Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

Talking JavaOne with Rock Star Simon Ritter

Oracle’s Java Technology Evangelist Simon Ritter is well known at JavaOne for his quirky and fun-loving sessions, which, this year include:

  • CON4644 -- “JavaFX Extreme GUI Makeover” (with Angela Caicedo on how to improve UIs in JavaFX)
  • CON5352 -- “Building JavaFX Interfaces for the Real World” (Kinect gesture tracking and mind reading)
  • CON5348 -- “Do You Like Coffee with Your Dessert?” (Some cool demos of Java of the Raspberry Pi)
  • CON6375 -- “Custom JavaFX Charts: (How to extend JavaFX Chart controls with some interesting things)

I recently asked Ritter about the significance of the Raspberry Pi, the topic of one of his sessions that consists of a credit card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools.

“I don't think there's one definitive thing that makes the RP significant,” observed Ritter, “but a combination of things that 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, 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, as it avoids problems like cooling (no heat sink or fan) and can use a USB power brick.  Combine these two things with the immense groundswell of community support and it provides a fantastic platform for teaching young and old alike about computing, which is the real goal of the project.”

He informed me that he’ll be at the Raspberry Pi meetup on Saturday (not part of JavaOne). Check out the details here.

JavaFX Interfaces
When I asked about how JavaFX can interface with the real world, he said that there are many ways.

“JavaFX provides you with a simple set of programming interfaces that can create complex, cool and compelling user interfaces,” explained Ritter. “Because it's just Java code you can combine JavaFX with any other Java library to provide data to display and control the interface. What I've done for my session is look at some of the possible ways of doing this using some of the amazing hardware that's available today at very low cost. The Kinect sensor has added a new dimension to gaming in terms of interaction; there's a Java API to access this so you can easily collect skeleton tracking data from it. Some clever people have also written libraries that can track gestures like swipes, circles, pushes, and so on. We use these to control parts of the UI. I've also experimented with a Neurosky EEG sensor that can in some ways ‘read your mind’ (well, at least measure some of the brain functions like attention and meditation).  I've written a Java library for this that I include as a way of controlling the UI. We're not quite at the stage of just thinking a command though!”

Here Comes Java Embedded
And what, from Ritter’s perspective, is the most exciting thing happening in the world of Java today? “I think it's seeing just how Java continues to become more and more pervasive,” he said. “One of the areas that is growing rapidly is embedded systems.  We've talked about the ‘Internet of things’ for many years; now it's finally becoming a reality. With the ability of more and more devices to include processing, storage and networking we need an easy way to write code for them that's reliable, has high performance, and is secure. Java fits all these requirements. With Java Embedded being a conference within a conference, I'm very excited about the possibilities of Java in this space.”

Check out Ritter’s sessions or say hi if you run into him.

The OTN Lounge at JavaOne

This year, the Oracle Technology Network Lounge at JavaOne will be in the Hilton Ballroom, right in the center of the JavaOne DEMOgrounds. We'll have Java experts, community members and OTN staff to answer your questions. We've also even created a "Mini Theater" for casual demos from community member.[Read More]

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 20011, 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.

Monday Sep 24, 2012

Packing for JavaOne

While you are packing for JavaOne, here are some things to remember to bring:

1) A Jacket!
While October is considered the summer in San Francisco, the heat only lasts a day or two. The fog can roll in any day, and it can be chilly (and maybe even rain).

2) Your Oracle Login
Make sure your have your Oracle.com account log in details with you when you arrive onsite in San Francisco.  This is the username and password you used/created for your JavaOne 2012 registration.  You'll need these to check in and get your badge as well as to gain access to My Account and Schedule Builder onsite at the event.

3) Walking Shoes
You'll want comfortable and practical shoes as this city requires lots of walking and has lots of hills.

4) Thumb Drives
When sharing cool code, nothing beats sneaker-net. That said, practice safe computing.

5) Consider Downloading a Ride-Sharing Service App
SideCar, Lyft, Uber and RelayRides are taking SF by storm, and are popular alternative to yellow taxis. These are unregulated ride-sharing services, so ride at your own risk.

