Monday Feb 10, 2014

JavaLand: New Java Conference in Germany

JavaLand is a new technology conference happening in Germany March 25-26. The conference is organized by iJUG, an association of over 12 German-speaking JUGs in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. One of the interesting things about JavaLand is the venue: the Phantasialand theme park. Attendees never have to leave the venue for both learning and fun.

JavaLand 2014 is for both Java beginners and Java experts. Topics include Core Java, JVM languages, Enterprise Java, Tools, Software Architecture and Security. Some of the session titles are "My old Friend malloc - Off-Heap in Java," "JSR 354 - Go for the Money," and "55 New Features in Java SE 8." 

What else makes JavaLand special? Organizer Markus Eisele says JavaLand is "by the Java Community for the Java Community." There will be several community activities, including:

Hacker Garden
Gerrit Grunwald of Münster JUG hosts a the Hacker garden, a software craftsmen's workshop, a classroom, a laboratory for experimentation and a place for discussion and getting to know open-source projects. 

Night Hacking
Stephen Chin, Java Technology Ambassador for Oracle, will stream interviews live from JavaLand.

Early Adopters Area
Create the Future of Java by learning about and trying "Adopt a JSR" or "Adopt OpenJDK" project.

Lambdafy Your Project
Participants can learn how to switch existing Java projects to lambda expressions. 

Meet the JUGs
Java User Groups will present in the "Java User Group Café." 

Java Innovation Lab
Experience innovative Java projects whose focus connects the real with the virtual world. Check out Leap Motion, Raspberry Pi, virtual and augmented reality.

Great technology plus lots of community activities, it's a winning combination. Learn more at JavaLand.eu

Wednesday Jan 29, 2014

Gamification for User Groups

At the gamification session of the International Oracle User Group Community (IOUC), leaders discussed how to drive membership. Typically, they give away licenses, books and goodies to encourage attendance at monthly meetings. Others have used gamification to get their communities to brainstorm on mascot names, or post pictures and comments on social media. Hackathons also require the use of similar techniques to keep attendees motivated to create applications over several days. SouJava leader Bruno Souza successfully ran hackathons that combined brainstorming, team building, training, hacking sessions and prizes to keep participants engaged.

“Turn life into a game, drive engagement of audiences, make the experience more enjoyable and get users to come back ” are the key advantages of gamification according to user group leader Jim Bethancourt.

The forum platform Stack Overflow is a great example of running a thriving community of developers with its point systems. Contributors get rewarded with points for their useful entries and visitors easily find the most relevant and best-rated entries.

The ArabOUG has implemented a point system to keep its community active. The group gives out points to the members, who contribute applications, articles, and translations. It partnered with training organizations and other services to give its members free training and services in exchange for points. As a result, members don’t have to pay for services using online payments, which governments in many countries in North Africa and the Middle East don’t allow.

In an interview, ArabOUG leader Mohamed Chargui  explains in more detail his experience using gamification.

Tuesday Dec 03, 2013

Hackergarten at Conferences

In this video interview, senior architects Andres Almiray and Swen Reimers discussed hackagarten event taking place during the conferences. "A hackergarten is group of people coming together for a couple of hours. We decide the open source projects we want to code on. It can be fixing a bug, adding a new feature, creating a screencast, testing features and giving feedback to the project. The goal is to contribute to an open source project" explained Andres.

Devoxx Hackergarten focused on Java EE Lambda projects this year. Swen was the project lead and mentor for the Lambda projects. Some of them worked on JavaFX and Lambda event threads. "We discussed why things would not fit in an API, the lambda syntax, and what is available or not" Swen mentioned. They are running hackergarten around the world. The next ones will be at JFokus, JavaLand and the monthly events in Basel, Switzerland.

Sunday Sep 22, 2013

At the JavaOne 2013 Strategy Keynote

by Janice J. Heiss and Timothy Beneke

JavaOne 2013 – the 18th JavaOne Conference -- kicked off at San Francisco’s Moscone Center with two very thoughtful and illuminating presentations by Peter Utzschneider, Vice President, Java Product Management, and Nandini Ramani, Vice President of Engineering, Java Client and Embedded Platforms, both of Oracle. Together, they presented a vision of Java adroitly adjusting to an industry, and even a world, that is undergoing rapid change as we enter the Internet of Things. 

Utzschneider began by celebrating the very fact of JavaOne 2013, which offers more than 400 sessions, with attendees from no fewer than 92 countries and a wealth of educational and other festivities, including a “Codegarten” where developers can improve their coding skills, plus a code challenge using the Raspberry Pi. He gave a brief update on the thriving state of Java, which is showing a 10% increase in Java User Groups, a major new release of Java EE 7, increasing readership of Java Magazine, along with a strong and growing Java community.

