Thursday Sep 26, 2013

The JavaOne 2013 Java Community Keynote

by Timothy Beneke

Geoff Lees, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Microcontrollers, at Freescale Semiconductor, got things rolling Thursday morning at the Java Community Keynote to a packed, standing-room-only crowd. Lees presented a precise and thoughtful vision of how the coming Internet of Things (IoT) might become a reality.

“The microcontroller community is rapidly moving to adopt Java and we need your help,” said Lees. He described a picture of the IoT that, for him, changes daily with ever-increasing speed. Current network developers often have a conception of edge node devices that consist of X86 processors with large scale OS, or multicore mobile processors with mobile OS. He spoke of an alternative picture in which edge node devices are everywhere in our environment, monitoring local climate conditions, monitoring mechanical factors like stress loading, and traffic data, and making smart roads happen. He sees node devices dealing with our busiest highways, offering road tolling and other measures to even out traffic flow. Or in agriculture, the IoT might monitor climate, humidity, weather conditions, and local microclimates. He spoke of smart homes where existing home networks are coming together to conjoin future personal networks and even body networks. He spoke of the IoT in aiding fitness and health tracking.

Lees elaborated a vision in which local autonomous data intelligence is gathered through local command control, and data sets are passed onto the cloud for higher level analytics. He explained that the IoT is changing the way the semiconductor industry is thinking about technology, in terms of processing node transitions, greater utilization of advanced sensor technologies, integration of those technologies, ever rapid adoption of low power technologies both from processing as well as design techniques. Advances in signal analog integration and the IoT are bringing these things closer.

“Instead of the next few years, we’re thinking about how to do all of this in the next few months,” said Lees.

In addition, a new class of products is arriving where connectivity underpins all product development. “Over the last decade,” commented Lees, “the microcontroller industry has shipped 150 billion devices into the market, the vast majority of which were not interconnected -- they were single, local points of intelligence. Today, the plans for those products are becoming ubiquitously part of another network. Networking technology needs to be built in with the capability to run advanced communication stacks present.” All of this will require more memory, more technology, and higher gate density.

He spoke of software becoming the big differentiator in the microcontroller community. “Today,” he explained, “in the embedded microcontroller community, our customers spend approximately 60% of their R&D on software as compared with hardware development. In the next 3 years that is forecast to become 70%. We need to see the software enablers as underpinning these system solution products. All of this comes together with a wide range of networking protocols, low-power communication protocols, and stacks. And the Holy Grail would be to have IPV 6 readily available from the cloud to networking, all the way to the edge node. Until that becomes enabled by cost, by process technology, by miniaturization and power reduction, we will have a wide range of sub-net protocols.”

He spoke of a move towards universal MEMS devices and technology for sensors, followed by the integration of universal MEMS within microcontrollers and embedded processors. “All of this,” he insisted “will come together as part of the ecosystem with all of these smart services. And these smart services depend on available local service providers and service models that we, the consumer, want to pay for, or that health insurers want to pay for. Providing this service and platform for secured services is a key for the adoption of the IoT.”

He expanded on his vision of a landscape for IoT, which would extend all the way from the cloud, down through processing nodes, local connectivity networks, and on to edge or sensor nodes, where the sensor, the MCU, and local connectivity come together. The challenge today, according to Lees, is that this diversity uses a huge range of technologies, different developmental environments, different software ecosystems, and different partner networks. There exist different security classes and considerations -- even down to the current edge node devices which offer no appreciable security. This clearly is not a landscape that will provide the kind of secured service delivery that the IoT needs.

The key to creating this secure IoT lies with Java developers. Edge nodes offered through Java and Java ME offer the potential to have secure encryption and authentication services throughout the network. Developing those in other environments will be locally difficult, will not be global, and will not reach the tipping point required for the IoT to develop. “Edge nodes is a category encompassing thousands and thousands of applications -- it’s billions of devices, most of which will include some form of MCU or embedded MPU technology,” Lees explained. “Sensors and actuators, integrated connectivity and an energy source, whether that’s energy harvesting or ultra low power battery technology and long life power generation – these nodes will need to be installed in remote places with battery life spans of 10 years or more – clearly out of the range of today’s processor technologies. And many will need to be industrial or automotive grade technologies.”

He spoke of a challenge to bring performance and cost requirements so as to harness and secure larger memory stacks which will require more software in the next 2-3 years.

After offering considerably more technical detail, he spoke of how IoT could benefit humans, focusing on home tele-health and the home health hub, something Freescale has invested in recently. The availability of a wide range of personal biometrics and health analytics in the home health hub could benefit our health enormously, according to Lees. Until now, the technology has been limited by the absence of open standard secured service across the network to complete the link onto the health provider, and medical insurance providers. The new model offers a huge adoption of preventive health as opposed to diagnostic clinical health. Consumers, health insurers and the medical industry all favor it.

