JavaOne 2012 Report 3 Analysis & Conclusions
This year’s conference, in my opinion, was the best that Oracle have produced in the three years that it has taken over the stewardship of Java. It was great for technical content. The positives were that similar sessions were arranged to be close together in the same hotel, in other words tracks were co-located. This was markedly better than 2010, when I remember rushing from building to building to get some particular session.
Oracle chose to give only 40% of the technical session to its own employees. The result was that we the happy consumer could choose a lot more sessions, however sometimes quantity is rather not quite a good as quality. I share Adam Bien‘s observation that perhaps this was tad too restrictive and Oracle were a bit hard on themselves. The quality of the engineers, designers and architects on Oracle side is really good and usually the Oracle teams have internal know-how for the rest of us, which we need to know, as they are working on critical future projects to do with any of the Java edition, SE, EE and ME. I would also want this percentage to 50% Oracle and 50% external speakers. Compare this percentage against the other tech conferences such Apple’s WWDC and Google’s I/O, which have good company speakers. I should throw in there were no marketing talks that I can bear witness to, which is fantastic.
I can only speak of the JavaFX, Rich Media track in conference, as a program reviewer, the technical content was great. I suspect that for the other tracks, Core Java, Java EE and Cool Stuff and other tracks, the reviewers in those areas, were equally transparent, ethical about what they thought and chose as a decent material for JavaOne. In my opinion, this a conference for the people and by the people, and they deserve to have the investment in flights [expensive], hotels [really expensive] and energy and time [priceless] returned in the greater measure of satisfaction. The sum of outputs has to greater than the sum of inputs for JavaOne to really work.
In terms of the people who did turn up to JavaOne, I felt that this was landmark year, were not only I, but other Java Champions (Frank Greco, New York Java User Group), noticed that there were lot of young Java developers out and around. When I say young, I also qualify it that to not only youthful, but also including new inexperienced oldies too. This is good thing for the increasing talent in the global community of Java engineering. We will always need good engineers, who are enthusiastic about learning the Java platform. The influx of the new was so peculiar that many failed to notice and recognise the Father of Java, walking around the Hilton San Francisco, on Wednesday 3rd October.
In fact, I thought I had seen James Gosling too, from about 75 yards away, in profile only, just momentarily, and I dismissed it as a figment of my imagination. I was pleasantly surprised and amazed when James Gosling came up on stage on the Thursday community key note. We should have all guessed, because his face was featured on the September 2012, digital edition of the Java Magazine. James Gosling came up to the stage and talked about the Liquid Robotics software, waves, low-level level volume, guaranteed 100% data storage on Glassfish servers, and cloud services he had developed over the last year or so. James Gosling said that he reviewed many cloud computing offerings for a possible PaaS solution, and in the end, explained why he chose JElastic. He chose this PaaS solution, because it supports GlassFish, virtualisation, scaling up-and down and clustering on demand.
Bruno Souza immediately stepped in to help with the tee-shirt throwing. He gave James Gosling the tee-shirts that he had collected to take back to folk in Brazil. We should make tee-shirt throwing a proper feature of the next JavaOne, especially if James Gosling is back.
Stephen Chin became the new Program Chairperson for JavaOne 2013 and Beyond. I believe that I already mentioned how amazing this was. JavaOne now has a really fantastic community-aware person. I have every confidence that the level of the technical sessions will remain at the high standard, and I can even see that those sessions will improve.
Martijn Verburg also did a very good job explaining the Adopt-a-JSR project at the keynote. It seems like a laudable approach to get Java engineers outside of Oracle and in the wider community to help implement some of the standards.
Call For Improvements
Where there any sore points? Yes there were some that I observed.
As an oldie, I can remember the great JavaOne conferences of 2005 and 2007 at the Moscone Center. In particular, the mega humongous party to celebrate Java’s tenth birthday in 2005, which was my second time at JavaOne ever. We only need to get JavaOne back to Moscone Center or the West, which probably is not going to happen.
On the JavaOne home page, the most important tools, Schedule Builder and Content Catalogue were located in the Fat Footer. These tools needs to the above-the-fold. Please explain these web design principals to the principal web site designer. The content catalogue should also show the speakers, the full name. Many talks are attractive because of the speaker who is delivering them, for example Mark Reinhold for Jigsaw, Brian Goetz for Lamda in JDK 8 and Martin Odersky for upcoming Scala 2.10 features.
