The JavaFX Trap

You would hope that Sun would get it by now, but apparently not :{

From the new JavaFX license:

“Licensee is not authorized to modify, make derivative works of, disclose, distribute, reverse engineer or disassemble the Technology, decompile binary portions of the Technology, or otherwise attempt to derive source code from such portions, or transfer the Technology to any third party or use it in development activities.”

“Licensee shall have no right to use the Technology for commercial uses or in a production environment.”

“Java Technology Restrictions. You may not create, modify, or change the behavior of, or authorize your licensees to create, modify, or change the behavior of, classes, interfaces, or subpackages that are in any way identified as “java”, “javax”, “javafx”, “sun” or similar convention as specified by Sun in any naming convention designation.”


Update It gets better:

“It is understood and agreed that, notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, Licensee’s breach of Sections 2.0 (Limited Licenses), 3.0 (Restrictions), 6.0 (Term and Termination), and/or 7.0 (Confidential Information) of this Agreement will cause Sun irreparable damage for which recovery of money damages would be inadequate…”

It is as if someone from Sun Legal was reading the Ubersoft episodes Grand Design and Ultimate Goal while drafting this license.


  1. So there goes it being any kind of Flash killer… it’s just as bad… GNU XF anyone? ;)

  2. aaa says:

    you guys are really inpatient whiners.

  3. Are they attempting to only pretend to appear to be open source friendly while not actually WANTING to be open source friendly?

    You don’t get any of the advantages of playing in the open source sandbox that way. It defeats the entire point.

    While I’m not a Java fan, I was hoping Sun was turning over a new leaf, as that meant more innovation in a relatively locked down area would be possible. I know I’ve had issues with the JVM that I wanted to fix before, but never could, or things I wanted to improve… can’t they see this should apply to everything they do?

  4. Webmink says:

    100% agree. Someone is missing an opportunity while imagining they are protecting one…

  5. mbien says:

    I think its obvious that this is not the final license.

  6. Kevin Kofler says:

    “irreparable damage for which recovery of money damages would be inadequate…”

    That sounds like: “I’d tell you my trade secrets, but then I’d have to kill you.” ;-)

  7. Sun Employee says:

    This isn’t the final license, folks – just a hiccup along the way. Sun’s committed to JavaFX being free and open.

  8. anon says:

    I think what you’re looking for is at
    That is GPL and works on Linux.

  9. anon says: also works.

  10. anon says:

    I could care less about the license. Give me inexpensive tools that allow me to create great maintainable software and I’ll use them.

    Why Sun panders to the open source crowd is beyond me. What Sun needs to do is figure out a way to make money off JavaFX the way Adobe has managed to monetize flash.

    I’ve heard a lot of bitching about the period of time it’s taken to bring JavaFX to market, but there is no amount of praying to the open source gods that could have produced a JavaFX caliper platform in the amount of time it took Sun to bring JavaFX to market.

    I wish the open source community could put as much effort into coding as they do into bitching about the choice of license selected by a private company that has invested millions of dollars in product that has enriched peoples lives despite spending the majority of it’s existence under a proprietary license.

  11. […] chatter about this back in August, but this was prior to the release of JavaFX 1.0. (See posts by Mark J. Wielaard and Anthony Goubard). The license was supposed to be early stage, and so […]

  12. […] has a few notable problems (behind the almost insurmountable technical challenges). JavaFX is not Free software – presumably it would have to be to base OO.o on it. Of course – Jeet announced that […]