Disappointed at JavaOne

I have to say that I have been disappointed with the quality of technical sessions at this year’s JavaOne so far. It may be that I’m picking sessions that suck – But every session I’ve been so far hasn’t gotten me excited about the topic. All the talks I’ve attended so far have been PowerPoint presentation that I could have looked at on my own time. I’m here because I want to learn something new and my ideal technical session would be where the presenter spends a few minutes with PowerPoint slides and then fires up an IDE and writes code. Show me what you’ve got – Don’t bore me with PowerPoint that’s going to put me to sleep. Another disappointing thing is all the new ‘stuff’ that’s interesting is a year away from being GA. Sure I can play with JAX-WS 2.0 today but I have real problems that I need to solve today and I want to know how to solve them today and not wait for a solution that’s a year away.

JavaOne Keynote – Day 2

The 2nd day keynote started off with John Gage as usual. After a few housekeeping items, Scott McNealy came on to deliver the keynote. No real news beyond the acquisition of SeeBeyond. I usually would skip Scott McNealy’s talks but actually went because a friend of mine that works for GE Healthcare was getting a Dukie, which is handed out every year in several categories for outstanding achievement in the Java community. Congratulations Doug and GE Healthcare.

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BEA and Spring sitting in a tree…

After lunch, Mark Carges, the new CTO of BEA Systems, hosted the second general session. Mark started by talking about ‘Liquid assets’ and pitches the new Aqua line of products at BEA. He started off by talking about Java application frameworks. He claimed that Java application frameworks were the most important productivity-related innovation since the Java IDE. He then talked about frameworks in the realm of web/UI, business logic and database access and then came the big news – BEA will certify Beehive, Struts, Spring and JSF (coming soon) on top of WebLogic server. So customers of BEA that have purchased support can call BEA about issues with their Struts and Spring apps. The next part of this was a partnership with Interface21, Rod and Juergen’s company where BEA will offer support for Spring applications. BEA will also provide Eclipse plug-ins for some open source application frameworks. You’ll be able to deploy applications to WebLogic, Tomcat, and Geronimo seamlessly.

Next up was Adam Fitzgerald and Rod Johnson (Rod’s British? When did this happen? Aussie – My bad). Rod and Adam demoed JPetstore built using Spring and Beehive using Eclipse. The demo started with the application running on Tomcat and then Adam switched over and deployed the application over to WebLogic. When he flipped over the WebLogic 9.x console, there was an additional tab for Spring beans. The partnership will essentially enable JMX for POJO’s.

Mark then talked about the new realm of application opportunities opening up in the field of telecommunications with the carrier-grade WebLogic communication platform. At the center of this platform is BEA’s JRockit, the fastest JVM on the planet. BEA’s been working hard and optimizing GC (predictive) where they can run telecommunication applications. Part of this platform is the SIP servlet spec (JSR-116) and their implementation included in this WebLogic communication platform.

In conclusion, BEA is betting on the blending of open-source and commercial solutions. I know that is a true statement for the company I work for, and I’m guessing this is fairly common across the landscape. BEA’s accepting the fact that people may have their application deployed on Tomcat – they just want to ready when the app running on Tomcat needs transaction support (JTA), clustering or more scale. BEA hopes to provide solution that will allow a one-click migration from Tomcat or Geronimo to WebLogic.

BEA, Spring, JRockit, JavaOne, WebLogic

JavaOne Keynote – Day 1

John Gage kicks off the first day with his usual routine before turning it over to Jonathan Schwartz, the COO of Sun. The basis premise of his talk was that technology has a social utility and participation drives economic and social progress. He also talked about how blogs and wikis are changing how information gets published and distributed.

Next up was Yasushi Nishimura, the director of Panasonic USA and he talked about the Blu-ray disk which is the next big-thing in storage. Blu-ray DVD holds about 50 GB on a single disc with a potential of up to 200 GB. The Blu-ray disc standards bodies will use Java, as the standard for the interactivity menus and so all players will ship with a Java VM built into it. All menus and playback is controlled by Java and additional functions like in-movie menus, extras, etc are also all controlled by Java.

Takeshi Natsuno, the Founder of iMode at NTT DoCoMo was up next and he talked about the economic value of Java. NTT DoCoMo supposedly makes $ 6 Billion a year from their iMode service.

Jonathan then talked about Sun’s strained relation with IBM. The big-news was that IBM extended their Java license for the next 10-year deal. Steve Mills, Senior VP of the IBM Software Group talked via video about this deal. He then went to discuss Sun’s relationship with Apache and FOSS – Free and Open Source Software. His premise here was that there is a social utility to free software and that the money is in hardware and services and not software. Interesting.