Hipster Tips for SF

1) Don't call it Frisco.
2) If you wear shorts, don't complain about how cold it is.
3) Bright colored clothes are for tourists. Locals wear black.
4) The most fun ice-cream flavors in town are at Humphry-Slocombe. Check out "secret breakfast."
5) The Mission is hip.
6) Don't expect there to be a Starbuck's or anything besides a great view at the other side of the Golden Gate bridge.
7) SF has seasons, they are just more subtle.

Friday Sep 21, 2012

JavaOne 2012 Conference Preview

A new article, by noted freelancer Steve Meloan, now up on otn/java, titled “JavaOne 2012 Conference Preview,” looks ahead to the fast approaching JavaOne 2012 Conference, scheduled for September 30-October 4 in San Francisco. The Conference will celebrate and highlight one of the world’s leading technologies. As Meloan states, “With 9 million Java developers worldwide, 5 billion Java cards in use, 3 billion mobile phones running Java, 1 billion Java downloads each year, and 100 percent of Blu-ray disk players and 97 percent of enterprise desktops running Java, Java is a technology that literally permeates our world.”

The 2012 JavaOne is organized under seven technical tracks:

* Core Java Platform
* Development Tools and Techniques
* Emerging Languages on the JVM
* Enterprise Service Architectures and the Cloud
* Java EE Web Profile and Platform Technologies
* Java ME, Java Card, Embedded, and Devices
* JavaFX and Rich User Experiences

Conference keynotes will lay out the Java roadmap. For the Sunday keynote, such Oracle luminaries as Cameron Purdy, Vice President of Development; Nandini Ramani, Vice President of Engineering, Java Client and Mobile Platforms; Richard Bair, Chief Architect, Client Java Platform; and Mark Reinhold, Chief Architect, Java Platform will be presenting.

For the Thursday IBM keynote, Jason McGee, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect for IBM PureApplication System, and John Duimovich, Java CTO and IBM Distinguished Engineer, will explore Java and IBM's cloud-based initiatives.
All in all, the JavaOne 2012 Conference should be as exciting as ever.

Link to the article here.

Wednesday Sep 19, 2012

Anticipating JavaOne 2012 – Number 17!

As I write this, JavaOne 2012 (September 30-October 4 in San Francisco, CA) is just over a week away -- the seventeenth JavaOne! I’ll resist the impulse to travel in memory back to the early days of JavaOne. But I will say that JavaOne is a little like your birthday or New Year’s in that it invites reflection, evaluation, and comparison. It’s a time when we take the temperature of Java and assess the world of information technology generally. At JavaOne, insight and information flow amongst Java developers like no other time of the year.

This year, the status of Java seems more secure in the eyes of most Java developers who agree that Oracle is doing an acceptable job of stewarding the platform, and while the story is still in progress, few doubt that Oracle is engaging strongly with the Java community and wants to see Java thrive.

From my perspective, the biggest news about Java is the growth of some 250 alternative languages for the JVM – from Groovy to Jython to JRuby to Scala to Clojure and on and on – offering both new opportunities and challenges. The JVM has proven itself to be unusually flexible, resulting in an embarrassment of riches in which, more and more, developers are challenged to find ways to optimally mix together several different languages on projects.   

To the matter at hand -- I can say with confidence that Oracle is working hard to make each JavaOne better than the last – more interesting, more stimulating, more networking, and more fun! A great deal of thought and attention is being devoted to the task. To free up time for the 475 technical sessions/Birds of feather/Hands-on-Labs slots, the Java Strategy, Partner, and Technical keynotes will be held on Sunday September 30, beginning at 4:00 p.m.  

Let’s not forget Java Embedded@JavaOne which is being held Wednesday, Oct. 3rd and Thursday, Oct. 4th at the Hotel Nikko. It will provide business decision makers, technical leaders, and ecosystem partners important information about Java Embedded technologies and new business opportunities.  

This year's JavaOne theme is “Make the Future Java”. So come to JavaOne and make your future better by:
--Choosing from 475 sessions given by the experts to improve your working knowledge and coding expertise
--Networking with fellow developers in both casual and formal settings
--Enjoying world-class entertainment
--Delighting in one of the world’s great cities (my home town)

Hope to see you there!

