Tuesday Oct 02, 2007

Consumerizing Java on the Desktop

Heard the early roll of thunder about a project called the 'Consumer JRE' last JavaOne ?

Yesterday it came a step closer to reality: We've released an early access version of an major update to the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) on Windows platforms, specifically focusing on features of the JRE needed by consumer content.

(You may have noticed we're pretty into that these days, and there'll be much more on that over the coming months.)

We're calling this JRE 'Java SE 6 Update N' (just don't get me started on why). This is an Early Access version. Did I mention that already ? Early Access means that its not finished yet: we have more features to add, and more work tuning the ones that are there. In particular, we haven't yet added the JavaKernel work, which radically slims down the initial download of the JRE (you will notice this EA is still a substantial download). Also, we haven't done nearly as much testing on it as we will before its finished, but we figured we'd get it out there. We have a massive test framework for Java SE these days, but none so large as all the Java desktop applications written since 1996.

Here's what's in and what's not in it:-

Is it in this Early Access Version ?
What's that for ?
Java Quickstarter
Yes !
Making applets and applications start really quickly, first time Java is launched.
Deployment Toolkit
Yes !
Applets can tell which version of the JRE is on the machine they just landed on.
Hardware Acceleration
Yes !
Faster rendering of Swing apps, especially ones using features like translucent windows, using Direct3D on Windows
Nimbus Look and Feel
Yes !
A refreshing new look and feel to add to your choices -  check it out here.
Java Kernel ?
No, but coming soon in the JRE !
Modularizing the JRE into a small initial download, the rest coming down in parallel.
New APIs ?
No new APIs.
This is our implementation of the Java SE 6 platform. So there won't be any new developer APIs until Java SE 7 is done.

There've been a variety of reactions already about this already. Try it yourself and let us know, but you may need paper tissues handy ;).

Wednesday May 30, 2007

Souvenirs from JavaOne 2007

In the wake of JavaOne 2007, here are a couple of souvenirs for those of you who could not make it. As promised, here are my slides for my presentation on Java SE Present and Future, and here is a picture of my Java SE: Ask the Experts BOF.

From left to right: Chet Haase, Lance Anderson, Mark Reinhold, Stanley Ho, Paul Hohensee, Dave Dagastine, Alan Bateman, Andreas Sterbenz and Danny Coward.

My favorite souvenir was the dark horse announcement I made about the Consumer JRE and how it got picked up all over the place.

Thursday May 10, 2007

JavaOne 2007, Java SE, JavaFX and me

As I mentioned to  about 15,000 of you on Tuesday morning, it really has been a busy year. For myself in particular over the last few months, trying to figure out and select the various pieces of our new focus on consumer technology JavaFX (as you can imagine, given we have been devoted to many masters, this takes and will take some hard work from us) has taken me shamefully away from you, my dear reader.

So in contrast to previous years, when JavaOne has been a maelstrom of activity dwarfing my daily routine, this year its the other way round for me. Not least because, living as I do in San Francisco, I can bike to work this week.

I mentioned on a JavaLobby thread last weekend that I would post out everything I presented at JavaOne. I had a segment in Sun's technical keynote (go Java SE !!!). I'd recommend watching the whole thing here, or if you only want the segment on Java SE (hi mum !), including a great JRuby/NetBeans demo by Charlie and Tor here it is:-

I have to say the above was somewhat terrifying to prepare for. Especially the moment on Sunday when I walked behind the main stage to go update one of the statistics in my talk, you know, expecting someone homely reading a magazine next to an old flickering PC who would be able to help me out. Instead I saw a battery of brightly lit screens, banks of randomly flashing lights and dozens of people seemingly dressed in black Prada gliding wordlessly from station to station, apparently keeping the whole of the Moscone Center, and all the people in it and possibly much of California, humming with efficient serenity.

I also kicked off the Java SE track with a talk on where Java SE is and where its going. It includes a slide detailing the changing face of James over the lifetime of Java, which caused a little ripple of merriment. I'll post that slide deck when I get it back from the JavaOne team.

The number in question I wanted to edit was an update in the number of downloads of JDK 6 since December 11th when we released it. An update including the April 2007 numbers. Which brings the total so far to 2,090,155. This is roughly twice the adoption rate of J2SE 5.0 in its first 5 months.

