The JavaOne 2012 Sunday Technical Keynote

At the JavaOne 2012 Sunday Technical Keynote, held at the Masonic Auditorium, Mark Reinhold, Chief Architect, Java Platform Group, stated that they were going to do things a bit differently--"rather than 20 minutes of SE, and 20 minutes of FX, and 20 minutes of EE, we're going to mix it up a little," he said. "For much of it, we're going to be showing a single application, to show off some of the great work that's been done in the last year, and how Java can scale well--from the cloud all the way down to some very small embedded devices, and how JavaFX scales right along with it."

Richard Bair and Jasper Potts from the JavaFX team demonstrated a JavaOne schedule builder application with impressive navigation, animation, pop-overs, and transitions. They noted that the application runs seamlessly on either Windows or Macs, running Java 7. They then ran the same application on an Ubuntu Linux machine--"it just works," said Bair.

The JavaFX duo next put the recently released JavaFX Scene Builder through its paces -- dragging and dropping various image assets to build the application's UI, then fine tuning a CSS file for the finished look and feel. Among many other new features, in the past six months, JavaFX has released support for H.264 and HTTP live streaming, "so you can get all the real media playing inside your JavaFX application," said Bair. And in their developer preview builds of JavaFX 8, they've now split the rendering thread from the UI thread, to better take advantage of multi-core architectures.

Next, Brian Goetz, Java Language Architect, explored language and library features planned for Java SE 8, including Lambda expressions and better parallel libraries. These feature changes both simplify code and free-up libraries to more effectively use parallelism. "It's currently still a lot of work to convert an application from serial to parallel," noted Goetz.

Reinhold had previously boasted of Java scaling down to "small embedded devices," so Bair and Potts next ran their schedule builder application on a small embedded PandaBoard system with an OMAP4 chip set. Connected to a touch screen, the embedded board ran the same JavaFX application previously seen on the desktop systems, but now running on Java SE Embedded. (The systems can be seen and tried at four of the nearby JavaOne hotels.) Bob Vandette, Java Embedded Architect, then displayed a $25 Rasberry Pi ARM-based system running Java SE Embedded, noting the even greater need for the platform independence of Java in such highly varied embedded processor spaces.

Reinhold and Vandette discussed Project Jigsaw, the planned modularization of the Java SE platform, and its deferral from the Java 8 release to Java 9. Reinhold demonstrated the promise of Jigsaw by running a modularized demo version of the earlier schedule builder application on the resource constrained Rasberry Pi system--although the demo gods were not smiling down, and the application ultimately crashed.

Reinhold urged developers to become involved in the Java 8 development process--getting the weekly builds, trying out their current code, and trying out the new features:

From there, Arun Gupta explored Java EE. The primary themes of Java EE 7, Gupta stated, will be greater productivity, and HTML 5 functionality (WebSocket, JSON, and HTML 5 forms). Part of the planned productivity increase of the release will come from a reduction in writing boilerplate code--through the widespread use of dependency injection in the platform, along with default data sources and default connection factories.

Gupta noted the inclusion of JAX-RS in the web profile, the changes and improvements found in JMS 2.0, as well as enhancements to Java EE 7 in terms of JPA 2.1 and EJB 3.2. GlassFish 4 is the reference implementation of Java EE 7, and currently includes WebSocket, JSON, JAX-RS 2.0, JMS 2.0, and more. The final release is targeted for Q2, 2013.

Looking forward to Java EE 8, Gupta explored how the platform will provide multi-tenancy for applications, modularity based on Jigsaw, and cloud architecture. Meanwhile, Project Avatar is the group's incubator project for designing an end-to-end framework for building HTML 5 applications. Santiago Pericas-Geertsen joined Gupta to demonstrate their "Angry Bids" auction/live-bid/chat application using many of the enhancements of Java EE 7, along with an Avatar HTML 5 infrastructure, and running on the GlassFish reference implementation.

Finally, Gupta covered Project Easel, an advanced tooling capability in NetBeans for HTML5. John Ceccarelli, NetBeans Engineering Director, joined Gupta to demonstrate creating an HTML 5 project from within NetBeans--formatting the project for both desktop and smartphone implementations. Ceccarelli noted that NetBeans 7.3 beta will be released later this week, and will include support for creating such HTML 5 project types.

Gupta directed conference attendees to: for everything about Java EE and GlassFish at JavaOne 2012.

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