SwingX, JRuby: Survivors?

Deciding what projects will live and what projects will die once Java has "Property of Oracle" stamped on its behind is, of course, Oracle's job; but predicting those outcomes is good clean fun for everyone, until then! I've already discussed a couple of projects people have been anxious about -- Glassfish and JavaFX; in the last few days, there's been a few peeps about JRuby and Swing.

JRuby encapsulates in miniature some of the way that Sun's open source Java offerings -- including, really, Java itself -- work. It's a free and open source project and "community-driven" project, and therefore it will do absolutely fine in the future, Charles Nutter told an audience at RailsConf. But Nutter is one of JRuby's key developers -- and he's on Sun's payroll. That's the sort of stuff that Sun liked to fund, and the sort of stuff that one suspects that Oracle might not in its historical focus on the bottom line. If Oracle decides to reassign him to something more immediately profitable, it's unlikely that such a well-used project will simply vanish, but it's also likely that its progress will be slowed down.

Then there's Swing. Remember the big debate on whether JavaFX or Swing represented the future of Java's UI? While JavaFX seemed to be the golden child from Sun's perspective in that tussle, one wonders if Oracle, which may well be less interested in the project, won't instead keep the current UI framework going only because that means fewer resources invested. And lo and behold, SwingX, given up for dead by some, is now on the verge of 1.0 status. Meanwhile, the half-joking Swing 2.0 project over at Project Kenai seems to be going nowhere fast.