Thursday, May 10, 2007

JavaOne 2007 Keynote - Motorola

I've decided to skip watching the keynote form the main hall and instead sit on a comfy bean bag chair with my laptop plugged into an outlet in the North Hall. This is really the way to go, unless of course the presenter starts chucking free Moto cellphones into the audience. John Gage up again. He's reviewing Motorola's commitment to Java. Moto has shipped Java in all of their phones since the early days. (Rolling a video from Motorola emphasizing how mobile device are part, a big part, of the internet.) Padmasree Warrior is up from Motorola. Platform Disturbia is the theme. How do we get a compelling experience on the mobile platform when it is so fragmented, flat, and distributed? The platform has to deliver a compelling user experience not just a user interface. The interface must be an experience not just an mechanical interface to services and information. What are the challenges? Fragmentation - in programing environments, formats, networks. Feature Overload - features ( mp3, cameras, sms ) are all packed into phones but they aren't well integrated and they are there all the time. Monolithic - need to think about developing apps in a different mode where everything is in the app. Need to think aobut sharing functionality between apps (paraphrasing heavily here) Broadband is a must have in the mobile space. Phones are the only mode of access in most countries in the world. This is the platform for emerging countries. Users want to take the path of least resistance. If they use their mobile for some tasks they want it for all tasks. They always want more. Wimax is a Motorola "big bet". Wimax deployments in Macedonia have pushed broadband adoption from 3% to 40%. In countries with 3G, Wimax adoption will be slower than in those that don't currently have large 3G deployment. Interesting stats: 4 people born every second, 32 mobile phones sold every second. China and India add 6 million mobile phone subscribers every month. User expectations - want to get what we want, when we want it, where we want it. We also want it personalized. Users also want o socialize via mobile. (the secret of Twitter's success.) App developers need to think differently in this new mobile space. Must think about where functionality resides. On handset, server, internet. Must think about the overall experience. Mark Vandenberk is now up on stage. Java is a key part of Moto's strategy for providing mobile apps. They are looking at ways to increase the layers of abstraction between the apps and the devices. Looking at ways to define visual interfaces so that without code changes the interface can change to fit the device. So a typical menu working like a list of text labels to a list of icons. (not much of a demo) Enrique Oritiz and Ajit jaokar are now up on stage to do a bit of a debate/discussion on mobile web 2.0. (Not much of a debate or discussion.) Christy Syatt is up now to talk about the developer community. Lots of new users open up more services (healthcare, education, etc.) that will need to get to the mobile platform. The super connected (US mobile users?)are going to want more enterprise connectivity and entertainment. The hyper connected (our kids) are going to want it all. Again platform fragmentation is a problem. To solve this Linux and Java are key to solving this problem for Motorola. Moto is dedicated to keep this all open and keep the Linux platform for mobile consistent. Using Eclipse as an IDE for all of this work. 650% growth in the MotoDev developer network. Highlighting Myspace's Java client and Shazam (music identification service. cool. record a clip and it will identify the song). Moto is very open to developers. Kind of the opposite from what we know about the Apple iPhone, sadly. That's a wrap. Off to sessions.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Day Two JavaOne Keynote

It's Oracle's turn today. Thomas Kurian, SVP for Oracle Server Technologies, is taking the stage. Kurian listed Four main technologies trends Java EE 5, SOA, Web 2.0, and grid computing. Oracle is working around all of these trends to build new products. Their JSF components also include Flash rendering of interface components with little programming. From Java EE 5, Oracle is leveraging JSF, EJB3 and JPA (including JSR-227 binding) to build apps that can run anywhere. Much of what Oracle has done in the java EE 5 space, especially around persistence have been donated to the EclipseLink project. The demo for this technology is a video store web app. Nice simple demo showing normal web functionality including some flash rendering. They dropped into J Developer 10g (preview) to add drag and drop. They've deployed a JSF app on a windows mobile device. Their system compiles the JSF code down to native widgets. The new Rich Components in the app have been donated to ASF and open sourced. Second demo is showing off WebCenter and how their portal integrates with other internet services. Showed integration of a message board with VoIP and calling message board posters right from the web page. They also showed off some community features within WebCenter. Nice demo but I wonder what the cost to deploy their portal is compared to other alternatives. The SOA components are build on top of Service Component Architecture (SCA, competes with JBI). It leverages spring to wire service consumers and services. The foundation is an ESB. BPEL engine plugs into the ESB, the BPEL processing the order calls a bunch of web services to fulfill the orders. They have another component called the CEP (complex event processing) which collects and correlate different events from all components to pass back metrics or exception data to a dashboard or other components like a work list manager for fraud detection resolution. The design time tools look good. Oracle's app server is now Java EE 5 compatible. They are also announcing a partnership with Interface21 to integrate Spring into their app server. They are announcing the purchase of Tangosol for distributed object caching. They want to use this as a foundation of building grids for compute and storage. Cameron Purdy is now showing of how the datagrid works. The application is a dynamic pricing app. It analyzes demand and adjusts pricing in real time across multiple servers. He's added and removed compute nodes to and from the application. The app just keeps working and load balances across the nodes. Cool keynote but most of this stuff can only be run on Oracle platforms. Still they have donated a lot of technology to many projects.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