“Measuring heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose continually every day through changing conditions offers an immense picture of our personal health with diagnostic insights into the development of progressive disease and chronic disease management,” observed Lees. “At the local hub level the installation of analytics will offer feedback and guidance on lifestyle, on the management of conditions and offer the personal feedback needed for us to all manage our own health. The data can also be sent in datasets for further analysis in the network and cloud so the next time you visit your health practitioner, all of that data is available.”

He reported that Freescale and Oracle have announced a new agreement collaborating on engineering to develop a platform for software and hardware models for both edge nodes and a wide variety of gateway solutions. “We’re working on optimizing Java together and bringing Java functionality further into the network. We’re even envisaging what Java might look like on a transmit-only Bluetooth low-energy node in the field for 25 years, a concept today that is unthinkable for a Java model. The key is to provide a secure service delivery for our customers and for service providers across the industry.”

The rest of the keynote consisted of a variety of informative and entertaining presentations.

Donald Smith, Senior Director, Product Management, at Oracle’s Java Platform Group, took the stage and commented on recent developments in recent JavaOnes. JavaOne 2011 was about moving Java forward and rebooting the infrastructure after the Java SE 7 launch. Last year, the theme was innovation and showing Java’s role in major tech segments like the cloud, big data, IoT and open source.

“This year,” he said, “we take one step beyond all that, and celebrate the 'End User' and 'Application Developers'. We want to go beyond the typical ‘ISV’ that appears at JavaOne keynotes and show some inspiring applications being built thanks to the hard work of the Java ecosystem.”

After some rousing appreciation of the Raspberry Pi Challenge, the Codegarten and other JavaOne matters by Tori Wieldt of the Oracle Technology Network, a series of creative contributors to Java took the stage, hosted by Henrik Stahl, Vice President, Product Management, Java Platform Group at Oracle.

-- Java Champion Stephan Janssen, founder of BeJUG, Devoxx(4kids), Parleys & playpass.be talked about “Devoxx for Kids,” a one-day event he organized in response to his 11-year-old son’s desire to learn to program.

-- Oracle Academy Vice President, Alison Derbenwick Miller, described the Academy’s important work impacting 2.5 million students in 102 countries.

-- Aditya Gupta, an impressive 10-year-old Minecraft hacker, entertained the audience with his hacking demo where he showed off some video explosions.

-- Two Duke Segway robots appeared on stage and strutted around under the guidance of Java Champion, Stephen Chin.

-- A video was shown of Java Champion Paul Perrone’s Java-powered cars.

-- Drew Hylbert, VP, Technology and Infrastructure at Opower, came onstage and shared how Java technology is used to enable consumers to save energy.

-- Mike Marzo, a Technology Fellow at Goldman Sachs, discussed the value of the 100 million lines of Java code that Goldman’s developers have written over the years.

--Sean Phillips, Senior Software Engineer at a.i. solutions, presented a video that explained uses of Java in NASA MMS mission operations software.

-- Finally “father of Java” and Chief Software Architect at Liquid Robotics, James Gosling appeared and remarked that Aditya Gupta made him feel that he too should be a Minecraft hacker. He showed the view from the water looking at Hawaii from one of the Liquid Robotics nodes and explained in detail how it all worked.

The Community Keynote offered a strong sense of renewal and pride at what Java has accomplished and where it may be headed.

Freescale Semiconductor

Liquid Robotics

Perrone Robotics

Watch Keynote and Session Highlights on Demand

Wednesday Jul 17, 2013

And The Winners Are.... the most popular articles on otn

Here is a list of the most popular articles, in terms of traffic, on otn/java in the last 12 months. It's, as usual, a rich mix of Java and Java-related technologies, types of articles and variety of authors.

Check out any that you might have missed and vote with your visit.


1.  “Getting Started with Java® SE Embedded on the Raspberry Pi" by Bill Courington and Gary Collins August 2012

2. “How to Get Started (FAST!) with JavaFX 2 and Scene Builder”  by Mark Heckler  November 2012

3. “Arun Gupta on Higher Productivity from Embracing HTML5 with Java EE 7”  by Janice J. Heiss  February 2013

4. “Java Experts on the State of Java” by Janice J. Heiss   January 2013

5. “Java EE 7 and JAX-RS 2.0” by Adam Bien  April 2013

6. “Coding on Crete: An Interview with Java Specialist Heinz Kabutz” by Janice J. Heiss     January 2013  http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/java/heinzkabutz-1899134.html

7. “Why, Where, and How JavaFX Makes Sense”  by Björn Müller  March 2013

8. “The Advent of Kotlin: A Conversation with JetBrains' Andrey Breslav”  by Janice J. Heiss  April 2013

9. “The Enterprise Side of JavaFX”  by Adam Bien   June 2012

10. “JSR 356, Java API for WebSocket”  by Johan Vos  April 2013

And here are five runners up.

