Thursday Nov 19, 2009

Devoxx 09: Day 2 Fun

It was a morning of keynotes examining the workings of technology professional, and a contrast of preaching styles.

Ivar Jacobson's Lutheran delivery allowed the audience to share in the nordic dispair of a participating in an industry in still seeking a single development methodology, before raising the collective spirit with a gospel of a universal one to be resurrected from the common elements of all the ones developed to-date. But it was hard for the Janitor's mundane mind to see if there was anything left in this intersection-of-methodologies except for good old fashioned common sense. And will probably Bourne in shell for saying so.

Next up was the evangleical Bob Martin whose exhortive style raised a lot of chuckles, mining such rich seams as: Developer versus Manager, and Project Trainwrecks We've All Survived. At times seeming like he might speak in tongues, the Janitor thought he was, unfortunately, glossolalia-ing over some nice practical advice about how to be more of a professional that produces write well-crafted code in which QA will find no fault.

And the day continued a stylistic Tower of Babel, with an last minute standin presenter of an excellent talk on Java classloaders having the nerves of steel to allow the audience to debug and fix his demo that had gone wrong; Stephen Chin's engaging JavaFX talk on the many excellent components in JFXtras (like the JavaFX table which performed beautifully with 16 million items), and FEST saw him running up and down the stairs asking questions and handing out t-shirts.

The stylistic nightmare that was four geeks in hats dancing to Rick Astley meant you were at the start of the live recording of the JavaPosse. There were predictably big cheers for Scala, Java EE 6's imminent (December 10th) release, mostly cheers for closures, and lots of other fun which you can catch up to when they edit the bad words out and publish it, if you weren't there.

Stephan Janssen really puts on a great show at Devoxx.

Wednesday Nov 18, 2009

Devoxx 09: JDK 7, Java EE 6, JavaFX, Java Store and more

The Janitor is here at Devoxx, just down the road from Neelie Kroes !

 Her influence was on show at the Oracle keynote, which began with a legal disclaimer saying something about forward looking statements about products not being indicative of anything. One has to be sympathetic as the commission's wheels grind on, but it was a bit like hearing that the tenor has a sore throat before the opera starts. Happily, Roberto and Ludo were more melodious, announcing the imminent December 10th release date for Java EE 6 and Glassfish v3 and a demo of deploy-on-save in Eclipse (it could equally have been in NetBeans), re-deploying deployment descriptor-free servlets and EJBs to Glassfish v3 in about a second. Adobe gave an engaging keynote, and although the Janitor didn't love the smell of all the multistep automagical conversion to massage an app developed in the flash tool into something allowed to run on the iPhone (pretty sure Apple doesn't either), the image-to-widget tool in Adobe Catalyst demoed very well. Something to think about for the JavaFX Production Suite.

Next up the Janitor sat in on Mark Reinhold's session on JDK 7. There was a progress update on the projects you already know about, some of the Project Coin code snippets provoking murmurs of appreciation and the odd ripple of applause, as did Mark's proposal to add simplified closures proposal to JDK 7. Less good news on the schedule, but as Roberto is finding for Java EE 6, sometimes the wait can be satisfying.

After lunch, the voices became hushed and the big room where James was about to speak suddenly filled up. James talked about the JavaStore, which is in live beta, as well as a new set of cash registers. While you can still only purchase apps from the store in the US (until the legal team works through the retailing laws of every other country), you can submit apps today if you are in US, UK, Australia, India, China, Sweden, Brazil or Russia, with Belgium, Canada, Israel, Germany, Italy, France, Spain coming soon.

Richard and Jasper and Tor's session on JavaFX focused on the upcoming features in JavaFX 1.3 and on the authoring tool. Covering tasks, the new UI controls (like tree, menus, popups, tooltips, scrollviews etc), new region architecture for expanded CSS styling and super fast rendering, it looks like a tasty package in the works, and the authoring tool (last seen at JavaOne) was looking better than ever. Can't wait to get it out the door.

And for a while today #devoxx was trending on Twitter. Right now beer and frites are trending high. More tomorrow.

Thursday Oct 29, 2009

JavaFX: Really Challenging

Have you see the monthly challenges over at JFXStudio ?

All the entries have to have less than 30 lines or 3000 charcters of code. Last month the theme was Time, this month its the number 5. Numerologically speaking, the number 5 goes hand in hand with sociability, and a tendency to excess. Guess which member of the JavaFX team picked that one ?

And ProJavaFX co-author Jim Weaver has been running a JavaFX challenge of his own.

Wednesday Oct 28, 2009

Java Store in final stages before open

The Java Store team here at Sun is in the final stage of readying things to fling open the doors to shoppers in the next week or so !

This means one more tweak of the store front: just like in a physical store, polishing signage, perfecting the display areas and checkouts: in this case making the final UI changes to the all-JavaFX desktop app that showcases all the Java and JavaFX applications in stock and allows purchase and installation.

And it means final verification of the apps that will be on the shelves of the store on the day it opens - approaching 50 already, as participants in the beta program will already know - with more applications, ranging from free to paid, to come. All coming in at the back of the store, the Java Warehouse, which has been pretty busy of late.

So if you have a Java or JavaFX app that's looking for an audience (like, perhaps the 60-70m that download the JRE each month...), you should stay tuned to the Planetarium. Much more in the coming weeks !

Tuesday Oct 27, 2009

Launch parties for Java ME SDK for Mac and NetBeans 6.8 ?

Last week was a pretty busy one, with the release of Java ME SDK for Mac (early access), and the NetBeans 6.8 beta.

