason since majority of entrepreneurs and leaders have been foundto fit the profile.
Chris Oliver deserves credit for his F3 invention again. I do wonder what I would be feeling if I was stepping in his shoes now? If I had created a brand new scripting language, which was then accepted and turn into an alternative JVM language, then witnessed its takes up by marketing and business analysts and sales galore, or those "other" people, then watched for the three years while they struggled to get the releases out. I think I would be more than a little upset.
In terms of execution, I would asking myself, how a company like Apple Corporationcan break into the mobile phone market so spectacularly and surmount the barriers to the entry like they did, with the spectacular success of iOS devices? How came they could do it and my own company Sun Microsystems just could not succeed with it all?
I think I would be feeling pretty rotten that JavaFX Script has suddenly come to an end. Boy! If I had known this would going to happen, then perhaps I should have developed both Java APIs and the compiled JavaFX Script language simultaneously. It would have been in my best interest to ensure that the delivery was completed largely 80% on schedule. I would have also fought too and nail to make sure software was not closed source. I could have achieved a balance between agility of implementation and transparency to the rest of the world.
I would also accept the failures, because I spent a far too much time on research on graphics, performance and probably should spent time on helping the FX team get the official releases out, especially in the later stages of the delivery. Bloody hell, because I am Christopher Oliver and the architect and the vision it was my sole duty to support the entire team.
Ok! Dream over. Wayne's World transition starts and finishes:
Yours truly, yes it is I, Peter Pilgrim, do not actually know where it all went wrong with JavaFX in the time between 2007-2010. I do know that the future. JavaFX is not dead yet as some technical journalist. Oracle just are no longer supporting JavaFXScript, JavaFX will be part of the Oracle JDK 7 and JDK 8 and so it will be accessible everywere on the desktop. What does Oracle need to do to make JavaFX 2.0 a success:
- JavaFX with Java must be delivered on time with no further delays in H2 2011. I repeat. There can no longer be anymore slips. This is it. This is Oracle chance to take the reins and if this delivery fails then fatigue will set in absolutely inside the community.
- If the Oracle JavaFX teams needs outside community help, advice or opinion on the design then bloody hell they should be able to get it! Just ask us.
- The outside community needs regular drops of the Java API of the JavaFX 2.0 sprints in order that they see the upcoming development. For those of like who dabble alternative JVM languages, Scala, Mirah, etc, then we would lilke to see those APIs quicker. It would also help Stephen Chin with Visage project.
- Oracle do not be afraid of making mistakes with JavaFX for Java, especially the API, in the run up to version 1.0. Because the API is in Java, then the Domain Specific Language providers, like yours trul (I hope), Stephen Chin, Charles Oliver Nutter, Andres Almiray, etc we have the passion to fix up our code. We do not care if the API change.
- Learn the lessons of the past, JavaFX must have tooling.
Most of all, we as supporters of JavaFX, the idea to bring the Java platform up to speed in order that it can deliver compelling rich applications with effects, must keep faith, keep on working, communicating the issues and solutons; in order that we deliver the end result. It is going require strong coffee and green teas or whatever energises your soul in order get a result. I see now that JavaFX with Java APIs will give us the feeling of elite-class runtime capable of running the smart phone / smart top applications speculated for middle of this decade (2015). It is excellent that JavaFX has a Java API, and plans to do so, especially for a Scala enthusiast like me.
I do hope that Christopher Oliver is not locked in a dungeon and festering sores, I feel that somehow he is taking this decision to stop JavaFX Script in his stride. When I met Oliver in 2007, he sort of came across as an aloof clever physically fit hardworking guy, a Sir Clive Sinclair figure type. I would love to get his opinion on what Stephen Chin should do with JavaFX Script the compilation language, if we do get our hands on it. What would have he liked to add or remove to JavaFXScript before its deprecation? If you go back to the original JavaFX, which are interpreted mode, there was many reserved keywords, which were left out from the compiled JavaFX language. Chris Oliver, all the best, wherever you thanks for your vision.
This is Peter Pilgrim, who in San Francisco for the JavaOne 2010 conference. Out
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