He suggested that it is important for developers to remember that Java remains the number one development platform in the world with most of the infrastructure that powers the web running on Java.

As he spoke, an accompanying slide displayed Java’s success:

*    9 Million Java Developers Worldwide
*    #1 Choice for Developers
*    #1 Development Platform
*    3 Billion Mobile Phones Run Java
*    100 Percent of Blu-ray Disc Players Ship with Java
*    97 Percent of Enterprise Desktops Run Java
*    5 Billion Java Cards in Use
*    7 Billion Java Cards Sold
*    89% of desktops run java
*    125 million TV devices run java
*    5 of top 5 OEMs ship java

The theme of JavaOne 2013, “Make the Future Java” is unchanged from last year’s, for a very good reason, according to Utzschneider. “There is a lot going on in the industry,” he said, “with massive shifts and innovation happening which pose huge challenges and opportunities for Java.” The goal is to make Java better, stronger, more robust and relevant for decades to come.

He presented a slide that illustrated another key point. “The combination of mobility and social have created an incredible amount of new data, of people interacting, sharing and producing things with new services and new applications, all being driven by massive infrastructure, mostly running on Java,” he noted. Some 204 million messages are sent every minute, with 278,000 tweets, 20 million photos viewed and 11,000 professional searches via the Internet.

All of this activity is creating an enormous amount of data in many forms with growing volume and velocity. He noted: “Dealing with data – historical, real-time, future, large, small – is creating a whole new paradigm. We now have Big Data, fast data, all backed up through BI (Business Intelligence) and analytics. The data itself has become the life blood that allows developers to harness and innovate and build new applications.”

Utzschneider referred to the many non-human driven devices that will be coming on the Internet in the next two years – estimates vary between 10 and 50 billion. “When I looked at these numbers,” he observed, “I realized that once you get up into the billions, it doesn’t matter. It’s huge, real, and happening.”

He said that the devices are driven by Moore’s Law hitting the embedded space very hard, as devices become cheaper, more powerful and most important – connected. “This is the about the Internet of Things,” he said. “It will be a major game changer for Java developers and the larger community.”

He pointed out that the mobile devices we use today for applications and to connect with each other will become the ultimate remote controls of the future, which will help us interact with and control the physical world around us. Simultaneously, the shift to cloud-based development is now in full swing.

With this change, he noted, “We will have to rethink security and rethink how services can move from a container-based to a more service-based model. And we want to be able to move our applications from physical infrastructure to the cloud, but also be able to port it to a different cloud if we wish.”

He emphasized that in stewarding the Java platform, Oracle is committed to making the skills of Java developers applicable to the future.

JavaOne 2013’s First Demo
Utzschneider explained that, without knowing it, attendees had been participating in the first demo at this year’s JavaOne. “With partners, Hitachi Consulting and Eurotech, we have built an end-to-end demo with sensors above all the doorway portals which differentiate whether you are a dog or a human, whether you are coming or going, and feeding this data to a Java SE based application running on a gateway. After the computation is complete, it goes to the cloud, which has analytics and BI (Business Intelligence) applications, plus a Java-based application for visualization.”

The point of the demo is to demonstrate how, in a couple of weeks, using off-the-shelf Java componentry, a sophisticated demo could be built, and strung together, to prove the value of Java as an open standard applicable from the smallest devices all the way up to cloud-based development.

Nandini Ramani: Unifying the Java Platform
Nandini Ramani next shared the stage with Utzschneider, and began with an analysis of how Java has thrived on a diverse spectrum of devices and markets, resulting in implementations that have also become more siloed over the years. “Moving forward,” she remarked, “we believe it’s important to unify the platform, not just from an API perspective, but from a language perspective.”

She observed that Java SE 7, CDC, and CLDC, differ more than they share commonalities. From a language perspective, CLDC is still at the Java 1.3 phase, while Java SE is heading towards Java 8 early in 2014. The pace of Java ME has not kept up with Java SE.

“Java SE 8 is a huge step towards platform unification,” Ramani said. “With SE 8, we will release the Compact Profile and will replace CDC, so we will have one less implementation. We are also increasing commonality both from an API and a language perspective. This means that on the API front in ME 8 you will see familiar libraries like NIO, New Collections, and so on. With the language we will have annotations, generics, and even strings in switch.”

Developers will thus be able to use their skill sets across the entire Java spectrum instead of being restricted to being a Java ME or Java SE developer. With Java 8, developers will get code portability, commonality of APIs and common tooling from the smallest device all the way up to Java SE embedded to serverside Java SE.

