Saturday Apr 04, 2009

Tech Days coming to Russia

If you're anywhere near St Petersburg (the one with the palaces, not the one with dolpins) come to the TechDays event we're running next week. My boss (Jeet Kaul - pronounced "Cool", and he is) will be there, along with a pile of experts on a wide variety of topics from all Sun technologies. Three intense days of technology deep dives. Always fun and educational!

Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

Wandering the UK

I spent last week wandering the UK. Mostly in London, but I spent a great day at a developer conference for GCHQ where I gave a keynote and was on a panel about agile development. It was a pretty spirited group and a lot of fun.

In London I gave talks at a pile of companies: mostly financial institutions, all heavy Java users. I'm always amazed at the cool things bankers do: not at all like the stodgy stereotype at all. They seemed really happy to get into geekish deep dives, if only to distract themselves from everything else that's going on. I ended the trip at a developer event at the Royal Geographic Society.

One thing I kept getting asked about was using real-time for transaction servers. The reason they're all interested is because the real-time VM has a garbage collector that has guaranteed maximum pause times. While this does work very well, it is often overkill. One of the cool new pieces of technology on the Java landscape is the Garbage First (G1) collector. It was presented at the last JavaOne, but not available then. For details, you should read the excellent paper on it. Continuing our recent habit of sliding major functionality into update releases, G1 is going to be in JDK6 update 14, which is currently in beta and available through the early-access program. If you have issues with large heaps, multicore, or pause times, give it a try. We'd love to hear your testing feedback.

Tuesday Feb 17, 2009

India is amazing!

It's the end of day 1 of Tech Days in Hyderabad. What a great crowd! The locals were apologizing that "only" 6000 developers were there: the conference center is only big enough to accommodate 6000 attendees, and it's the largest conference center in India. The place is just jammed. There are about 800,000 professional Java developers in India, and we just don't have room for them all. Yesterday morning I did some tourist exploring and ran into a bunch of them at a local temple: took a pile of photos and had some nice conversations. The really hard problem for me with conferences like this is that it would be lovely to shake hands and talk to everyone. But there aren't enough hours in a day. It's nice to have a break from the incessant pessimism of the global economic meltdown.

Saturday Feb 14, 2009

At TechDays in Hyderabad

I'll be spending this week at Tech Days in Hyderabad. It'll be a grand geekfest with lots of educational sessions. If you're anywhere near by, come join in. It promises to be a lot of fun.

The big thrill last week was the launch of JavaFX mobile, which is included in JavaFX 1.1, which was also launched last week. Besides officially supporting mobile platforms, JavaFX now has richer support of numeric types and a whole pile of performance improvements. JavaFX is getting really nice, really fast. Take it out for a spin.

If you happen to be going to Mobile World Congress this week (where it seems every mobile developer is going), there will be a pile of folks from Sun who would love to show you a bunch of cool JavaFX apps running on a wide variety of cellphones.

Thursday Jan 15, 2009

NetBeans rocks the awards!

I apologize for not blogging much lately, but life has been seriously hectic. One tidbit has broken me out of my manic frenzy: The NetBeans crew ended up with an impressive stack of awards from developer.com. They've totally changed the way I develop software.

Sunday Dec 21, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

This has certainly been a year that no one will forget. Between wars, global economic meltdown and an amazing election in America, all the stuff that goes on in the computer industry pales to insignificance - although the stuff we all build had a role to play. The internet has certainly changed the process of elections forever.

Nonetheless, it's been a great year in the Java universe: JavaFX 1.0 launched; NetBeans 6.5; Glassfish V3; JDK6u10/11; MSA; OpenJDK&jdk7... OpenSolaris 2008.11, OpenStorage, OpenSSO, VirtualBox, OpenOffice 3, MySQL 5.1... Software at Sun has really been cranking out great stuff.

Friday Dec 19, 2008

Titan Attacks

Between family and job I end up always being pretty busy. I like playing video games, but getting a block of time long enough to put into any of the Big Games is pretty much impossible. So I'm always looking for games that you can play quickly and get a thrill-buzz in just a few minutes. After about a billion rounds, the attraction of Solitaire has worn pretty thin. Lately I've been playing Titan Attacks from the folks at PuppyGames. It's got a great kickback-in-a-bar-with-a-beer arcade feel to it. Thanks Cas!

PS. If you try it out, and you like it, consider paying for it: that'll help more great new games happen.

Wednesday Dec 03, 2008

JavaFX 1.0 hits FCS! Come and get it!

After a lot of hard work, JavaFX 1.0 is finally out and available for download and play! I've been having a huge amount of fun with it over the past few months. Every marketoid and blogger at Sun is going nuts with it. They tend to emphasis using it for building Rich Internet Applications - RIA has been one of the big industry buzzwords over the past year. But I've been building regular desktop apps with it, and it's great. It's been really easy to build beautiful Solaris/Linux desktop tools (sorry, the Solaris/Linux release of JavaFX isn't ready yet, but you can suffer through using OS X or even Windows). If you're even slightly handy with Photoshop, you just sketch your UI with it, export to JavaFX, then write your own script bits to add behavior. With luck, a Gimp exporter will happen, although that'll probably have to be a community effort.

Take it out for a spin. I'm sure you'll have as much fun with it as I have.

Saturday Nov 29, 2008

Heading to Tokyo

I'm spending this coming week at Tech Days in Tokyo from Tuesday through Thursday. If you're anywhere near Tokyo, come join us. We'll be showing off all the latest and greatest stuff: JDK 6u10, NetBeans 6.5, Glassfish V3, JavaFX, Solaris, and a whole lot more. Three days densely packed with all kinds of geek training.

Tuesday Nov 11, 2008

The LincVolt lives!

At JavaOne 2007, Neil Young gave an impassioned talk about why BluRay matters to artists. He ended the talk with a few comments about a project he was starting to take a classic Detroit monster (a 1959 Lincoln Continental) and turn it into an X-Prize capable hybrid electric car. There was more than a little scepticism in the audience, but he did it, and he calls it the LincVolt. And he brought it to Sun in Menlo Park to show it off. Piles of realtime Java code under the hood.
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