One of the features that sets JavaFX apart from other graphics libraries is its great flexibility when it
comes to deployment. JavaFX is designed to be Sun's next generation content delivery language, and as
such it has inherited the best parts of deploying Java applications. JavaFX can be deployed as applets in a
web page, as desktop applications, as mobile applications, and even to set-top boxes. To manage this
complex deployment story, the Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) is poised to become the
standard way of describing the deployment of JavaFX applications. JNLP is the protocol used in Sun's
Web Start application, so these names are often interchangeable.
From the developer's perspective, a JNLP file is an XML file that describes the application. It
includes information about the name of the application, a description, as well as function information
like the location of JAR files, the level of security required, and a number of other details.
For any evaluation of JavaFX to be complete, I urge you to explore all of the features of JNLP; there
are many online resources available.
The JavaFX SDK comes with command-line tools for compiling and running JavaFX applications, and it
is probably worth your time to explore how these tools work. However, for day-to-day work, I find that
an IDE helps me be productive.
NetBeans is Sun's IDE and currently the best choice for developing JavaFX apps. This is not meant
to be a religious statement favoring one IDE over another—I am thrilled to have so many excellent
choices when it comes to IDEs. But JavaFX is so new and so very much the child of Sun, the other tools
simply have not put in the equivalent time to construct a compelling JavaFX development environment.
But, please, go check out the support for you IDE of choice.
Creating a JavaFX project in NetBeans is just a matter of choosing New Project… from the File menu
and selecting JavaFX Script Application from the New Project Dialog, as shown in Figure 1-11.