Several months after announcing it would develop a new scripting language for the Java platform, Sun has announced an open source project for developing a compiler. The JavaFX compiler project is being launched by Sun under the GPL v2 license, marking the first time that Sun has made development of a compiler public.
Sun has also released updated JavaFX Script plug-ins for the latest versins of NetBeans.
To recap, Sun announced JavaFX at this year’s JavaOne, in effect snubbing Ruby on Rails which several industry observers had speculated Sun was going to back. Sun justified the move by claiming that developing its own scripting language would be the most efficient way to write GUIs that are spawned by the Java platform.
Like Ruby and other emerging scripting languages, JavaFX is declarative, meaning that it provides a higher level approach to specifying and laying out GUI components. Carrying that approach to data binding, JavaFX is supposed to enable developers to create and configure components by automatically synchronizing application data with GUI widgets. Sun also claims that the language is far more scalable for the Java environment compared to other scripting languages, as it is supposed to be able to handle very large programs in Java.
Sun is starting up the JavaFX compiler project without any formal compiler release as starting point. Instead, Sun is making code from early stages of design available on the new OpenJFX community site. Although the full language compiler has not yet been designed, community members can work with the code by building it into their own tooling.