Wednesday Oct 28, 2015

3D Printing with a Java Rockstar

By Roger Smith

Controlling a 3D Printer with Java and VRL-Studio

I chatted with Java Rockstar Michael Hoffer on Tuesday at the Java Hub in the Exhibit hall about VRL-Studio, an innovative visual programming environment he created in Java that combines visual and text-based programming. Currently doing his PhD at the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, Hoffer works at the Goethe-Center for Scientific Computing in Frankfurt. His research interests are in developing visual programming concepts in the field of modeling and simulation of highly complex physical processes including those modeled by medical scanning equipment.

VRL-Studio uses the Java Reflection API and Groovy to automatically generate interactive user interfaces, and has a powerful plug-in system that allows for easy integration of Java libraries, such as the 3-D modeling library JCSG. Hoffer demonstrated how he created a lightweight drone with four arms that are modeled on a complex structure found in the bones of birds. (see images below) "These drone parts can also be optimized to remove vibration. This structure cannot be created via milling, but it's a very easy task for a 3D printer."

It's also easy it is to turn a Raspberry PI board into a fully functional robot, Hoffer said, using 3D geometries created with the open source JCSG library and his VRL-Studio IDE. He then demonstrated his 'Pi on Wheels' bot, an affordable open source Do-It-Yourself robot, which he uses to teach Java-related technologies in the context of the Internet of Things.

Hoffer blogs about Java, JavaFX, and related technologies at Find out more at VRL-Studio here:

Lightweight drone with four arms modeled on a complex structure found in the bones of birds

Close up picture of drone arm printed by 3D printer.

'Pi on Wheels' bot, with 3D printed body and wheels

Tuesday Oct 27, 2015

Robots Look for Human Companions at JavaOne

By Roger Smith

Humaoid Robots Are Big in Japan

I spent part of this afternoon at the MakerZone, which is part of the Java Hub at this year's JavaOne Exhibit Hall, where I had a brief, enjoyable chat with Pepper, a 4-foot tall humanoid robot. Created by Aldebaran Robotics, Pepper is a social robot able to recognize and react to human emotions and carry on simple conversations in as many as 28 different languages. (I met and wrote about Nao, Pepper’s androgynous older sibling, in a recent JavaOne4kids workshop that showed how Nao could be taught to walk, talk, catch small objects and even dance). Besides being almost twice as tall as Nao, Pepper moves around on three omnidirectional wheels rather than feet like Nao. The Nao robot has been in development since 2006, while Pepper only has been around for a little over a year. Pepper’s added wheels give him greater range and almost 14 hours of battery life, which is three times the amount Nao has. The additional battery life was a requirement, said Nicholas Rigaud, Developer Community Leader for Aldebaran, since he was designed to greet and interact with customers in retail stores owned by Japanese mobile phone operator SoftBank Mobile, Aldebaran’s parent company.

Aldebaran has participated in three JavaOne conferences and keeps coming back each year because it's a great way to engage with a global community of software developers. "There is a great deal of entrepreneurial energy at these shows, which is what we're looking for," Rigaud said. "We want to get the word out about the programming resources and simulation tools we have to help developers create, fine tune and monetize their applications on the Aldebaran robotic platform." These resources include Choregraphe (the company's graphical drag and drop programming interface) that lets developers create applications with sample code containing dialog and behavior for the robots. The development environment includes a SDK simulator so that programmers can view their apps on a virtual 3D robot. Rigaud said there are currently 4,000 developers actively participating in the free developer program, of which roughly 25% are robot owners. 104 countries are represented, including 2,400 developers in Japan, 350 in the US and 300 in France. Find out more about Aldebaran's global developer program here:

