Wednesday Sep 25, 2013

Session Report: Is It a Car? Is It a Computer? No, It’s a Raspberry Pi JavaFX Informatics System

Master showman Simon Ritter showed how to integrate computers into your car to build a “carputer”.[Read More]

Friday Sep 13, 2013

Simon Ritter Prepares to Show off Java SE 8 at JavaOne

Oracle’s Simon Ritter has more tricks up his sleeve with cars and hand-tracking devices. [Read More]

Friday Oct 05, 2012

Session Report - Java on the Raspberry Pi

Oracle Evangelist Simon Ritter demonstrated Java on the Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized single-board computer developed with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools.[Read More]

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.

Thursday Oct 13, 2011

JavaOne 2011 Recap

The 2011 JavaOne Conference, the sixteenth, had its own distinctive identity. The Conference theme, “Moving Java Forward,” coincided with the spirit that seemed to pervade the attendees – after more than a year-and-a-half of stewardship over Java, there was a clear and reassuring feeling that Oracle was doing its part to support Java and the Java community. Attendees that I spoke to felt that the conference was well put together and that the Java platform was being well served and indeed, moving forward.

For me, personally, it was a week in which my feet barely touched the ground as I rushed through tours from session to laptop to session, dashing off blogs and racing back to events, socials, awards ceremonies, BOF's and more.

The Keynotes

Start with the keynotes. Monday’s Technical Keynote debuted and open-sourced JavaFX 2.0, looked ahead to Java EE on the cloud and reminded us that there are about 6.5 billion people in the world and five billion Java Cards.

Tuesday’s Java Strategy Keynote offered Oracle's long-term vision for investment and innovation in Java.

Thursday’s Java Community Keynote while touched by the awareness of Steve Jobs’ passing, celebrated Java User Groups, Duke’s Choice and JCP award winners, and was capped off with the inimitable Java Posse.

Sessions, Sessions, and more Sessions

And then there were the sessions!

JavaFX 2.0, which was represented in more than 50 sessions, deserves special mention.

There was a lively panel discussion of the future of Java EE and the cloud.

Oracle’s Java Technology Evangelist Simon Ritter, in his session, showed off a fun gadget that worked via JavaFX 2.0.

Oracle’s Greg Bollella and Eric Jensen, gave a session titled “Telemetry and Synchronization with Embedded Java and Berkeley DB” that presented a vision of the potential future of Cyber-Physical Systems

Java Champion Michael Hüttermann explained best Agile ALM practices in a session.

Oracle’s Joseph Darcy took developers deeper into the heads and tails of Project Coin.

A JCP panel talked about JCP.next and the future of the JCP.

The JCP Awards gave recognition to some well-deserving people.

Oracle’s Kelly O’Hair gave a session on OpenJDK development best practices.

Oracle’s Terrence Barr showed developers how to get started with Embedded Java(http://blogs.oracle.com/javaone/entry/getting_started_with_embedded_java).

The Duke's Choice Awards reminded us of the sheer ingenuity of Java and Java developers.

Adam Bien, Java Champion, Java Rock Star and winner of Oracle Magazine’s ninth annual Editors' Choice award as Java Developer of the Year was all over the place.

Go to Parley’s.com to take in some of the great sessions.

All in all – a considerable success! Now get some rest.

Thursday Oct 06, 2011

Interfacing with the Interface: JavaFX 2.0, Wiimote, Kinect, and More

Simon Ritter

Oracle Java Technology Evangelist Simon Ritter showed how, with JavaFX 2.0, it’s possible to interface with exotic hardware using free and open source libraries to build state-of-the-art applications.

[Read More]

Thursday Sep 22, 2011

In Anticipation of JavaOne 2011, Number 16

As I write this, JavaOne 2011 is a little over a week away -- the sixteenth JavaOne and I’ve been fortunate to have attended most of them. Each JavaOne has a particular mood, and I'm anticipating this year will be a good one. Oracle’s stewardship of Java is better known and it’s very strong commitment to the success of the platform is clear to most developers. Hope to see you there!

[Read More]
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