\*Twice\* !!

Your eleventh reason to upgrade to Java SE 6 ?

Everyone else is.

Friday Jan 05, 2007

NET2Java goes Open Source

I've gone open source crazy for 2007. Off my New Year trolley. Its an epiphany for NET2Java !

A while back you will no doubt remember I started a new project on java.net called NET2Java. A humble new technology I created that, you know, translates any .NET application into Java source code.  Supporting VisualBasic. And C#. And an extensible library of translation files to make it easy for anyone to share their translations of .NET API calls. 

And a plugin for NetBeans.

Since then I have had a number of notes from various people who downloaded it. Some curious, trying it out. Some having problems. A few using it on real projects. One using it for some eye-wateringly large .NET applications. (My eyes teared up at the thought of all those lines of C# turning into lines of Java code, Grimm's miller would be proud). Someone has even mentioned creating an Eclipse plugin. I guess they all liked the before and afters.

But as you know, my day job is as platform lead for Java SE, and so I was becoming a bottleneck for progress of the technology. So I decided it was time to stop being the spider at the center of the web, and I've gone and open sourced it !

I'm licensing it under GPLv2, and I've worked out the governance rules of the project (my house rules).

Take a look. Maybe you'd even like to help out.

And if you have a friend struggling with .NET (so nineties), do let them know there is an exit strategy.

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Sunday Dec 10, 2006

Java SE 6: Top Ten

My top 10 new features...your top 10 reasons to upgrade.

And what we're blogging about.

Who's blogging about it ?
Web Services
Easy to use APIs for developing web service clients.
Rajiv and Bob's write first an introduction to web services with NetBeans 5.5 and then building a Java SE 6 client to eBay, included as one of the new samples in Java SE 6. Not forgetting the new lightweight http server API for callbacks.
Mix scripting and Java in your code. Javascript comes as standard, you can add many more languages.
John gets busy with the scripting. Sundar gets him some scripting, says hello, and uses the new scripting features to experiment with AJAX. Mike and Sundar talked at JavaOne on scripting.
Updated JDBC 4.0 APIs, and an all-Java JDBC database included in the JDK.
Lance, when not playing tennis, blogs frequently on the updated JDBC 4.0, SQLXML, the RowID interface, wrapper interface. David talks about bundling JavaDB, and this week Francois will cover various aspects of JavaDB.
New Desktop APIs
Swingworker, JTable sorting and filtering, GroupLayout and more.
Chet ain't no Julie Andrews but he cranks out quite a tune about the new Java SE 6 desktop, Shannon drags and drops with SE 6, Scott doesn't forget that if you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves; and going mega modal with Praveen and the new dialog infrastructure
Monitoring and Management
All the m&m tools now attach on demand. And there's a new one: jhat.
Dr Mandy, our code doctor, is in the house, and takes us through all the M&M improvements, as well as the makeover we gave to JConsole. Alan opens the hood on dynamic attach, more from Sundar. We can't keep him down. Eamonn recaps on mBeans, and Luis Miguel on another important change to JConsole.
Compiler Access
Programmatically control the javac compiler.
Peter on why you should upgrade (do you NEED any more reasons ?), and including the compiler APIs.
Pluggable Annotations
Define your own annotations and plug in the code to process them.
Joe grilled by Artima about pluggable annotations.

Desktop Deployment
Swing's better looking and better accelerated. Revamped runtime and application installation.
Chet can't keep a lid on great Java SE 6 runs on Vista. Stanley sayings a tearful farewell to the old installation GUIs. And get the skinny on making Swing look and feel even better.
Integration with services like PKI, Java GSS, Kerberos, and LDAP.
Andreas on smoothing a corner or two, how about those new XMLDSIG APIs, and Sean's ultimate guide to what's new in security in Java SE 6.
Performance and Quality
Double digit improvements in performance, client and server. 100,000+ tests for compatibility alone.
Dave 'mr performance' Dagastine on performance, more performance, and the new 'hands-free' performance. And how do we test for compatibility, Patrick ?

Of course there are many more features that may be in your top 10. Like some of the enhancements to the core APIs that Dave's talking about.

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