❯ Guillaume Laforge

Sun abandons Swing!

I’m really sad to hear the report Kirill makes on Sun progressively abandonning Swing (also posted on java.net).

Swing is really a very good framework for building rich client applications, and from what I’ve heard and seen, it’s even better than what exists in the .Net world, or compared to things like SWT or Cocoa. Sun is leaving a gem in the cold to bet everything on a half-backed JavaFX technology.

With the focus on JavaFX, Sun progressively lost all its key talented employees who preferred sailing to more gorgeous seas – I can’t blame them for that. With the new app framework, the timing framework, SwingLabs, painters, new look’n feels, a wealth of OSS and commercial components, Swing had great chances to keep up with the rest of the world, and even keep its bleeding edge and stay ahead of the curve. Alas, Swing is dying in favor of a new technology nobody cares about – why would one use JavaFX when Adobe’s Flex and Microsoft’s Silverlight are so much more advanced and ready for prime-time, thought and tool’ed for the designer in mind?

There are days where I really don’t understand Sun and its decisions. Why abandonning such a great technology? I know it’s not always the best technologies that win and prevail, but when you’ve got a competitive advantage in one area, why not keeping it? Instead of betting everything on the new shiny toy of the day? A shiny toy that’s been shamelessly crashing all the JavaOne keynote demos?

I’m perplexed!