The speaker room is tiny, in the Hilton San Francisco, consequently I spent very little time in it, except to grab coffee to get the endorphins charged up. Were there speaker preparation rooms available in the other hotels, Parc 55 and Nikko? I did not check when I was there. This would be important if the track you are presenting, e.g Mobile or Java ME was co-located in the other hotels. Also I thought they could have supplied some more edibles, sandwiches or more snacks.
Oracle were really lucky with the weather this year, because the open area, Buzz Cafe, sponsored by IBM was a pleasant space for the odd tipple of beer, roasted coffee and to get some air. What if it had rained?
The Duke’s awards, this year, were held in the Buzz Cafe and open area. It should have been part of an official keynote. The winners deserved the entire group of attendees to be there, to bear witness, in order to respectfully receive such prestigious and rare awards. In fact, we could have one additional keynote session, may be Oracle can claim some of that 10% time back that they gave up. We need to dedicate a morning or afternoon keynote to this achievement ceremony, especially, now we have such a glut of young developers attending JavaOne for the first time.
Some technical sessions were poorly attended I thought. I am quite sure on Wednesday in one of the Imperial Ballrooms A or B, and not in my session, there were only 6 to 10 people watching a speaker talk. We have to do a little better in talk selection, and attracting some good speakers to JavaOne. I think that the cost of JavaOne may be the main prohibitor. I would like to see a much longer lead-time for this, say by a couple of months, so that speakers can take advantage of the earliest flights and hotel deals possible. I would also like to hear from the developer community and what you think are good ideas for JavaOne 2013, so that if I am involved as one of the program reviewers again for JavaFX, Rich media tracks, that I am serving the best interests.
Future of the Java
The future of Java is basically in your own hands. From my perspective, it is good see that Java is growing and there is still interest in advancing the entire platform forward. The key brands to look out for me are JavaFX 8, Java EE 7 and of course the growing adoption of Scala in the workplace.
Oracle produced some figures, graphs and statistics showing that businesses are adopting Java SE 7 since it was released earlier last year [28 July 2011], people have switched over, and that Java SE 6 is on the wane. Henrik Stahl, senior director of product management at Oracle, posted a blog entry mention the statistics from Jelastic, quoted adoption was 79%, which matches their internal indicators. This can be positive for the possible adoption of Java SE 8, which will have lambda functions and more functional programming concepts. It is taking a long time to change, but I believe we are getting there with the Mother Language, as the other alternative JVM languages remain attractive for those businesses and developer willing to get more productivity and not be left behind hind with legacy application and infrastructure. I want to personally see job advertisements changing from “Scala, JRuby, or Groovy are high desirable” into “Scala, JRuby, or Groovy are desired”.
A clear break for user interface development on client Java is called for, concerning JavaFX and new media APIs. There are many people who depend on Swing, SWT, Adobe Flash / Flex and even Microsoft SilverLight for their UI. I will leave out the businesses that have already decided that Web platform and HTML5 are only UI for their products. JavaFX represents a sea change for Flash and SilverLight, it means that once again, you can build the entire application, client and server side, from metal to UX nuts using Java, if you so want to architect that way. This is fantastic if you are starting in mythical world of greenfield, development which every recruiter will try to sell to you that their client is offering, and we know in reality is that it never is, quite, the case. The bath water is the Swing framework from 1998, because the API was built with immediate graphics and rendering, and the babies are the application built squarely on Swing that the business is using now. It is going to be frightfully hard to do, cruel even, some poor architect will have to come to the conclusion, JavaFX and some sort scene-graph is the new path. There is no such thing as dirty job done cheap, but hey somebody has to inform the business that the UI code and application is in serious danger of becoming out dated. A transition from the old UI world to new is called for. Those young developers from JavaOne walking the floor, enjoying the demonstrations, FX and taking it all in, the 3D and rich media, including my very own video fracture demo that I repeated again, I really envy the sort of exciting applications that those fertile uncontaminated imaginations are going to create in the next few years or so.
The new idea is no longer the Java Applet that runs inside a web browser. The Java Plugin is history and Java Web Start is error prone and broken. Instead of deploying an application with an Applet or Plugin, you will be deploying your business application, the UX part of it, in the future to an application store. The application store may be a commercial one or might be a private implementation solely for the use of your employees and staff inside the big corporation. Getting JavaFX and Java to work in the forthcoming Microsoft Application Store must be a given, because it represents a clear competitive advantage to Microsoft in its battle with Google and Apple, when Java applications can be distributed by Windows Store. Modularisation of Java is going to be crucial as are Mark Rheinhold’s architectural idea about offering a series SE profiles, of ever increasing usefulness and package, until Jigsaw and Java 9 is here.
