Thursday Community Keynote: "By the Community, For the Community"

Sharat Chander, JavaOne Community Chairperson, began Thursday's Community Keynote. As part of the morning’s theme of "By the Community, For the Community," Chander noted that 60% of the material at the 2012 JavaOne conference was presented by Java Community members. "So next year, when the call for papers starts, put-in your submissions," he urged.

From there, Gary Frost, Principal Member of Technical Staff, AMD, expanded upon Sunday's Strategy Keynote exploration of Project Sumatra, an OpenJDK project targeted at bringing Java to heterogeneous computing platforms (which combine the CPU and the parallel processor of the GPU into a single piece of silicon). Sumatra entails enhancing the JVM to make maximum use of these advanced platforms. Within this development space, AMD created the Aparapi API, which converts Java bytecode into OpenCL for execution on such GPU devices. The Aparapi API was open sourced in September 2011.

Whether it was zooming-in on a Mandelbrot set, "the game of life," or a swarm of 10,000 Dukes in a space-bound gravitational dance, Frost's demos, using an Aparapi/OpenCL implementation, produced stunningly faster display results. He indicated that the Java 9 timeframe is where they see Project Sumatra coming to ultimate fruition, employing the Lambdas of Java 8.

Returning to the theme of the keynote, Donald Smith, Director, Java Product Management, Oracle, explored a mind map graphic demonstrating the importance of Community in terms of fostering innovation. "It's the sharing and mixing of culture, the diversity, and the rapid prototyping," he said.

Within this topic, Smith, brought up a panel of representatives from Cloudera, Eclipse, Eucalyptus, Perrone Robotics, and Twitter--ideal manifestations of community and innovation in the world of Java.

Marten Mickos, CEO, Eucalyptus Systems, explored his company's open source cloud software platform, written in Java, and used by gaming companies, technology companies, media companies, and more. Chris Aniszczyk, Operations Engineering,Twitter, noted the importance of the JVM in terms of their multiple-language development environment. Mike Olson, CEO, Cloudera, described his company's Apache Hadoop-based software, support, and training. Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director, Eclipse Foundation, noted that they have about 270 tools projects at Eclipse, with 267 of them written in Java. Milinkovich added that Eclipse will even be going into space in 2013, as part of the control software on various experiments aboard the International Space Station. Lastly, Paul Perrone, CEO, Perrone Robotics, detailed his company's robotics and automation software platform built 100% on Java, including Java SE and Java ME--"on rat, to cat, to elephant-sized systems." Milinkovich noted that communities are by nature so good at innovation because of their very openness--"The more open you make your innovation process, the more ideas are challenged, and the more developers are focused on justifying their choices all the way through the process."

From there, Georges Saab, VP Development Java SE OpenJDK, continued the topic of innovation and helping the Java Community to "Make the Future Java." Martijn Verburg, representing the London Java Community (winner of a Duke's Choice Award 2012 for their activity in OpenJDK and JCP), soon joined Saab onstage. Verburg detailed the LJC's "Adopt a JSR" program--"to get day-to-day developers more involved in the innovation that's happening around them."  From its London launching pad, the innovative program has spread to Brazil, Morocco, Latvia, India, and more.

Other active participants in the program joined Verburg onstage--Ben Evans, London Java Community; James Gough, Stackthread; Bruno Souza, SOUJava; Richard Warburton, jClarity; and Cecilia Borg, Oracle--OpenJDK Onboarding. Together, the group explored the goals and tasks inherent in the Adopt a JSR program--from organizing hack days (testing prototype implementations), to managing mailing lists and forums, to triaging issues, to evangelism—all with the goal of fostering greater community/developer involvement, but equally importantly, building better open standards. “Come join us, and make your ecosystem better!" urged Verburg.

Paul Perrone returned to profile the latest in his company's robotics work around Java--including the AARDBOTS family of smaller robotic vehicles, running the Perrone MAX platform on top of the Java JVM. Perrone took his "Rumbles" four-wheeled robot out for a spin onstage--a roaming, ARM-based security-bot vehicle, complete with IR, ultrasonic, and "cliff" sensors (the latter, for the raised stage at JavaOne). As an ultimate window into the future of robotics, Perrone displayed a "head-set" controller--a sensor directed at the forehead to monitor brainwaves, for the someday-implementation of brain-to-robot control.

Then, just when it seemed this might be the end of the day's futuristic offerings, a mystery voice from offstage pronounced "I've got some toys"--proving to be guest-visitor James Gosling, there to explore his cutting-edge work with Liquid Robotics.

While most think of robots as something with wheels or arms or lasers, Gosling explained, the Liquid Robotics vehicle is an entirely new and innovative ocean-going 'bot. Looking like a floating surfboard, with an attached set of underwater wings, the autonomous devices roam the oceans using only the energy of ocean waves to propel them, and a single actuated rudder to steer. "We have to accomplish all guidance just by wiggling the rudder," Gosling said. The devices offer applications from self-installing weather buoy, to pollution monitoring station, to marine mammal monitoring device, to climate change data gathering, to even ocean life genomic sampling. The early versions of the vehicle used C code on very tiny industrial micro controllers, where they had to "count the bytes one at a time."  But the latest generation vehicles, which just hit the water a week or so ago, employ an ARM processor running Linux and the ARM version of JDK 7.

Gosling explained that vehicle communication from remote locations is achieved via the Iridium satellite network. But because of the costs of this communication path, the data must be sent in very small bursts--using SBD short burst data. "It costs $1/kb, so that rules everything in the software design,” said Gosling. “If you were trying to stream a Netflix video over this, it would cost a million dollars a movie. …We don't have a 'big data' problem," he quipped.

There are currently about 150 Liquid Robotics vehicles out traversing the oceans. Gosling demonstrated real time satellite tracking of several vehicles currently at sea, noting that Java is actually particularly good at AI applications--due to the language having garbage collection, which facilitates complex data structures.

To close-out his time onstage, Gosling of course participated in the ceremonial Java tee-shirt toss out to the audience…

In parting, Chander passed the JavaOne Community Chairperson baton to Stephen Chin, Oracle Java Technology Evangelist. Onstage in full motorcycle gear, Chin noted that he'll soon be touring Europe by motorcycle, meeting Java Community Members and streaming live via UStream--the ultimate manifestation of community and technology!  He also reminded attendees of the upcoming JavaOne Latin America 2012, São Paulo, Brazil (December 4-6, 2012), and stated that the CFP (call for papers) at the conference has been extended for one more week. "Remember, December is summer in Brazil!" Chin said.

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