The big news that he had was something I blogged about earlier – open sourcing the Sun J2EE application server available from java.net under project GlassFish (open-esb.java.net). This includes the app server, their ESB and JBI (JSR-208) released under the CDDL license. John Loiacono, VP of the Software Group at Sun came on next to talk about it. He claimed that there are 4.5 million Java developers, 2.5 billion Java devices worldwide and the number of Java-enabled handsets exceeds Java-enabled PC’s. Interesting trend. He then talked about Compatibility and jdk.net where you can download early releases of all the future JDK’s. The next item on his list was Java Business Integration specification and the official release of v1.0. He showed a slide with vendors that were supporting JBI v10 and it was interesting to note that IBM and BEA were not on the list.

Tor Norbye, Senior Sun Engineer and his team created the java Studio Creator 2 and he talked about the new product. The latest version is built on top of NetBeans and includes some new rich components including some new AJAX enabled components that offer Google Suggest like functionality. The AJAX component is available from java.net and Creator 2 from http://www.developers.sun.com/jscreator.

Next up were Charles Beckham and Chris Webster to talk about Java Studio Enterprise 8. They demoed their business process integration tool that is the graphical drag-n-drop tool for connecting services visually without writing plumbing tools. The tool also includes an XML-Java transformation tool that uses XML Schemas to visually map XML to Java. This will be available in early fall.

David Yach, the VP of Engineering of RIM was up next and they demoed a neat little application on the Blackberry. He then brought up Eclipse and published a simple Web Services application to the Blackberry simulator. The development environment looks pretty cool and showed a lot of potential.

John Loiacono, VP of the Software Group at Sun continued on talking about performance and DTrace and how showed off some awesome performance improvements for C and C++ application. He then invited Adam Leventhal to talk about DTrace Java. Adam did a hands-on demo where he traced a GUI application running on a Solaris boxes. DTrace showed how much time was being spent in Java code, native code or in the kernel code.

Robert LeBlanc, the WebSphere general manager was up next and he talked about the 10 or 11 year (ala Spinal Tap) deal IBM signed with Java. He basically stressed the importance of Java to IBM. Sun announced the whole IBM software stack from WebSphere, Tivoli, MQ, etc will be ported to Solaris 10 platform.

The next discussion item was the new Sun Ultra 20 Workstation running an AMD Olteron CPU. Nice demo of a military/homeland security application where they had 3D models to simulate terrorist attack. Sun is going to bundle all of their Sun studio and Creator tools into this bundle and sell it as a subscription model starting at $29.95, with a 3-year license agreement. More details are at http://www.sun.com/ultra20.

John Gage was back up to introduce James Gosling and his t-shirt hurling machine competition. The first entry was from El Salvador and it looked pretty cool. The first couples of attempts were pretty weak and they dumped their little t-shirt tossing tool and starting tossing them by hand. James Gosling is doing the Thursday keynote and is going to talk about all the toys including Blu-ray, mobility (MIDP), Boeing real-time flying drone, etc.

Scott McNealy then interrupted the discussion between James and John to invite a marching band, Duke and massive cake to celebrate 10 years of Java. Scott then brought out the original Green team on stage and then everyone sang happy birthday to Java. John Gage then talked about a new book that Sun’s going to publish that will capture the first 10 years of Java. The book will be available at java.com/birthday.

Next up was the Graham Hamilton show. Graham talked about the roadmap for Java SE. The first thing is they are dropping the 2 from Java 2 and so the new names are Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME). The new releases will be Java SE 6 and Java EE 5. All new Java API’s will go through the JCP and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Another piece of news is that they won’t be doing a ‘5.1’. Mustang or Java SE 6 will ship in summer of 2006 and Dolphin (Java SE 7) in 1Q 2008. New in Mustang will be compatibility, stability, quality, diagnosability, monitoring & management (upgrades to JMX and JConsole), XML and Web Services (JSR’s 105, 173, 181, 222, 224), a lightweight server stack, ease of development which includes Rhino (Rhino JavaScript engine – JSR 223), additional annotation support in JDBC 4.0 (JSR-221), XML data support, Javadoc update (JSR-260). The Java Desktop will include full Longhorn support and include the Avalon look-and-feel, CLR/VM coexistence, and graphics improvement. The last theme of Java SE 6 is where Sun wants to be more open and transparent in the JDK development process. Project is hosted at mustang.dev.java.net and people will be able to download weekly builds and play with the bits. The licensing schemes around Java has also changed and the new JDL (Java Distribution License) is for commercial use while the Java Research License (JRL) is a 2-page license where you can download Java source code and play. The third new license, Java Internal Use License (JIUL) will allow users to deploy their our own bug fixes internally without running any of the compatibilities test suites.