Monday Sep 17, 2012

JavaOne Gangnam Style

Yes, JavaOne is *the* place for excellent content, including technical information, opportunities to learn best practices from your peers, and access to industry experts. You can find lots of information about content in Java Evangelist Arun Gupta's 25 Reasons to attend JavaOne 2012. But you also have to let your Gangnam Style loose. Here are the Top Ten Fun Reasons to attend JavaOne 2012:

10. Connect with developers from more than 80 countries

9. Kick off the week at GlassFish and Friends Party Sunday night

8. Meet the community of Java Rock Stars

7. Enjoy all San Francisco has to offer

6. Meet your next best friend playing pinball in the Game Zone

5. Have your picture taken with Duke

4. Java in the morning and brews in the afternoon at the Taylor Street Cafe

3. Ride across the Golden Gate Bridge at the Community Geek Bike Ride

2. Rock out at the first-ever Oracle OpenWorld Music Festival

and #1...

1. It beats being at work!

 If you haven't registered, there's still time. Join us!

Getting Started with Social Development Inside the Enterprise

We are all used to sharing our status, our ideas and pictures in a social way in our personal lives, but it seems strange to give that up when we come to work.  It’s clear that social functionality is is starting to enter the enterprise, from consumer-facing experiences to employee collaboration, but where does an enterprise developer start? At JavaOne, you'll have opportunity to learn about social functionality in enterprise applications in a special new multi-presentation session, Getting Started with Social Development Inside the Enterprise. You’ll learn what’s possible today with Java and social, and you'll be welcomed into Oracle Social Developer Community (OSDC). By the end of this session you’ll know:

  • Is Java an appropriate social development environment?
  • What other options are available?
  • What kind of application integrations are being done today?
  • Where can I connect with other enterprise social developers?
  • Where can I get help starting my first project?

This program will include a range of speakers from the social developer community:

Carmen Delassio – CTO,  Layercake
James Pearce – Facebook Developer Liason, Facebook
Peter Stern -  CEO, Bit.ly
Frederic Daurelle – Oracle Social Network, Oracle
Adam Trachtenberg  - Director of Developer Network, LinkedIn
Roland Smart – VP of Social Marketing, Oracle

The session will end with a hands-on hackathon to get you started.

In addition to Social Developer session at JavaOne, Oracle is starting the Oracle Social Developer Lab that will create tools and solutions that reduce barriers to getting started with social development. This group will start taking requests from the community during JavaOne and will let the community prioritize the projects that it takes on through a social application.  Roland Smart, Vice President of Social Marketing at Oracle, explains "The development community will play a critical role in driving the transformation to a socially-enabled enterprise. Oracle is committed to supporting --and engaging with--the social developer community. Please join us!"

Register for JavaOne to attend.

Thursday Sep 13, 2012

Choice Sessions: Java Champions at JavaOne

There are so many reasons to attend JavaOne 2012 – great location, great networking opportunities but most importantly, great content! It’s tough to decide which sessions will be worth your while, but we advise you to start your decision making process by checking out sessions delivered by the 21 Java Champions attending and presenting at JavaOne. Java Champions are selected by their peers for their incredible contributions to the Java community and demonstration of their technical expertise in all aspects of Java. Our friend Markus Eisele @myfear has already kindly compiled a list in his blog entry Java Champions at JavaOne 2012 (thanks!).

Happy schedule building!

Monday Sep 10, 2012

Students Can Discover JavaOne for Free

JavaOneStudents can get a FREE Discover Pass for JavaOne to learn a bit about Java and network with experienced Java professionals. To be eligible, students must be

  • • At least 18 years-old
  • • Taking a minimum of 6 units
  • • Enrolled in a nonprofit institution of learning

Students will get all the benefits of a Discover attendee, which includes: JavaOne and OpenWorld keynotes; Exhibition Halls; and, space permitting, students can also attend JavaOne Technical and BOF (Birds-of-a-Feather) sessions, and HOLs (Hands-on Labs). Don't miss out on this opportunity for a real education with a FREE Discover Pass!

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San Francisco, USA: Sept 28 - Oct 2, 2014

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