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.



Friday Sep 06, 2013

JavaOne 2013 with Markus Eisele: Sins and Security in Java EE

Markus Eisele shares his expertise on Java EE.[Read More]

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.

Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

Nashorn, the JavaScript Implementation in Java 8

In this Interview, Marcus Lagergren, who works on the dynamic language team at Oracle, discussed the Nashorn project.  "Nashorn is the JavaScript runtime based on InvokeDynamic for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM)" he explains. The Nashorn project is now part of the OpenJDK

The performance is much better than its predecessor Rhino. "We totally blow it out of the water now that we have specific tools to run other things than Java on the JVM." Marcus commented. "The pluggability between JavaScript and Java is another good thing" he added.

His Devoxx talk about Nashorn is now freely accessible at Nashorn - implementing dynamic languages on the JVM
Marcus Lagergren's twitter handle is @lagergren. Nashorn blog has the latest on the project

Tuesday Jan 08, 2013

Java Experts on the State of Java

In a new article by yours truly, now up on otn/java, titled “Java Experts on the State of Java,” four Java experts, Adam Bien, Charles Nutter, Kirk Pepperdine and Simon Ritter, share their unique perspectives on what’s happening in the world of Java.

Consultant Adam Bien, winner of many awards and an expert in Java EE, remarks that, “Only a few years ago, Java EE was used mostly by larger companies—now it becomes interesting even for one-person shows.” He is also excited about Project Nashorn, which is coming in Java SE 8.

Charles Nutter, co-creator of JRuby and a Java Champion, observes that “JRuby seems to have hit a tipping point this past year, moving from ‘just another Ruby implementation’ to ‘the best Ruby implementation for X,’ where X may be performance, scaling, big data, stability, reliability, security, or one of several other features important for today’s applications.”

Java Champion Kirk Pepperdine, an expert in Java performance tuning, comments that, “The volume of data we’re dealing with just seems to be getting bigger and bigger all the time. A couple of years ago, you’d never think of needing a heap that was 64 GB, but today there are deployments in which the heap has grown to 256 GB, and there are plans for heaps that are even larger. Dealing with all that data simply requires more horsepower and some very specialized techniques. In some cases, teams are simply trying to push hardware to the breaking point. Under those conditions, you need to be very clever just to get things to work—let alone to get them to be fast. We are very quickly moving from a world where everything happens in a transaction to one in which you’ve lost if you even consider using a transaction.”

Finally, Oracle’s Java Rock Star Simon Ritter celebrates the Raspberry Pi: “I don’t think there is one definitive thing that makes the Raspberry Pi significant, but a combination of things really makes it stand out. First, it’s the cost: $35 for what is effectively a completely usable computer. OK, so you have to add a power supply; an SD card for storage; and maybe a screen, keyboard, and mouse, but this is still way cheaper than a typical PC. The choice of an ARM processor is also significant, because it avoids problems such as cooling (no heat sink or fan) and can use a USB power brick.”

Check out the article here.

Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

Talking JavaOne with Rock Star Adam Bien

Among the most celebrated developers in recent years, especially in the domain of Java EE and JavaFX, is consultant Adam Bien, who, in addition to being a JavaOne Rock Star for Java EE sessions given in 2009 and 2011, is a Java Champion, the winner of Oracle Magazine’s 2011 Top Java Developer of the Year Award, and recently won a 2012 JAX Innovation Award as a top Java Ambassador.

Bien will be presenting the following sessions:

  • TUT3907 - Java EE 6/7: The Lean Parts
  • CON3906 - Stress-Testing Java EE 6 Applications Without Stress
  • CON3908 - Building Serious JavaFX 2 Applications
  • CON3896 - Interactive Onstage Java EE Overengineering

I spoke with Bien to get his take on Java today. He expressed excitement that the smallest companies and startups are showing increasing interest in Java EE. “This is a very good sign,” said Bien. “Only a few years ago J2EE was mostly used by larger companies -- now it becomes interesting even for one-person shows. Enterprise Java events are also extremely popular. On the Java SE side, I'm really excited about Project Nashorn.”

Nashorn is an upcoming JavaScript engine, developed fully in Java by Oracle, and based on the Da Vinci Machine (JSR 292) which is expected to be available for Java 8.  

Bien expressed concern about a common misconception regarding Java's mediocre productivity. “The problem is not Java,” explained Bien, “but rather systems built with ancient patterns and approaches. Sometimes it really is ‘Cargo Cult Programming.’ Java SE/EE can be incredibly productive and lean without the unnecessary and hard-to-maintain bloat. The real problems are ‘Ivory Towers’ and not Java’s lack of productivity.”

Bien remarked that if there is one thing he wanted Java developers to understand it is that, "Premature optimization is the root of all evil. Or at least of some evil. Modern JVMs and application servers are hard to optimize upfront. It is far easier to write simple code and measure the results continuously. Identify the hotspots first, then optimize.”

He advised Java EE developers to, “Rethink everything you know about Enterprise Java. Before you implement anything, ask the question: ‘Why?’ If there is no clear answer -- just don't do it. Most well known best practices are outdated. Focus your efforts on the domain problem and not the technology.”

Looking ahead, Bien said, “I would like to see open source application servers running directly on a hypervisor. Packaging the whole runtime in a single file would significantly simplify the deployment and operations.”

Check out a recent Java Magazine interview with Bien about his Java EE 6 stress monitoring tool here.

Originally published on blogs.oracle.com/javaone.



Tuesday Sep 18, 2012

The 2012 JAX Innovation Awards

A new article, now up on otn/java, titled “The 2012 JAX Innovation Awards” reports on  important Java developments celebrated by the Awards, which were announced in July of 2012. The Awards, given by S&S Media Group, aim to, "Reward those technologies, companies, organizations and individuals that make outstanding contributions to Java." The Awards fall into three categories: Most Innovative Java Technology, Most Innovative Java Company, and Top Java Ambassador. In addition, a finalist who did not win an award receives a Special Jury prize, "in acknowledgement of their unique contribution and positive impact on the Java ecosystem."

The winners were: JetBrains for Most Innovative Java Company; Adam Bien as Top Java Ambassador; Restructure 101, created by Headway Software, as Most Innovative Technology; and Charles Nutter, Special Jury award. Each winner received a $2,500 prize. The five finalists in each category were invited to attend the JAX Conference in San Francisco, California. This year's winners each received a $2,500 prize.

JetBrains Fellow, Ann Oreshnikova, listed her favorite JetBrains innovations:

* Nullability annotations and nullability checker
* CamelCase navigation and completion
* Continuous Integration in grid (on multiple agents), in TeamCity
* IntelliJ Platform and its language support framework
* MPS language workbench
* Kotlin programming language

When asked what currently excites him about Java, Adam Bien, winner of the Java Ambassador Award, expressed enthusiasm over the increasing interest of smaller companies and startups for Java EE. “This is a very good sign,” he said. “Only a few years ago J2EE was mostly used by larger companies -- now it becomes interesting even for one-person shows. Enterprise Java events are also extremely popular. On the Java SE side, I'm really excited about Project Nashorn.”

Special Jury Prize Winner, Charles Nutter of Red Hat, remarked that, “JRuby seems to have hit a tipping point this past year, moving from ‘just another Ruby implementation’ to ‘the best Ruby implementation for X,’ where X may be performance, scaling, big data, stability, reliability, security, and a number of other features important for today's applications.

Check out the complete article here.
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