She pointed to three things that are happening driving this unification. First, Moore’s Law is making devices more capable. Second, Java SE is being shrunk to fit into the embedded space and smaller devices; and third, Java ME is being brought up to be in parity with Java SE.

Java – The Logical Choice for the Internet of Things
Ramani remarked that Oracle is working with embedded partners to make Java a first-class citizen with their chip sets. Because there are so many vendors with different operating systems and device drivers, embedded development can be fragmented and challenging. “Everyone believes that there is a need for an open standard platform for the Internet of Things space that is coming – Java is the logical choice to address this market,” explained Ramani.

Utzschneider noted that some of JavaOne 2013’s partners like Freescale and Qualcomm come from the device side and are eager to make this happen. Freescale will be giving a talk prior to Thursday’s Community Keynote about why Java makes sense for the Internet of Things.

Ramani stated that in August of 2013, Oracle launched the Oracle Java Platform Integrative Program that first gives partners the ability to easily port Java Embedded to platforms that Oracle does not yet support; and second, it gives them the ability to extend the platform with their own libraries based on market verticals and segments, or health care, manufacturing, smart home, or industrial automation. This is part of a larger attempt to embrace and extend the Java ecosystem.

Qualcomm Conference Uplinq Hackathon Winner Andrew Sugaya
Next, a surprise. Someone was invited onstage who, a mere 12 days before, was unknown to Oracle. This was Andrew Sugaya, winner of the Grand Prize at the 2013 Qualcomm Conference Uplinq Hackathon. Sugaya works for APX Labs in the rapid development of augmented reality solutions for various applications. He explained how, at the Hackathon, he was given breakfast and a black box that he did not know how to use. Though he had coded in Java, he had never used Java ME before. He found it very easy to pick up and, using ME, he took the platform and took temperature and brightness data from it, pushed the data out to the network cloud, and into a server which processed the data and was able to change the color and brightness of different light bulbs.

“Now the craziest thing,” said Sugaya, “is that it’s not just the light bulbs – it could be anything. It could be a toaster, a beer mug, even the chairs you are sitting in now. Everything in the future is going to be connected. Some of the work I do at Apex labs is trying to interface with these devices that in the future will be everywhere. We do that through wearable devices.”

That he was able to accomplish this without ever having used Java ME before attests to its appropriateness for embedded devices. Utzschneider commented: “This is a good example of what should happen in the next couple of years. People should be able to deploy their Java skills, pick up a device and write code, and not have to worry about the things that have been problematic in the embedded space. You won’t have to write memory management from scratch before you can even get started. We are trying to put simplicity into the platform.”

Ramani pointed to features coming in Java SE 8 next year, including lambdas, Javascript engine Nashorn, and PermGen removal. Beyond Java 8, the modular Java is coming by way of Project Jigsaw. Oracle is considering a wish list of ideas from the Java community, some of which are in progress, such as Project Sumatra.

Developers were encouraged to check out early access of Java SE 8 and provide feedback. “Tell us what doesn’t work,” said Ramani. Oracle is also seeking feedback on Java ME 8 and the Raspberry Pi.

Java EE 7: Making it Easy to Develop Leading-Edge Enterprise and Web Applications
Sunday’s strategy keynote continued as Cameron Purdy, Vice President, Cloud Application Foundation, at Oracle, joined Peter Utzschneider onstage and talked about the release of Java EE 7 in the summer of 2013. Purdy explained that Java EE 7 had three primary areas of focus. First, it offered HTML5 support with such things as WebsSockets, Server-Sent events, JSON and RESTful support, all of which help developers build modern web-based application. Second, the enterprise aspect of Java EE always gets strong attention, so the adding of batch capabilities was important. Third, developer productivity was a key so Java EE 7 requires less boilerplate code through features like CDI (Context and Dependency Injection) and more annotated POJOs. 

Purdy pointed out that when Java EE 7 was announced in 2011, the major theme was cloud development. When it was released, the greatest focus was on support for HTML5. “There is a ton of work related to the cloud in Java EE 7,” he explained. “There is support for things like new security roles in the cloud and being able to automatically wire up a database and default resources, kind of like CDI at the application level, being able to pump a schema into that database or being able to easily consume RESTful services from one application to another. And lastly, with JavaServer Faces we can actually skin applications. If we have a multi-tenanted application we can skin it for each tenant.”

Looking ahead, Purdy said that the continual focus is on making it easy for developers to develop leading-edge enterprise and web applications. “We want to support the latest standards and keep these technologies relevant. We are working on JCache, an application that is coming to fruition. We are improving JSON binding and other technologies. The major focus is making it a vibrant technology that is relevant to what the industry is doing.”

