Best JavaOne for the NetBeans Platform
Let's start by saying that one of the coolest things about the NetBeans Platform's presence was Mathieu's Duke's Choice Award for NetBeans Platform based Gephi. In addition, there were multiple sessions on the NetBeans Platform—from a discussion panel (full room, around 100 or so must have been there, with "success stories" from Zoran [if there was an award for 'Most Impressive First Time Speaker on the NetBeans Platform', Zoran would definitely win], Toni, Sven, Fabrizio), to sessions (e.g., Fabrizio on Maven integration), to hands on lab (inconveniently, it was held from 20:15 to 22:00, i.e., party time, despite which around 30 people turned up, to everyone's surprise including my own, now I owe someone a beer for predicting that less than 10 would turn up; thanks to Martin and Sven for proctoring, that made a very big difference with a group of that size), to several BOFs. There were even two NetBeans Platform BOFs scheduled at the same time, clearly the organizers couldn't cram all the NetBeans Platform topics into the program more logically, simply because there were so many of them. :-)
So, I'd say it was the best JavaOne ever in terms of the NetBeans Platform, i.e. the world's only modular Swing application framework. Many photos and videos were made, which I'll reference here when I get them all. The biggest disappointments/missed opportunities were that I didn't ask at the panel session for the attendees to leave their business cards behind. Would have been great to have all those business cards of users of the NetBeans Platform (many indicated they have applications on the NetBeans Platform), as well as those interested in working with it. Another big failure was that I completely forgot to mention, in all the sessions relating to the NetBeans Platform, the NetBeans Platform Training in San Francisco next week. That would have been a logical thing to mention, making all those interested JavaOne attendees aware of the upcoming training.
Most Significant JavaOne Announcement
And what was the biggest/most important moment at JavaOne? Glad you asked. In terms of the things I work with (i.e., Java and Swing), the most significant announcement was that there'll be a Java API for JavaFX. At last! Finally! After all, each and every time I've shown anyone a demo of JavaFX, they've said: "Wonderful, I need that in my application." Isn't that the most logical thing to want to do with JavaFX? And now that will be possible. Plus, thanks to the NetBeans Platform, JavaFX will be interesting for the enterprise (which is where Oracle is well placed too). Why? Well, do you know of any banking application (i.e., that's a typical use case for NetBeans Platform usage, i.e., large scalable pluggable business applications) that needs a moving yellow circle? Or any of the other JavaFX widgets, however cool those widgets may be? No, business applications have no need for JavaFX prima facie, since business applications are data-centric, rather than graphic-centric.
Despite that, demands for UI coolness is on the rise, what with the popularity of iPhones and the iPad and so on, so even in the enterprise cool effects will become more of a requirement (not a 'must have' but a 'nice to have'). However, even then the moving yellow circle will be irrelevant. The enterprise needs large components for displaying data... which is what the NetBeans Platform provides (TopComponent, BeanTreeView, OutlineView, and friends). Now... imagine those components written in JavaFX! That is the way JavaFX will enter the enterprise, piggy backing the NetBeans Platform data-centric components, together with its in-built pluggability. (Imagine pluggable JavaFX components.) Definitely JavaFX will be included in NetBeans Platform Trainings, where students will learn how to create explorer views (i.e., NetBeans Swing components) in JavaFX. Really looking forward to seeing those cool rotating widgets displaying data loaded from the database and visualized via the explorer views written in JavaFX!
From the above, it is clear that my JavaOne has been very narrowly focused. Not completely, though. Yesterday I presented a web service client BOF (about tools for something we refer to as RRCD, "rapid rest client development") with my colleague Milan Kuchtiak. Again a full room, lots of interest, since REST tooling is needed if people are going to use REST. We demoed the NetBeans IDE tooling for REST in three areas, the web, desktop, and command line. The response was pretty positive and not too many people walked out (always a slightly rude thing, that consistently practiced consumerist approach to presentation attendance) and I think NetBeans IDE's tools in this area are really impressive. For prototyping and learning of REST-related topics, you can't go wrong using the NetBeans IDE's wizards, code generators, and drag-and-drop snippet support.
Anyway, it was a great JavaOne under Oracle's stewardship (despite the many different venues, the lots of walking, and the always being lost, at some point I became accustomed to being lost and didn't mind as much as I did in the beginning). Looking forward to next year!