Monday Oct 26, 2015

New Java Releases Will Tackle Developer Pain Points

By Roger Smith

JavaOne 2015 Keynote Focuses on Future Java Platforms

The half-dozen presentations in the opening JavaOne keynote featured a few looks in the rearview mirror to honor Java's 20-year rise to become the dominate general-purpose computer programming language, but otherwise it was a pedal to the metal focus on new features in the various Java ME, Java SE and Java EE platforms. A familiar face from Java's past also made a brief and humorous video appearance to cap an eventful 2-hour session on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Host Georges Saab (VP Java Platform Development at Oracle) welcomed Michael Greene (VP Software and Service Group at Intel) who discussed Intel's history with Java. "Two important things happened in 1995," Green said, "I married my wife of 20 years and Intel acquired its first Java source license. I was one of the first Intel engineers dedicated to insuring Java works best on Intel hardware and that transformed my career. Twenty years later, I'm glad to say we haven't missed a beat."

The bulk of Green's presentation covered what Intel has done since joining the OpenJDK community in 2014 to promote open source implementations of Java. He announced that the Intel IoT Developer Kit now supports Java, which will make it easier for Java developers to address sensors, stream data and work with data on the web, He also said that Intel's Quark, a new embedded low-power processor designed for small mobile devices like wearable computers, will now run Java ME.

Mark Reinhold (Chief Architect, Java Platform Group) took the stage to discuss features in the next Java 9 SE release, now scheduled for 2016. He explained that Java has evolved over the years by tackling pain point that Java developers complain about through the Java Community Process. "In Java 5, we introduced generics; in Java 8, we introduced lambdas, and in Java 9, we'll be introducing modularity to create a scalable and more secure platform." Reinhold explained that modularity is intended to ease the pain of constructing, maintaining and distributing large applications by removing the "JAR hell" developers currently experience when trying to install software packages that have dependencies on specific versions of other software packages. He noted that 'JAR hell' is such a common developer complaint that it has its own Wikipedia page to describe all the various ways in which the classloading process can end up not working. Modularity will not have the same impact on the average developer as lambdas have had in Java SE 8, Reinhold said. "Modules are more like seat belts than lambda expression jet packs."

Brian Goetz, Java Language Architect, then talked about what's in store for future Java SE releases beyond Java 9. Project Valhalla will add value types, which are highly-efficient small 'objects' that do not have an inheritance property, and Project Panama builds a bridge between Java and C/C++ by providing a native interconnect between code managed by the JVM and APIs for non-Java /C++ libraries. Both of these projects are intended to provide more efficient access to data and better control over data layout in memory to achieve higher performance.

Engineering VP Anil Gaur next gave an update on Java EE release 8, which is expected in the first half of 2017. Gaur said that, based on a survey that received over 4,500 responses, the Java EE community has prioritized the desired features for the next Java EE platform release, which includes new APIs for JSON Processing, RESTful Web Services and Java EE Security, among other features.

The keynote ended with a surprise video that featured former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, who talked about how Sun developed the Java language. "I hired James Gosling in the early 1990s because Bill Joy said he was the best programmer he knew. I took his advice because Bill was the best programmer I knew. After a while, James got bored and threatened to quit. I told him I would give him the resources to do anything he wanted, as long as he didn't quit. What he wanted to do is develop a "write once, run anywhere" language. Which he did, and which is why we all now have the Java language."

McNealy concluded his short video with the following "top 12 list of Java Developer nightmares of 2015":

#12. Screenglare
#11. Entry level developers are now in the top income bracket
#10. Product marketing specs, customer deadlines and style guides
# 9. Your peer programming partner starts at 7am, with bad breath
# 8. You've got a great seat on the commuter bus, but the wifi is broken
#7. Larry raised the price of coffee
# 6. James Gosling is working at Liquid Rocket, not at Oracle
# 5. No ping pong balls and no beer
# 4. You love open source software and sharing, but you work at Oracle
# 3. Bay area traffic, California taxes, no rain and marijuana is illegal
# 2. You love your company chef, but he is on a 2-week maternity leave
# 1. The former CEO and current CTO is making ship to shore calls to you on a regular basis."

Thursday Oct 22, 2015

Vote on the sessions at JavaOne

Give your feedback on sessions at JavaOne! You will find voting machines in every session room at JavaOne. To vote, choose between a happy, neutral, or sad Duke by clicking on it.

