The big Sun JavaOne conference is going on in San Francisco, CA this week, and the software company used the gathering to announce their revamped efforts to compete in the world of Web-enabled mobile phones. After acquiring technology from SavaJe Technologies earlier this year, Sun has now unveiled JavaFX, a new flavor of the Java programming language aimed at easy adaptation of Web content to other platforms including cell phones, car entertainment/navigation systems and set-top boxes.
According to Rich Green, Sun executive vice president of software, JavaFX Script centers on content creation. "JavaFX Script is a scripting language focused on the content-authoring and content creation crowd. It is a means of creating visually impactful, high-performance, dramatic Web and network-facing artifacts or experiences that run all the way from the desktop running Java SE (Standard Edition) all the way down to mobile devices powered by JavaFX Mobile."
Reports are depicting JavaFX as a competitor to AJAX, a popular suite of open source scripting languages and tools widely used in interactive "Web 2.0" Websites. JavaFX will also be released as open source technology. In any case, the JavaFX announcement speaks to both both the growing use of mobile handsets to access online information and the need to create visually appealing operating systems that make increasingly powerful and complex handsets more user-friendly.
No details were given about possible licensing agreements or phones that might use JavaFX Mobile, but a NY Times online article featured a mockup of the FIC Neo1973 smartphone, which is associated with the OpenMoko project (openmoko.com). A case could be made that this is Sun's response to iPhone and its slick, computer-like graphical user interface. Then again, it's all too easy to compare everything mobile to Apple's still unreleased mobile phone these days. Add to that increasing rumors of a GooglePhone - or at least a Google-branded mobile operating system - and things are looking up for near-term smartphone development.