Purdy remarked that EE 7 has gotten major support from the community and partners. “When EE 7 was launched the number of downloads and dial-ins and people watching web casts exceeded all of our expectations,” said Purdy. “It’s had a great reception.”

Open Sourcing Project Avatar
Peter Utzschneider reminded Purdy of Project Avatar, which Purdy announced in 2011. Purdy described its focus: “You take a simple Java EE application and then you start to build on the HTML5 capabilities that we introduced in EE 7. So, for example, we’re using WebSocket and Server-Sent events to provide programming models in addition to the typical request response. And adding support for NoSQL databases. And we’re leveraging Project Nashorn in Java SE to make the Java EE container polyglot. We’re extending EE to support Javascript and have node services running in a Java application server. We are also announcing today that we are open sourcing Project Avatar at avatar.java.net. It’s a brand new open source project with some pretty exciting stuff in there.”

Project Avatar

Watch Keynote and Session Highlights on Demand

Stay tuned for more on this 3-hour Sunday keynote, an information-packed combined strategy and technical keynote.



Wednesday Jul 03, 2013

Devoxx Belgium - CFP Closes On July 5th

The biggest Java conference in Europe is taking place in Antwerp, Belgium from November 11 to 15, 2013. The conference is designed by developers for developers and attracts renowned international speakers.

The review committee looks for passionate speakers who are technically knowledgeable and not afraid to speak in front of a full room of Devoxxians.

The speakers can increase CFP acceptance rate by submitting one or more talks for Tools in Action, Quickie, BOF, University session, Conference and Hands On Labs sessions.

Tuesday Apr 02, 2013

Devoxx France Plays to a Full House!

Devoxx France started with the return of the Grrrail from Devoxx UK by le papa (the father) of Devoxx Stephan Janssen. As he announced to great acclaim during the keynote, the Devoxx 2013 sessions will be freely available on Parleys. He also received applause for his demo of the new Html5 version. 

The conference was sold out again this year with 1,480 attendees, which is 250 more than last year.  The conference was packed with Java related tracks touching on the web, architecture, Java technologies and infrastructure to name a few. The labs, quickies, conference sessions, tools in action catered to the ever-evolving needs of developers.

The sessions about Java EE 7, JavaFX and Java SE were all well-received with more attendees than available seating. The upcoming Java EE 7 generated a lot interest and especially for Websocket and standardized batch processing.  Oracle was a European partner; a premium sponsor for the 3 Devoxx conferences: London, Paris and Moscow.

The Devoxx France team did a fantastic job of managing the following parallel activities, in addition to the packed conference. They included a CTO track, a day on DevOps methodology, coding days and competitions. Developers coded for an afternoon to win the code competition. They also coded, created documentation, fixed bugs for open source projects in the Hackergarden.  Devops Mercenaries tackled multiple versions of native packages and the use of Kanban approach to prioritize in an all day event. CTOs and CEOs came to the decision maker afternoon to learn and share their cloud strategies in enterprise. 

6 to 14 year olds attended Programatoo, a programming workshop for a day during the conference. They learned to program with Lego windstorms. According to Nicolas Martignole, co-founder of Devoxx France, Programatoo was Devoxx's best investment for the future.As he announced to great acclaim during the keynote, the Devoxx 2013 sessions are freely available on Parleys. He also received applause for his demo of the new Html5 version. 

Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

Devoxx UK Highlights

The London Java community really put on a smashing first Java conference that was coloured with local flavour. The conference began on a keynote of patriotic fun as the national anthem was played as a picture of the Queen was displayed with the quote: "One likes to code". The participants stood politely, but did not sing.

The title of the keynote was "The Programmer" and was all about the act of programming, insights into who programmers are and tips to get better at it. Kevlin Henney received applause and cheers when he stated: "We didn't get into programming because we wanted to deliver business value. That's what we say during interviews." His knowledgeable presentation backed up with research was spot on and it's worth any developer's time to watch the replay on Parleys.

Oh, and do "mind the gap" between the train and platform as we are admonished nonstop by the station minders. As well, Mind the Geek, the clever tagline of the conference. But, if I don't mind the geek, what do I risk? Broken code, twisted error messages, suffering a memory leak or worse, I'm sure. Let us all mind our inner geeks, then?

With Devoxx UK, the number of Devoxxians will reach 5,500 across Europe this year. The hands-on labs, talks, quickies, birds-of-a-feather and bash run from 9:30am to 10:00pm in the spacious business design center with its mezzanine. 75 speakers talked in 50 sessions in 7 tracks about cloud, Java SE, methodologies, Java EE, web & big data, new languages on the JVM, and future Devoxx.