In this video, Michael Heinrichs and Hendrik Ebbers from Canoo discuss how they created the voting machine. They will also present a JavaOne session about the voting machine on Monday, Oct. 26 at 2:30pm. They used Java 8 and JavaFX on a Raspberry Pi. 

After each session be sure to let us know how you felt by voting! 

Wednesday Oct 21, 2015

Hangout at JavaOne San Francisco

Looking for a place to lounge during JavaOne? Duke’s Cafe will be available all week long, with entertainment provided Monday through Thursday. Mingle, eat, drink and network with fellow JavaOne attendees. Join fellow Java enthusiasts in celebrating 20 years of Java at:

  • Oracle Welcome Reception- Sunday the 25th at the Java Lounge oracle cloud Plaza 7:00-9:00pm 
  • Duke's Choice Awards- Tuesday the 27th at  Duke's Cafe 7:30 p.m–8:00 p.m 
  • Oracle Appreciation Event- Wednesday the 28th on Treasure Island 6:30 p.m.– 12:00 a.m.

Photography By Regis Vincent.

Want to also grab a drink in the city? Here’s a list of top secrets bars you can head to:

  • Bourbon & Branch - Experience the ambiance of the 1920’s in an actual speakeasy that operated illegally at this location from 1921 to 1933. Call for reservations.
  • Eden Lounge - Located above Park Tavern is a sound proof room with special cocktails that can’t be found downstairs.
  • The Hidden Vine - The only place with over 800+ bottles of wine and Bocce!
  • Leopard Lounge - Upstairs from Romper Room, with a secret menu only found upstairs and leopard decor.
  • Marianne’s - Located behind a book case at the Cavalier is a top secret bar with a private bartender.
  • Tivoli Sour Room - If you are into sour beers and lambics, check out the secret bar located in Mikkeller Bar.
There’s no doubt that JavaOne is going to be a great time to meet fellow java community members, and network, while learning the latest on Java. Don’t miss out on the celebration events!

Short Guide to JavaOne Readiness

Here’s a short list of what you need for JavaOne and San francisco: 

  • A jacket! Although the weather is predicted to be mostly sunny, there’s usually a chill to San Francisco.
  • Your Oracle login. You’ll need the user name and password you created for your JavaOne 2015 registration to check in and receive your badge, as well as to gain access to My Account and Schedule Builder at the event.
  • Also a back up to your presentations on a USB drive (better safe than sorry)

In your schedule, be sure to add the keynotes, hangout places, social events and more. Download the JavaOne mobile application to make sure you are not missing anything.

  • Keynotes  are on Sunday at 1:45pm - 4:00pm at the Moscone North-Hall D. Stop by the OTN Kick Off party and celebrate 20 years of Java before the keynote.
  • The spot to hang out on your break is Dukes Café on Taylor Street Café. There will also be evening entertainment and networking at Duke's Café everyday Monday through Thursday.
  • Oracle Appreciation Event on Wednesday 6:30pm - 12:00am on Treasure Island. Complimentary shuttle buses depart at 5:30pm
  • Java Hub inside the exhibition Hall Open Monday - Wednesday 9:30 - 5:30. Showcasing the MakerZone, the Oracle Technology Network Community Café, and Wolf Nkole Helzle’s myMatrix. Coming back this year will be JavaOne favorites, including NightHacking, Hackergarten, and 3D Modeling.

It’s almost time for JavaOne! Take a look at the full agenda and if you haven’t use the schedule builder to choose your sessions. See you soon!

Tuesday Oct 20, 2015

Join the Community Before JavaOne

Don't miss a weekend of activities with the Java Community before JavaOne. Join the leisurely Geek Bike Ride. Stop by the User Group Forums and NetBeans Day. Don't miss the Keynotes on Sunday! No need to venture far, most of it will take place at the Moscone.