11. “Introducing Groovy”  by Jim Driscoll  July 2012

12. “The Enterprise Side of JavaFX: Part Two”  by Adam Bien  June 2012

13. “Expressing the UI for Enterprise Applications with JavaFX 2.0 FXML” by James L. Weaver  June 2012

14. “JavaOne 2012 Review: Make the Future Java” by Steve Meloan  October 2012

15. “Expressing the UI for Enterprise Applications with JavaFX 2.0 FXML - Part Two”  By James L. Weaver  September 2012

Wednesday Jun 20, 2012

Expressing the UI for Enterprise Applications with JavaFX 2.0 FXML - Part One

A new article, the first of two parts, now up on otn/java by Oracle Evangelist and JavaFX expert, James L. Weaver, titled “Expressing the UI for Enterprise Applications with JavaFX 2.0 FXML, Part One,” shows developers how to leverage the power of the FX Markup Language (FXML) to define the UI in enterprise applications.

As Weaver explains, “JavaFX 2.0 is an API and runtime for creating Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). JavaFX was introduced in 2007, and version 2.0 was released in October 2011. One of the advantages of JavaFX 2.0 is that the code can be written in the Java language using mature and familiar tools.”

He goes on to show how to use the potential of FX Markup Language, which comes with JavaFX 2.0, to efficiently define the user interface for enterprise applications. FXML functions to enable the expression of the UI using XML. “Classes that contain FXML functionality are located in the javafx.fxml package,” says Weaver, “and they include FXMLLoader, JavaFXBuilderFactory, and an interface named Initializable.”

Weaver’s article offers a sample application that shows how to use the capabilities of FXML and JavaFX 2.0 to create an enterprise app.

Have a look at the article here.

Monday Apr 16, 2012

Best Practices for JavaFX 2.0 Enterprise Applications

A new article, up on otn/java, by Java Champion, Oracle Java Evangelist, and JavaFX expert Jim Weaver, titled "Best Practices for JavaFX 2.0 Enterprise Applications (Part One),” explores best practices for developing enterprise applications in JavaFX 2.0.

Weaver illustrates his points by examining a sample application named TweetBrowser which contains the following:

* “A Toolbar containing a TextField and a couple of Button controls for searching and navigating tweets obtained from the Twitter REST API.
* A ListView whose cells contain representations of the tweets. Each tweet is represented by a subclass of ListCell that contains an ImageView for the profile picture and Hyperlink controls that enable the user to navigate to screen names, hashtags, and Web links.
* A ProgressIndicator that spins when a search is performed and a WebView that displays the Web page associated with a Web link in a tweet.”

The TweetBrowser project, which Weaver invites the reader to download, contains the code for the application, portions of which he highlights throughout the article. Techniques and best practices used in the TweetBrowser application include:

    “Invoking an application via Java Web Start from the application’s home page
    Ensuring only one instance of the application is started
    Binding the UI to the model”

Weaver concludes the article by observing that, “Implementing techniques such as invoking an application via Java Web Start from the application’s home page, ensuring only one instance of the application is started, and binding the UI to the model make life easier for both the user and the developer."

Please stay tuned for Part Two of this series where Jim will explore more techniques and best practices used in the TweetBrowser example application.

You'll find Part One here.

Friday Nov 18, 2011

JavaFX 2.0 at Devoxx 2011

JavaFX had a big presence at Devoxx 2011 as witnessed by the number of sessions this year given by leading JavaFX movers and shakers.

  •     “JavaFX 2.0 -- A Java Developer's Guide” by Java Champions Stephen Chin and Peter Pilgrim
  •     “JavaFX 2.0 Hands On” by Jasper Potts and Richard Bair
  •     “Animation Bringing your User Interfaces to Life” by Michael Heinrichs and John Yoong (JavaFX development team)
  •     “Complete Guide to Writing Custom Bindings in JavaFX 2.0” by Michael Heinrichs (JavaFX development team)
  •     “Java Rich Clients with JavaFX 2.0” by Jasper Potts and Richard Bair
  •     “JavaFX Properties & Bindings for Experts” (and those who want to become experts) by Michael Heinrichs (JavaFX development team)
  •     “JavaFX Under the Hood” by Richard Bair
  •     “JavaFX Open Mic” with Jasper Potts and Richard Bair


With the release of JavaFX 2.0 and Oracle’s move towards an open development model with an open bug database already created, it’s a great time for developers to take the JavaFX plunge.


