Sun Microsystems lost the first Rich Internet Application (RIA) war when Macromedia (now part of Adobe) ate its applets for lunch following a schoolyard brawl. Now Sun has a second chance.
But, to succeed in such an unforgiving market, Sun needs something special. A mature, powerful platform, a buzzing community, some seriously talented people with an eye for visual design, and some butt-kicking WYSIWYG tools so that non-programmers are invited to the party as well.
JavaFX ticks some of these boxes, and it has tools on the way. These tools, though, are going to make or break its chances. And they're a little late, to be honest. Spring 2008 was mentioned for the visual development environment. Spring has given way to glorious summer.
[...] If Sun's goal is to compete with Adobe's Flash or Silverlight from Microsoft, then a Matisse-based visual editor should have been one of the first toys to be pulled out of the box. It should be right at the center of the rich client development experience rather than a "potential add-on some time", leaving third-party vendors to pick up the slack. [...]