Saturday October 24th

Meet at Blazing Saddles bikes at Pier 41 in Fisherman's Wharf at the Blue & Gold Fleet Sausalito/Tiburon Ferry Terminal
8:30am - 12:00pm 

Moscone South
9:00am - 5:00pm 

Sunday October 25th 

Moscone West
8:00am - 12:45pm and 4:30pm - 7:30pm

Java University
Golden Gate University
9:00am - 4:00pm 

Moscone South - 309 and 310
10:00am -7:15 pm 

OTN Kick Off Party  
20 Years of Java Celebration
OTN Lounge, Moscone South, Upper Lobby 
1:00pm - 2:00pm 

Moscone North—Hall D
1:45- 4:00pm 

Java Lounge, Oracle Cloud Plaza @ Howard Street
7:00pm - 9pm 

Thursday Oct 01, 2015

Experience San Francisco!

By Debbie Omariba  

Looking for a way to discover San Francisco while in town for JavaOne? Take the San Francisco Architecture Walking Tour. The 2.5 hour tour is led by Rick Evans, a local architecture expert. Learn about the historic buildings of San Francisco’s Financial District, while discovering hard to find rooftops gardens, and exploring landmarks. Additionally visit 4 of San Francisco’s Privately Owned Public Open Spaces (POPOS), the downtown area has 68 of them. Some points of interest include: 

  • The Hallidi Building known for it’s transparent glass wall. 
  • The Crown Zellerbach Paper Co first glass building built after the great depression and World War II.
  • The Shell building that was occupied by the Royal Dutch Shell oil company until the 1960s. 
  • The cross street where J-walking (diagonally crossing an intersection) is allowed. 

The tour typically begins either at 11am or 2pm. The tour will begin in the Lobby of the Galleria Park Hotel, 191 Sutter Street@Kearny. Make a reservation online or, call (415) 264-8824 if you are reserving on the same day of the tour.

If you are interested in talking a walking tour of other parts of San Francisco, take a look here. Locals volunteer and offer free (donations welcome) walking tours, be sure to check the schedule. Don't worry about over exercising since San Francisco is 7x7 it’s relatively easy to discover by walking. 

Photo by Regis Vincent

Thursday Sep 24, 2015

JavaOne T-Shirt Design Challenge

Want to design a t-shirt for JavaOne? To celebrate 20 years of Java, we’re inviting you to submit t-shirt designs. The winning design will be one of the available options at the Cross Your Tees experience, taking place all week long during JavaOne 2015 at the Parc 55 San Francisco. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from four different designs to create their custom shirt, and one of those designs will be our Design Challenge winner. Submit your design by Wednesday: October 7th at 12:00pm! 

Artwork Specifications:

Designs submitted must incorporate the evolution of Java over the last twenty years. Artwork submitted for the t-shirt design must be no longer than 12” w and 14” h and adhere to the following specifications:

• AI File Type

  •  Layers Preserved
  •  Fonts Outlined
  •  White or Blank Artboard
  •  PMS colors (if needed)

• PDF File Type

  •  > 300 dpi
  •  100% scale
  •  Include all font types
  •  White Background
  •  PMS colors (if needed)

Check out the challenge details and official rules. Submit today! 

Tuesday Sep 22, 2015

20 Years of Java: Developer Interviews Part 3

By David Lopez 

This year marks 20 years of Java! To celebrate, we wanted to get a feel for what Java and the Java Community mean to Java Developers, so this year at JavaOne Brazil, we asked them 3 Questions:

What’s your favorite moment as a Java Developer?
What’s your favorite thing about Java?
What do you think the future of Java is?

We recorded over 20 responses, each providing a unique insight into where Java could be heading and where they would like to see it go. Below you’ll find the final video in a 3-part series showcasing how the developers responded to the question: “What do you think the future of Java is?” We got all sorts of great responses, from the future of the IoT in your body to the importance of using tech for good, and of course, keeping the Java Community and User Groups strong seemed to be on everyone’s mind. If you can’t see it below, check it out here.


javeone logoJavaOne Conference 2014 Videos

San Francisco, USA: Oct 25 - 29, 2015



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