October 14, 2011, 6:11 AM — Oracle's efforts to enable developers to run JavaFX software on Apple iOS devices could run afoul of Apple, if Apple's past rejections of Java on iOS are any guide. But a potential showdown could be a ways off, as it remains to be seen exactly how far Oracle goes with its plan and whether the arrangement will actually ruffle any feathers at Apple.
Oracle turned developers' heads last week, demonstrating a JavaFX-based game running on an IOS system at its JavaOne conference in San Francisco. The demonstration coincided with the release of JavaFX 2.0, an update of the Java-based multimedia application platform targeted at a variety of devices and form factors.
In the past, Apple has balked at allowing the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) -- the core technology enabling Java to run on various platforms -- on its devices. But Oracle believes it is being compliant in its efforts to back JavaFX on iOS.
"The way this works is by linking the JVM into the program," says Adam Messinger, vice president at Oracle. "We know of a lot of iOS programs that are built this way with other languages besides Objective-C already today [and that] are being pushed through the [Apple] App Store."
Messinger added, in Oracle's configuration, the setup "looks like a statically linked libc linked into the program and that whole thing is installed on the phone." The combination of JavaFX and iOS has not been discussed with Apple, he says. But Apple has given clearance to run JavaFX on the Macintosh, and it has greenlit Oracle's HTML5 efforts pertaining to iOS. Oracle last week showed its Project Avatar for dynamic rich clients, which has linked HTML5 and Java to iOS.