Will these young developers be willing to apply for Swing application developer job writing Java SE 6 in 2015 for some investment bank in the city, the financial district, the extreme majority, quite absolutely not? I could be even more crueler, but I think I will stop now and put the chalk down.
In no particular order, whatsoever:
- Mark Stephens, IDR Solutions
- Betrand Goetzman, Consultant et Développer Web 2.0
- Valérie Hillaware, iText PDF
- Hans Docktor, CEO, Gradleware
- Peter Walker, COO, Gradleware
- Sidney Allen, StackMob
- Peter Van de Voorder, RealDolmen
- Dr. Olaf Grebner, Unternehmer
- Gerritt Grunwald, Canoo
- Ix-chel Ruiz and Andres Almiray, Canoo
- Arvinder Brah, Navis
- Dierk Koenig, Canoo
- Wolfgang Wiegend, Oracle, Sales Consultant Fusion Middleware
- Branko Mihaljevic, Hujak, Croatian Java User Association
- Matija Tomaskovic, Evolva, Croatia
- Fried Saacke, President of the Germany Association of Java User Groups
- Frank Greco, New York User Group, USA
- Cecilia Borg, Senior Manager, Engineering, Oracle
- Arun Gupta, Glassfish, Oracle
- Simon Ritter, Java Evangelist, Oracle
- Jim Weaver, JavaFX Evangelist, Oracle
- Yara Senger, SouJava, Brazil
- Bruno Souza, SouJava, Brazik
- Todd Castello, countless JavaPosse Round-Ups
- Mark Heckler, Oracle
- Sharat Chandler, Principal Productor Director and ex-JavaOne Program Chairperson, Oracle
- Stephen Chin, new JavaOne Program Chairperson, Oracle
- Ed Burns, Specification Lead for JSF, Java EE 7, Oracle
- James Ward, Heroku
- Jonathan Giles, JavaFX SDK team,Oracle
- Michael Heinrichs, JavaFX SDK team, Oracle
- John Yeary, Greenville JUG
- Victor Klang, Typesafe
- Fred Simon, Artifactory, JFrog
- Shlomi Ben Haim, JFrog
- Jasper Potts, JavaFX, Oracle
- Richard Bair, JavaFX, Oracle
- Carl Dea, Software Engineer, Author
- Cameron Purdy, VP Product Development, Oracle
- Nandini Ramani, VP Product Development, Oracle
- Gail and Paul Anderson, Book Authors
- Paul Deitel, Book Author
- Peter van de Voorde, RealDomen
- George Saab, VP Java Platform Development, Oracle
- Csaba Toth, my regular JavaFX talk attendee
- Adam Bien, Java EE book author, rock star and Java EE 6 consultant
- Brian Goetz, Lambdas in Java 8, Oracle
- Anton Epple, Netbeans
- Mark Reinhold, JDK Architect, Jigsaw in Java 9, Oracle
- Luc Duponeel, ScalaFX committer, get that code generation in there please
- Martijn Verburg, Adopt-a-JSR, London Java Community
- Danno Ferrin, Groovy, OpenJFX Hacker
- Mike Lehmann, Senior Director, Java EE, Oracle
- Ryan Cuprak, Enginuity
- Tori Wieldt, Oracle
- Mattius Karlson, Swedish JUG, JFokus
- Stefan Janssen, Devoxx, Belgium JUG
- Dick Wall, JavaPosse
- Van Riper, Google
- Carl Quinn, JavaPosse
- Kevin Nilson, Java Champion
- Kirk Pepeerdine, Performance Tuning Expert, Java Champion
- Heinz Kabutz, Java Language Expert, Java Champion
- Jevgeni Kabanov, ZeroTunraround
- Geetjan Wielenga, NetBeans Dream Team
- Roger Brinkley, Java Spotlight Podcast, Oracle
- Stephen Colebourne, Java Champion
- Nichole Scott, Oracle
- Regina Ten Bruggencate, Java Champion, JDuchess
- Henrik Stahl, Oracle
Apologies, if I left you out. See you next year, San Francisco, Sunday 22 – Thursday 26, September 2013.
Java Client side desktop lunch with Jasper Potts [L], Richard Bair [R] is looking directly at Stephin Chin in the background, sitting to next Richard Bair with his right hand touching his left hand and watch is Sven Reimers