The Wednesday morning General Session is by Oracle. Oracle did a good show, you got to give ’em that. The story is rather convincing, but wait ’till you get to work with their software in real life. At least that is my personal opinion, but I encourage you to find out for yourself. Oracle had a few interesting announcements concerning the donation of Toplink Essentials to the Glassfish Open Source project and some improvements to another Open Source project, called Dali, a plug-in for Eclipse to help out with the new Java Persistence API. It seems that after a little hesitation Oracle is now also big into Open Source donation, which is a good thing.
AJAX is probably the most popular topic at the conference this year. Java EE and SOA related talks are very popular too. I intend to attend them all.
JavaOne is already taking its toll on some attendees. I’ve been sitting next to people that fell asleep, were fiercly slamming their laptop covers because they couldn’t get a wireless connection, and people that were literally breathing alcohol 😉 Nope…not me…
In one of the sessions I got an indepth view into the new Java Petstore 2.0 application. You must definitely check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. It shows off some neat stuff with Java and AJAX. While you’re checking out the new Petstore, take a look at some of the new blueprints stuff as well. There are blueprints for Java EE 5 and AJAX available from java.net.
I’ve also been to several talks on SCA, the Service Component Architecture initiative some vendors have been working on. Its mainly a vendor thing, with BEA, IBM, Oracle, SAP involved apart from any standards body. The confusing this is that I can’t really tell whether this is a good or a bad thing. There is no link to JBI for example and some important vendors are left out, which is a shame. I do have the feeling that it will become important, so I encourage you to do some Google research on it.
Then….the moment we’ve all been waiting for…Q&A with James Gosling! We got this unique possibility because our JUG, the NL-JUG registered the most visitors to the conference (as JUG members). Great! So we gathered with approximately 30 – 40 Dutch people and had a nice interviewing session with James. At first everybody was simply breathless, hanging on to every word the man said. There was a lot of respect in that room, you could tell 🙂 After a while people got a grip on themselves and asked James some questions. James talked about his favorite topics like real-time Java and how diificult it was in the early days. He also gave us some free tips for the slotcar racing compo. Ofcourse we had to talk about open sourcing Java. James did a quick poll on who of the attendees would like the idea of open sourcing Java. About three people raised their hands. I wasn’t one of them. Actually, I see no difference in opening up Java even more than how open it is already. The source is already available, it’s evolution goes through the JCP, so what else can you get from open sourcing Java, except for a lot of trouble? James was expressing exactly the same opinion. I asked James about some of the plans for Java 7 (Dolphin), especially about adding XML literals to the language. In my opinion, features like this are making a Christmas tree out of the Java language while it has been lean and mean for so many years now. James agreed to a certain extend. He gave me a personal call to action to join the JCP as should all people that have strong opinions on where Java should be heading. I told James that I will think about it, but meanwhile I will keep on dreaming that XML can be considered legacy by the year of 2008, so it won’t show up in Dolphin anyway. James shared that dream 🙂 The Q&A continued with questions about java.util.Date and Calendar, backwards compatibility, operator overloading and deprecation. Very nice! Finally there were a lot of pictures taken and ofcourse James had to sign some stuff. All in all a priceless experience!
On my way back out of the James Gosling session I ran into a couple of Brazilians. One of them introduced himself as Bruno Sauza, the Brazilian JUG (SouJava) leader. They showed me an exclusive preview of a video they were running with the Java celebs around a theme that ‘kicks you in tha face’. Can’t tell you anything yet, but it was very funny and will probably be shown at the Friday keynote.
In the afternoon I attended sessions about the new Java Blueprints for Java EE and AJAX, Struts Ti, and the SOA Programming model around SCA. The afternoon keynote was by BEA and they opened up the show with a very slick video on liquid computing. The BEA talk itself was a bit strange. First, Patrick Linskey did most of the talk. And as much as he is a great persistence guy, his keynote appearance wasn’t very good. He talked too fast and jumped from one topic into the other. The whole presentation also gave me the idea that BEA is moving away from being a pure Java player. The announcements they made were about Spring here, Spring there, Spring everywhere and about PHP support in their BEA Workshop, which seems like a great tool at first glance though. Why is BEA milking the Spring? Personally, I dislike the Spring Framework. Not bad by nature, but way overhyped. BEA is now only adding to this hype. The BEA session rounded up with some calls to action. One was to learn a new language. Hmmm…I think I pick Spanish 😉 Tomorrow I will be meeting up with Eric Stahl from BEA, so I’ll definitely ask him about my concerns.
As the afternoon sessions came to an end it was party time again. I went to the JBoss and Sun Developer Network parties which were both great fun. I met lots of interesting people and made some great new friends at the parties. Its also fun to see that the famous and respected techno celebs are just people too as you see them having fun, or having too many beers 😉 I joined a couple of Dutch guys from the NL-JUG delegation that attends JavaOne and we hang out together. We took all kinds of pictures, some with celebs, some not for viewers off all ages 😉 A lot of them are not on my camera, so you’ll have to wait till I get them. Or probably I don’t want to show ’em at all. Most hilarious picture of the evening will probably be the one of Gavin King’s sneakers 😉 We talked a while to Gavin and fell in love with his sneakers. As he was proud of them too, he had no problem showing them off for the camera. After a wild night of partying its now time to get to bed in order to get barely enough sleep for day 3. This must be an Agile approach 😉 See you tomorrow.