Dolphin or Java SE 7 features include direct XML support, “friends” for cross-package references, method references for GUI handlers, JVM bytecode for dynamic languages, BeanShell (JSR-274), new I/O API’s (JSR-203) and new packaging and deployment architecture where the distribution, installation and loading are separated.

Bill Shannon came on next to talk about the J2EE or Java EE 5 roadmap. Simplifying the programming model was a key theme with POJO-based programming model, extensive use of annotations, resource injections and new API’s and framework. Major features of Java EE 5 will be simplified Web Services support, better standards support for WS, simplified EJB development, a new persistence API and easy web application with JavaServer Faces (JSF). JAX-RPC gets renamed to JAX-WS (interop) and JAXB (xml binding) make up the new WS stack. Standards supported include SOAP 1.2, XML Schema 1.0, WSI 1.1 and many others. The new persistence API is also usable in Java SE as well and made up with the expert group that includes EJB, JDO, Toplink, Hibernate people. Interesting new thing in EJB 3.0 is the idea of defaults where most common things like transactions are on by default. Java EE 5 new contents including JSTL (JSR-52), StAX (JSR-173), WS Metdata (JSR-181), new persistence API (JSR-220), JAXB (JSR-222), JAX-WS (JSR-224), common annotation (JSR-250), and JSF (JSR-252). The Java EE 5 SDK beta will be available in Q4 2005 with the final release in Q1 2006.

Mark Hapner was on next to talk about the vision of SOA, just as my battery died. Saved by the battery 🙂

JavaOne – Day 0

Flew into San Francisco yesterday early enough to attend some of the festivities going on around JavaOne. Apparently Market Street was blocked off for the Pride Parade and I missed all the excitement. After registration, we headed down to the NetBeans Day to check out the latest happenings on the NetBeans front. This event was at the Argent hotel and it was a full house. Not being a NetBeans user, it was just interesting but the one cool thing was the demo of the Matisse GUI builder that looked pretty cool. The layout manager issues that usually bites people seem to have been solved – Time will tell. A bunch of us were stalking James Gosling as he was hanging outside. We even got James to post for a picture with Darcy, Troy’s wife. Can you just imagine the scene? Four geeks with camera phones trying to take a picture and James scoffs at our camera phone. His comment was and I quote, “Does anyone have a real camera, one that doesn’t suck?” 🙂 We did find a real camera and got some neat pictures. Will post them here once the GE guys ship them over.

After NetBeans, we headed down to the Alumni Fireside chat, which turned out to be a pretty fun event. This was an open forum for developers to ask questions of the experts from Sun and there were some tough questions. It was interesting to see the interest in J2ME, which I’ve always dismissed, as an early-access thing and nothing real. There were a lot of hints about new announcements coming this week. Quite a few people took shots at the Microsoft-Sun love affair and the interoperability track. I for one think interoperability is important and most enterprises have .NET and Java and they need to play together.

It was funny to see AJAX everywhere 🙂

JavaOne sessions I’ll attend

Ok – I think I finally have the list whittled down to just the JavaOne sessions I want to or need to attend. I’ve got the duplicates down to a minimum and now just need to figure out which BOF’s I can blow off to attend some of the vendor parties and catch-up with friends or make new friends over beer.

I was disappointed that the JavaOne schedule site hosted by cplan.com didn’t have a HTML export or publish to your blog or RSS/ATOM feed of your schedule. Why don’t we eat our own dog food and use technology for these things? Here’s my lame attempt to have Excel spit out an HTML document from the CSV.

[OT] Save PBS & NPR

I know this is a little off-topic for this blog, but the idiots in Congress are at it again and this time they are trying to cut funding for PBS and NPR. PBS and NPR produce a lot of great commercial-free television and radio shows in the US. I never miss shows like FrontLine, NOVA, and Innovation on PBS. In addition, they produce countless other educational, entertaining programs for people young and old.

National Public Radio is also a target as Republicans claim it’s too hard on Israel. I am an avid NPR listener and I find their reporting to be the most balanced, honest and interesting.

There are a few places to go to support NPR and PBS:

Sorry for the diversion – Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. 🙂

 

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