The Java ME SDK is the all-in-one phone to Blu-Ray app development kit, and the news is that its now available on the Mac platform too. Ready for the final NetBeans 6.8 release on December 1st, whose beta has already had a bunch of promising reviews for the new features, like zapping up the JavaFX code editing  and hinting niceties that Tor has often mentioned.

It's strange no-one suggested doing home launch parties for them. They can be such fun !

Friday Oct 02, 2009

How would you rate JavaFX ?

Don't bottle up any unexpressed opinions about JavaFX, take the survey.

Mixed in with the usual snoozeville multichoice questions about the kind of project you work on, you get to rate the current feature set and rank the importance of new features the team's working on: tooling, more controls, performance.

When was the last time you did anything anonymous on the internet so quick ?

Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

New JavaFX User Group

Java User Groups have a long history. As you can see, they have spread all over the world.

Some of them have turned into whole conferences !

And now there's a new (second, third ?)  JavaFX users group, just down the road from the Planetarium.

Monday Sep 28, 2009

Selling applications

Since the announcement of the Java Store at the last JavaOne, the team has been busy. The warehouse is really taking shape now, and the store front smells of new paint with its final redesign (thanks for the comments). There's a rumor that the cash registers may arrive real soon. And best of all, the shelves are fast filling up with the kind of assortment of games, facebook and twittery map style apps you come to expect from an app store (whether people actually come or not).

Stores are all the rage, because you can find what they you want.

Rather than being told at a creepy party.

Wednesday Sep 16, 2009

JavaFX Watch....on TV

Continuing in yesterday's vein, there's as much to say about JavaFX.

No doubt you saw the first real step towards JavaFX in your living room, with the announcement from Amino Communications to put JavaFX TV in its range of futuristic egg-shaped TV set-top boxes.

There's also been much talk of the new features in JavaFX 1.2, with a typically thoughtful and useful look at the new layout containers from Swing veteran Amy Fowler (and another tutorial here), and a neat feed reader from Jim Weaver here, and a nice blog on the RSS reader capabilities in JavaFX now here.

Since the UK's Guardian newspaper opened up all its news content to developers, there's a new JavaFX tag cloud navigator, accompanied by an interesting writeup of the creator's experiences with JavaFX and comparisons with Flash.

The JavaFX team pushed out a minor 1.2.1 update of the SDK and runtime, containing a number of bug fixes, new samples and performance improvements. Performance continues to be a strong driver for the next release, as you can see from Really Hip Smart Dude Richard Bair's 100,000 node blog.

Friday Aug 28, 2009

JavaFX Roundup

From this detailed article about the new mixin feature in the language that replaces the potentially slow multiple inheritence, to a episode three of a continuing series about a new MVC based framework for building form based applications in JavaFX, there's been lots to say about JavaFX in the last week or so.

A couple of new games zoomed into view. As have some deeper reviews of JavaFX technology from those who have actually rolled up their sleeves and used it. Leading perhaps, to a remarkably precient (yet incomplete!) prediction of what is to come in the next version.

Wednesday Aug 26, 2009

See you at Devoxx 09 ?

The Devoxx conference is something of a shapeshifter. One of the 'european JavaOnes', it grew out of the Belgian JUG, has undergone a number of name changes, and now has shifted up a month, starting this year on November 16th instead of its early December slot.

One thing has remained consistent though: its a well-attended conference with a lot of up to date and high quality technical content.

For anyone interested in JDK 7, or JavaFX you should hop online and get planning: many of the Sun engineers involved in those projects are already signed up to speak.

Thursday Aug 20, 2009

JavaFX: Widgets galore

If you feel like publicizing your programming prowess and you missed the JavaFX developer challenge, you should take a look at the WidgetFX contest.

WidgetFX is a container for desktop widgets written in JavaFX and is itself written all in JavaFX. And is already filling up with a number of useful widgets. From the obligatory clocks, calendars, post-it notes, to news readers, mailers, bookmark holders and twitter clients.

Or you might just like to put them all on your desktop.

Monday Aug 17, 2009

A question of JavaFX

Given that JavaFX has already evolved 'from trainwreck to good' in 9 months, isn't it time you made a reservation for a highly recommended JavaFX book or put an online JavaFX learning course on the menu ?

Wednesday Aug 12, 2009

JavaFX: A Musical Gathering

There's definitely an arc in the adoption of a new technology. From skepticism, to release, the odd stumble, to the evidence of more widespread experimentation, to the first commercial applications.

Indaba Music (from the Zulu indaba:  'gathering') is a collaborative music site, and debuts one of the first commerical applications of JavaFX: the Indaba music console. Currently in alpha, it gives Apple's GarageBand a run for its money, with the ability to lay down multiple music tracks, from prerecorded clips, to those of your own making, to those your friends gave you. Then the fun starts when you start applying musical effects to your composition, and exporting back to your friends.

The Planetarium marks the arrival what is a truly capable and polished online JavaFX media manipulation application, with a special composition which you can download here. (Vocals courtesy of the Janitor).

Tuesday Aug 11, 2009

Draggable applets: the remix

You almost certainly heard that you can drag an applet out of its web page, so long as the version of Java running it is current enough.

But did you know that you can change the applet as it's being dragged out, or put back in ? That you can change the appearance of the applet according to whether the version of Java running it supports the draggable feature ? That you don't have to have the users hold down the alt key to drag it out ?

If you didn't, check out this tech tip from

A blog all about Java in all its flavors on all client platforms from smartcards to desktops and everything inbetween.


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