Wednesdaymorning kicked off with another General Session, this time by Platinum sponsor Nokia. They talked about the new Mobile Service Architecture (MSA) launched by Nokia and Vodafone. MSA is about simplifying standards for mobile devices and bringing SOA to your mobile phone. At this time about 635 different models of Java enabled handsets are available. There are an approximated 23 million Java applications downloaded onto mobile phones every month! This market is really big! Nokia will be shipping the 3rd edition of their series 40 phones at the end of this year. Series 40 is their Java enables mass market offering, optimized for Java games with 3D and SVG support. Off all the Java phones that are available about 331 models support MIDP 1.0 and 173 support MIDP 2.0.
New stuff from the mobile market is also the ability to play multiplayer games called SWAP. This community enabled multiplayer gaming initiative is currently being piloted by NTT DoCoMo.
Nokia also introduces a new set of Eclipse IDE plugins to enable developers to create content for mobile phones more easily. IBM also got a few minutes of fame during the Nokia keynote by demonstrating their WebSphere Workplace Client Technology ME (WCTME). IBM talked about the power of mobile middleware available to the field force. They mentioned some of their products available for mobile development, like DB/2e, MQe and eSWT. Then something strange happened, Jon Bostrom from Sun demonstrates some mobile development with a rather spartan Eclipse toolset. Strange, because I have been looking at the new NetBeans Mobility pack and it is way more advanced in J2ME application development than the Eclipse tools demonstrated. Anyway, I guess this has to do with politics…
After the keynote Technical Sessions started as usual so I went to some sessions about JMX and of course: Interoperability. I witnessed Dino Chiesa from Microsoft hugging Eduardo Pellegri-Llopart from Sun, which is not a very rare sight in San Francisco, but this time I guess we can call it brotherly love between Microsoft and Sun. There were some really good interop sessions with experts from Sun, Microsoft and Oracle giving me some pointers to explore in future projects and courses. I also heard some rather interesting things being stated in a panel discussion with Dino and Eduardo in it: Dino said: “..all of those annotatations that we have in Visual Studio for rapid development of web services are actually a very bad practice…“ I couldn’t agree more! Now I only hope all other vendors including those on the JCP are listening because we are seeing all this annotation stuff popping up in Java too, nowadays. Annotations are evil! They might seem to gain much productivity because you have to write less code, but they also encourage people to stay ignorant about the technology under the covers, leading to e.g. bad interoperability practices.
I also went to see a session on Project Looking Glass 3D. This is a very cool research project about exploring 3D user interfaces. Since they have made it open source, everybody is able to contribute and this led to some very interesting applications being demonstrated. Second part of the talk really sucked, because they had the original creator of Looking Glass explaining to the audience how to code applications for it, but they forgot to check whether he was able to speak decent English, which apparantly…he did not. My Japanese got much better though :o)
Picked up a copy of all the hands-on labs in my rush through the hallway on my way to the pavilion for my daily treasure hunt :o) Got some nice things!
After that, I attended a presentation on the Eclipse Web Tools Project by BEA and the final session of the day was another keynote, this time by platinum sponsor IBM. Robert LeBlanc, General Manager for WebSphere, talked about IBM’s efforts with Java. All in all a little too much targeted at executives and not really interesting for the majority of the developer crowd. The only demo in it was about RoboCode and Aspect Oriented Programming, which was a bit misplaced. Maybe it was the late hour, or the lack of cafeine, but I couldn’t figure out where this demo fitted the talk. Anyway it was entertaining to watch. Robert talked a little about Eclipse, which has had over 39 million downloads so far with an approximate 880.000 developers worldwide. IBM also announced that they will officially support Apache Geronimo as a lightweight application server alternative for WebSphere. IBM will be an active contributor to the Geronimo project and as part of that they will donate several Eclipse plugins to speed up J2EE development. LeBlanc concluded stressing the importance of SOA and the integration challenges that we are facing today. He announced a partnership with 56 leading enterprise application vendors called OpenSOA. Funny things I noticed was that during his talk LeBlanc mentioned several times “our friends at BEA“ and “IBM allowed others to take the lead in JSRs“. Another example of how the political foodchain works ;o)
After a day of hard work came the JavaOne Afterdark Bash. The bash started off with the all-female Led Zeppelin cover band Zepperella, followed by a blazingly sharp comedic take on things by former Saturday Night Live correspondent Dennis Miller. His performance was awesome! Final event of the evening was a heavy rock and roll experience called Camp Freddy. This band featured members of famous rockbands like The Cult, Sex Pistols, Incubus and Jane’s Addiction. They brought along some special guests including Gina Gershon, you might know her from the movie ‘Showgirls’. A fantastic rock and roll show to celebrate 10 years of Java!