As if you didn't know, the French have already got a Holy Grail, and so refused to assist King Arthur and his Kiniggits in their quest. That was then, now the Brits borrowed the Grail from the French for the two-day conference and will return it for the beginning of Devoxx France starting tomorrow. 

Sunday Mar 24, 2013

Devoxx U.K. and France Coming Up!

The two spring Java developer conferences are taking place in two European capitals, London and Paris this week. Devoxx UK is on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 26 and 27 in London and Devoxx France is in on Thursday and Friday, March 28 and 29 in Paris. Devoxx France is sold out, but you can still join us in London. Register right away!

Oracle experts are giving a number of sessions about the future of Java technologies:
  • Arun Gupta and David Delabassee, Getting started with WebSocket and server sent events using Java
  • Attila Szegedi, project Nashorn
  • Milton Smith, securing the future with Java
  • Simon Ritter, 55 new features in Java SE 8
  • Angela Caicedo, beyond Beauty: JavaFX, parallax, touch, gyroscopes and much more
  • Simon Ritter and Steven Chin, the Mocha Rapberry Pi Lab
  • Angela Caicedo, opening the hidden door: JavaFX deployment everywhere
  • Patrick Curran and Heather Vancura, JCP & Adopt-a-JSR workshop
  • Patrick Curran and Heather Vancura, How to participate in the future of Java
  • Arun Gupta, teaching Java to a 10 year old

Come by the Oracle booth to talk to Oracle experts and staff members, hang out and win Raspberry Pis. Experts will demo Java SE, JavaFX, Java EE, Java ME and Embedded. Open seating area is available for anyone to hang out, meeting fellow developers and network. We will raffle Raspberry Pis (RPis) at the end of every day. At Devoxx UK, winners of 4 RPis will be announced at 7pm on Tuesday and at 3:45pm on Wednesday. At Devoxx France, winners of 3 RPis will be announced every day at 4:45pm.

Friday Mar 08, 2013

The Tech Events over 2 days

Today is International Women's Day and Global Tech Women founder Deanna Kosaraju commemorates the event by organizing the Voices Global Conference, a live streaming event celebrating women in technology. Women technologists from over 20 countries present a collection of technical talks including software for data center, testing, breakthrough innovation frameworks, community building, humanitarian projects, leadership, and more. Attendees can participate in group discussions, network online or at local gatherings, and watch the sessions online. All the sessions are streamed live and recorded. Registration is open. 

Another conference starting today is Java Developers Conference (JDC) in Cairo, Egypt. The conference brings together 600 developers and students for the biggest Java conference in Middle East and North Africa today and tomorrow. The Egyptian Java User Group (EGJUG) is organizing the two-day forum for knowledge exchange with its 4 tracks and 40 sessions in English and Arabic. 

Oracle technologist Mike Keith presents "creating a configuration standard for Java EE". Architect Christ Bailey has a talk titled "From Java Code to Java Heap The Adventurous Developer's guide to JVM Languages." Software Architect and JCP member Mohamed Taman  presents "a hack session titled JEE7.next() revealing the power of Websocket, JSON APIs & HTML5." Technologist Jernej Kase talks about "increasing Java EE development productivity to the max - for free." 

Also this weekend, Daniel Sachse is organizing a Google hangout hack night Saturday March 9, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. PST. Participants are expected to contribute to a JSR about Java EE technologies such as CDI and JSF among others. 


Thursday Mar 07, 2013

OpenJDK Test Fest and Devoxx UK

The London Java user group is organizing the first Test Fest on March 23rd in London with the collaboration of Oracle and IBM. "Contributors to OpenJDK need to be confident that their changes are sound and do not cause problems elsewhere." explains event host Martijn Verburg. Many test cases are already available but each application has different characteristics, environment and other attributes. The goal is to provide a larger and more comprehensive series of tests for Open JDK. 

If you cannot attend this event, the organizers and some of the guest presenters from Oracle and IBM - among them Oracle engineer Stuart Marks - will be at Devoxx UK starting Monday evening until Thursday (from March 25th until the 27th). Stuart Marks will present a Bird-of-a-Feather (BoF) session about "the testing of OpenJDK" on Tuesday, March 26th at 8:00pm and Martijn Verburg will talk about OpenJDK Hack Session Tuesday evening at 8:00pm and 9:00pm. Don't forget to register for Devoxx UK!

Additional online resources: Collaborate with the OpenJDK Quality team Online information FAQ


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