Have you seen a real JavaFX app yet? Sun’s misleading 100 million claim

I haven’t – only samples and demos. Which makes Jonathan Schwartz’s claim of 100,000,000 downloads, presented as “JavaFX Hits 100,000,000 Milestone!”, suspect. Still, I reckon there is an easy explanation. JavaFX is now included with the JRE, the standard Java runtime download. So what Schwartz means – please correct me if I am wrong – is that there have been 100,000,000 downloaded updates to the JRE (no doubt partly thanks to Sun’s auto updater on Windows), since JavaFX became part of it.

In order to test this theory, I fired up a virtual machine (using Sun’s excellent Virtual Box) which runs Vista but does not have Java installed. Then I went to Java.com and went for the free Java download. At the end of the install, I saw this dialog:

Note: it says “The JavaFX runtime will be downloaded when you click Finish”. There are no buttons aside from Finish, unless you count the close gadget. Therefore, I got JavaFX by default with the JRE.

I have nothing against JavaFX, but meaningless PR spin will do nothing to help the technology.

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7 thoughts on “Have you seen a real JavaFX app yet? Sun’s misleading 100 million claim”

  1. I don’t think this is meaningless PR. This number is very important to application developers. Developers want to know how widely distributed their targeted platform is. It doesn’t matter whether 100m people have run a JavaFX app. It matters that 100m people have the *ability* to run a JavaFX app. This is the same reason Adobe and Microsoft constantly post updates on their total installed base, because app developers want to know the potential size of their market. A very relevant number.

  2. @Josh: while it might accurately reflect the size of the potential audience, Schwartz is spinning it in a misleading way. From the article:

    “…demonstrating the fastest adoption of any product Sun has ever shipped.”

    adoption? I suspect the number of people “adopting” it is much, much smaller. it’s not adoption when it’s a required add-on to an existing download/update. Which was of course the entire point of this blog post.

  3. @Chris. You think? The fact is – the bottom line of this blog post – both literally and figuratively – is a clear dismissal of the “100M JavaFX run-time downloads” as “meaningless PR spin”.

    Rather obviously, however, it’s not meaningless spin. There surely can’t be many intelligent people that didn’t understand that the “100M” statistic is about the number of people that might be able to run JavaFX without any installation required.

    BTW, of course, Jonathan Schwartz was selling the number by providing some noteworthy quotes for people to pick up on. That’s his job. From what I can see, it seems to be mission accomplished: lots of people now know that downloads of the JavaFX run-time have surpassed a hundred million.

  4. @Simon

    Well, any intelligent person knows that there is a constant flow of JRE downloads. These now include JavaFX; and as far as I can tell most of these downloads were driven neither by the need to run a JavaFX application, nor by any conscious desire or decision to install the JavaFX runtime. Therefore the figure says nothing about JavaFX adoption, and is not the “extraordinary news” which Schwartz claims. This level of hyperbole deserves to be called meaningless spin. Maybe that is the CEO doing his job, but I find it disappointing.


  5. @Tim

    I do agree that adoption is, perhaps, not the clearest choice of words. Deliberately so, no doubt. As I said, his job is to sell in such a way that Sun’s voice is at least heard above the noise. Perhaps “deployment” would have been a better word. It’s a rather fine distinction though; and he might not have got so many people talking if he hadn’t been a little dramatic in his wording.

    Surely, though, if you’re going to judge Jonathan Schwartz so harshly on the precise semantics of his wording, then you’d want to hold yourself to the same standards?

    “Meaningless spin” must be over-stating things somewhat, given that there is actually significant information content in his message. That is, the message contains a measure of how widely and how rapidly the run-time is being distributed (and yes, the measure is imperfect and likely rather optimistic).

  6. JavaFx is what every java developer is waiting for …..
    It may be late, but even 1.2 is awesome;

    I implemented two projects :
    a) ChessGame b) Chat IMGateway

    I wish they resolve few bugs/improvements quickly,
    and dont let it drown like Swing.

  7. Yeah and how many java developers are there??? Its been in steady decline once the truth about the write once run anywhere b.s. was discovered. Then it made a retreat as a server based technology because both awt and swing proved way to slow to deliver usable UIs to users.

    Its relevance is becoming less and less important as time goes on. The only thing will reverse that is google’s (somewhat strange imho) use of it to create android apps.


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