One Devoxx attendee, Mark Stephens, a developer at IDRsolutions blogged about a problem he was having setting up JavaFX on NetBeans to work on his Mac. He wrote:


“I’ve tried desperate measures (I even read and reread the instructions) but it did not help. Luckily, I am at Devoxx at the moment and there seem to be a lot of JavaFX gurus here (and it is running on all their Macs). So I asked them… It turns out that sometimes the software does not automatically pickup the settings like it should do if you give it the JavaFX SDK path. The solution is actually really simple (isn’t it always once you know). Enter these values manually and it will work.”


He simply entered certain values and his problem was solved. He thanked Java Champion Stephen Chin, “for a great talk at Devoxx and putting me out of my misery.”


JavaFX in Java Magazine

Over in the November/December 2011 issue of Java Magazine, Oracle’s Simon Ritter, well known for his creative Java inventions at JavaOne, has an article up titled “JavaFX and Swing Integration” in which he shows developers how to use the power of JavaFX to migrate Swing interfaces to JavaFX. The consensus among JavaFX experts is that JavaFX is the next step in the evolution of Java as a rich client platform.


In the same issue Java Champion and JavaFX maven James Weaver has an article, “Using Transitions for Animation in JavaFX 2.0”. In addition, Oracle’s Vice President of Java Client Development, Nandini Ramani, provides the keys to unlock the mysteries of JavaFX 2.0 in her Java Magazine interview.


Look for the JavaFX community to grow and flourish in coming years.

Monday Oct 17, 2011

JavaFX 2.0 Arrives and is Open Sourced

JavafxAmong the big news at JavaOne 2011 was the release of JavaFX 2.0 and announcement of its open source status. As Oracle’s Chief Architect, Client Java Platform Richard Bair observed, “We think this is going to be a really big deal in the industry.” JavaFX 2.0, touted as the next step in the evolution of Java as a rich client platform, is designed to provide a modern Java environment that shortens development time and eases the deployment of data driven-business and enterprise client applications.

 

Its key features include:

 

• Java APIs for JavaFX

 

• FXML -- an XML-based markup language for defining user interfaces

 

• Seamless integration into Swing applications

 

• High-performance hardware accelerated graphics

 

• Embedding of web content into JavaFX

 

• High-performance media engine

 

• Improved UI controls library

 

JavaFX 2.0 enables developers to leverage their existing Java skills and tools to develop JavaFX applications. It offers a clean separation of application UI and logic and simplifies code maintenance while integrating Web content and media seamlessly in Java applications. Developers can more easily create scalable, graphics-rich applications without performance penalties, build sophisticated user interfaces, extend existing Swing applications, and deploy applications in the browser, as desktop, or Web Start applications.

 

Java APIs for JavaFX include:

 

• End-to-end Java development

 

• Java language features—generics, annotations, multi-threading

 

• Reduced static footprint of runtime and applications

 

• Fluent API design for UI construction

 

• Development in alternative languages (e.g., JRuby, Groovy) with JavaFX

 

• Leverage sophisticated Java IDEs, debuggers and profilers

 

• Java APIs preserve convenient JavaFX Script features (e.g., bind)

 

Other features to take note of in JavaFX 2.0:

 

FXML

 

• Scriptable, XML-based markup language for defining user interfaces

 

• Convenient alternative to developing UI programmatically in Java

 

• Easy to learn and intuitive for developers familiar with web technologies or other markup based UI technologies

 

• Powerful scripting feature allows embedding scripts within a FXML file. Any JVM scripting language can be used, including JavaScript, Groovy, and Clojure, among others

 

New Graphics Pipeline for Modern GPUs

 

• New hardware accelerated graphics pipeline (Prism)

 

• New windowing toolkit (Glass) for Prism

 

• Java2D software pipeline for unsupported graphics hardware

 

• High-level support for making rich graphics simple: Shadows, Blurs, Reflections, Effects, 2D and 3D transforms

 

 

Rich Set of UI Controls

 

• Over 50 components for form-based UI, including charts, layout and form controls

 

• CSS3+ skinning and layout of UI controls

 

• Advanced UI controls, including table, tree view, rich text editor

 

 

Web Component

 

• Embed Web content in JavaFX applications

 

• HTML and JavaScript rendering based on Webkit

 

• DOM access and manipulation from Java

 

 

Browser Plug-in Refreshed for JavaFX 2.0

 

• Loading of JavaFX applets based on Prism

 

• Preloader for JavaFX applets for improved user experience

 

 

Powerful Properties Model

 

• New collections ObservableList, Sequence and ObservableMap

 

• New design and implementation of bean properties

 

• Low level binding API for high performance, low footprint bindings

 

• High level binding API for simple usage

 

 

Improved Animation Engine

 

• Optimized implementation of transitions

 

• Complete overhaul of API to simplify usage and in preparation of optimized and more stable implementation

 

 

Approximately 50 JavaFX 2.0 sessions can be found at JavaOne given by leading JavaFX movers and shakers. JavaFX is the next step in the evolution of Java as a rich client platform. Congratulations to all involved!  


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