June 28, 2012, 6:08 AM — With Adobe's divestment of Flex and mobile Flash and Microsoft's move from Silverlight to Metro, Oracle now seems all alone in believing that a fat client framework -- in the form of JavaFX -- is a worthwhile investment.
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Or we would be, if it weren't for mobile pushing us back to client-side development. If you'd asked me a decade ago whether Objective-C would come back from the grave, I would've waited for the punch line to the joke. Meanwhile, Google decided to follow suit with its own slimmed fork of Java and an XML UI definition language.
Tools like PhoneGap didn't make quite the splash they might have because users came to expect that native look and feel. A new niche was created with tools like Appcelerator Titanium that gave a look and feel without making you code in Objective-C, but they were too slow to develop to keep the faux-nativeness going.
Yet HTML5 is starting to come on strong in the mobile world, at least in terms of video and other functionality. Increasingly, developers trying to target both Android and iPhone are going this direction, a choice made easier by the dinosaurs RIM and Nokia continuing their long march into extinction.