Monday May 12, 2008

CommunityOne JavaOne Summary

I attended JavaOne (and CommunityOne) last week. I was basically "drinking from the fire hose". There were more sessions to attend then what I had time for. The Technical Sessions and Labs are on-line so I have no reason to not review the ones I missed ... except for time. I was focused on a few specific topics:

  • opensolaris
  • NetBeans
  • RESTful web services
  • AJAX enabled user interfaces


The first opensolaris distribution (2008.05) was relased. The use of LiveCD for installation made things very simple and easy. There's a lots of new features, besides the new installer. The most obvious new features include a new user interface (gnome based), ZFS root filesystem and a new package management system. I downloaded the latest release (1.6) of Sun xVM VirtualBox for my Mac and installed the opensolaris distribution. very cool!


Release 6.1 added more support for technologies that I've been researching: ajax frameworks and RESTful web services. I was't going to upgrade from 6.0 until I attended sessions during NetBeans Day (part of CommmunityOne). Check out the new features on the NetBeans site. During lunch I installed 6.1. It installed just fine. I had it use my 6.0 preferences. The only plug-in I had to manually add was "JAX-RPC" for a legacy web service project that I have.

NetBeans has come a long way from when I first used it three years ago. The performance, integration with App Servers (Glassfish), editor features, and collection of plugins has made this an awesome tool. I'm not the only one who must think so ... I've been seeing less-and-less of Eclipse on people's laptops and used within the Vendor booths.

NetBean 6.1 Download

RESTful web services:

One of the features on the roadmap for Project OpenPTK is a RESTful web service. My personal observation is that the RESTful tools are almost there. The spec JSR-311 JAX-RS: The JavaTM API for RESTful Web Services, is in review and Jersey is available for testing. I starting writing RESTful-type Servlets from scratch and it's a lot of work ... I'll let the RESTful tools make this easier.

AJAX enabled user interfaces:

There's lots of choices (maybe too many). I've not made a decision. But, since Java is my first language i'm leaning toward the options that don't require me to learn something new like Ruby, PHP, or JavaScript (I do know a little JavaScript). I liked what I saw from the jMaki client-server framework for building Ajax enabled applications. I also like Project Woodstock which is focused on developing the next generation of User Interface Components for the web, based on Java Server Faces and AJAX.

Other observations:

The most widely used OS by the presenters was MacOS X, second was Solaris/Linux and third was Windows (at least for the sessions I attended). I've noticed that the laptop of choice for JavaOne attendees (most likely developers) is shifting to Apple. I'll estimate that 50% of the people I noticed made Apple MacBook (Pro)'s. Last year that number was about 25%-30% and two years ago it was around 10%-15%.


Here are my notes from each day:

Saturday Dec 01, 2007

NetBeans guide for Project OpenPTK

Yesterday I released the Project OpenPTK NetBeans Guide to the documentation page. This guide will help you set-up a collection of NetBeans Projects using Project OpenPTK's source files.

Saturday Nov 17, 2007

NetBeans 6.0 (Beta 2) Java Editor ... you need to take look

I installed NetBeans 6.0 (Beta 2) on my Mac about a month ago. I didn't do much with it until last week. One of my TODO's has been: "work on Javadocs" for Project OpenPTK. I know ... I know ... we should have been writing the Javadocs as we wrote code, just like every good developer does :-).

I decided to use NetBeans 6.0 (Beta 2), instead of my NetBeans 5.5 install. I'm really happy I did ... the new editor ROCKS. There's a ton of new features, I'm sure i'll get to use them all eventually. Did I say the new editor "JUST ROCKS".

As I was adding Javadoc comments "/\*\*", the NetBeans Editor started a nice template for me with @param, @throws, @return elements as necessary. This made it easier for me to "Fill-In-The-Blanks" with notations. As I went through all the Java files in Project OpenPTK's public api code, I noticed that the Editor was flagging different things in the code. It highlighted methods that should have @Override, include lines not being used, local variable that were conflicting with global fields and few other things. I decided to open every Java source file in the project and see what the editor found. I removed a lot of include lines that were not need being used.

There's a lot of other cool features in this new Editor. Here's a just few things that I played with:

  • I really like the new diff features, especially when you delete lines and the icon lets you see what was removed, compared to what's in SVN.
  • The default colorizing is a lot nicer.
  • The highlighting is very useful, double-click on a variable and it's highlighted everywhere, the right-side margin shows a little "tick" mark where that variable is used thoughout your source file.
  • I needed to use the Instant Renaming feature a couple of times (when a local variable name was the same as a global field ... oops). Just start changing the local variable where it's defined and it will dynamically change everywhere in the method.

There's many more new features. Take a look at this NetBeans wiki site, it's a good summary of the Editor's features.


Scott Fehrman


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