JavaFX and Groovy

When I heard the announcement in the Keynote I had this sinking feeling in the back of my mind why not Groovy? In fact after looking at the JavaFX Script demo in the pavilion the code looks just like Groovy's builders. Very interesting. In the keynote Rich Green explained JavaFX Script as "unexpected" innovation but in a lot of ways it points to Sun's myopia of what is going on in the community. This is not a slam on Java FX. I'm sure it will be interesting technology if Sun promotes and supports it properly. Granted the community is large and there are so many things going on that it's hard to keep track of everything but Sun really should have taken a look at Groovy builders and tried to reuse it in Java SE somehow. That has implications beyond providing a simple interface to Java 2D but has wider impact on areas such as markup parsing and generation which are pretty awful in standard Java. We'll see. Hopefully this doesn't feed the JRuby vs Groovy trolls. I think the best way to look at it is that the Groovy approach is validated every time Sun makes a dynamic language move. Update -- Interesting snippet from the JavaFX FAQ (https://openjfx.dev.java.net/JavaFX_FAQ.html#Why_not_Groovy.3F): "Groovy and other languages have two specific traits which don't precisely meet these needs, namely that they are generic in nature and don't provide the appropriate abstractions necessary to optimize the UI design process and similarly are designed specifically for programmers other than content authors." That's pretty lame if you ask me.

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JavaONE 2007 Keynote

Big screens! The first keynote of JavaONE and the main hall is HUGE!. This event is certainly bigger than the one I attended in 2005. The dj, DJ Anon (http://www.anon-music.com), was cutting out some pretty cool beats as everyone filed in to hear the kickoff speaches. John Gage is warming up the crowd for Rich Green. He's quoting John Markoff who wrote today that the conference is about internet connected, multi-function devices. He's showing off two devices: the first is the Savage/J phone (they are out of business now but I think Sun bought their technology). The second device is a Solio (sp?) a portable set of solar panels to generate power. (It doesn't run Java yet but Gage says it will.) Gage wants us to forget that for the next 81 hours of sessions, we are no longer Americans, or Brits, or Norwegians. He wants us to behave like Brazilians (big cheers from the Brazilian contingent). Basically, be friendly, talk to you colleagues (the ones you don't know yet), and have fun. Gage said they wanted to make JavaONE carbon neutral. It's not this year. They don't know how to do it yet but the need help trying to find out how to measure all the waste output, etc. They are going to try to refine the accounting system to allow for a true cost carbon offset ($100 at ton). They hope that JavaONE 2008 will be carbon neutral. Next up is a cool montage video that illustrates the themes of the participation age. The video is set to OK Go's "Here it Goes Again". The video is pretty moving in a geeky sort of way. Rich Green is on now, talking about community and communication." Humans don't want to communicate, they have to.." He has some big announcements today. Rich has words of praise for Java EE and Glassfish. Using Glassfish as server side technology is a well known pattern but now there are going to be some new areas. Martin Harriman of Ericsson. They are going to open source some of Ericsson's multi-media communications technology (Multi-Media IMS now called Sun Java System Communications Application Server) it's going to be folded into Glassfish. To talk about Real Time Java, Green brought up , Anna Ewing CIO of NASDAQ. They are running trading technology on Java. Not very specific as there are many systems that run the exchange and I know not all of them run Java. NASDAQ is currently prototyping their next-gen trading systems using real-time Java. Tom Hallman, VP of Production Ops for Sony Pictures, is now up talking about Blue Ray and Java integration (BB J). Should allow the studios to get out of just playback mode. New Spider Man disk will be up-dateable for new content in a Blue Ray player. Showing a demo from a "Open Season" disc. Showing some eye candy mostly in the menu screens all powered by Java code. Another announcement Open JDK is now released including some steps to releasing the the TCKs. I'm not sure if this solves the platform exclusion being sought by the ASF. I guess this means all the third-party license code is now out of the JDK. He's posting this email live. The governance committee is in place as well. Customers want faster Java. Newer releases of JSE 6 will be done to address download and execution speed. Wouldn't it be cool if you could take Java and add a new layer of focus that would center around consumers, media, etc. JavaFX is a set of technologies for consumer facing experiences. First component is a new language called Java FX script (wow) for rich internet languages, designed for content professionals. Gosling is going to do some kind of demo with Chris Oliver the inventor of the language. They are showing two demos of some static web sites with lots of 2D effects. It apparently uses Java 2D and JavaFX. Chris brought in the code in an editor and modified a widget and in real time the widget updated in the preview. Pretty neat. Not sure it's earth shaking just yet. It seems to compile into byte code and run on unmodified JVMs. Is this Java's answer to Flash? JavaFX mobile is the extension of JavaFX into mobile devices. It is JavaSE plus mobile phone technology (this must be the stuff they bought from Savage/J). Looks like a Java competitor to the Apple Phone and OS X running on mobile devices. It will run JavaFX script. Looks like the phone demo crashed. All hail the gods of demo! Rich is introducing, Marco Boerries from Yahoo!. They have been working on Yahoo! Go which connects all the Yahoo! users via mobile devices. Use the net as a backbone to create a platform for services. Pretty cool. Not sure if it was available. (Argh, My laptop battery died midway through the keynote. Forgot to optimize my power management. I've lost the rest so I'll try to summarize.) Rich Green brought up Jonathan who in turn brought up someone from the UN. Sun sponsored an event at the UN to bring young people from all countries to the UN to discuss how to better the lives of everyone in the world throuh sport. It was pretty encouraging and the speaker, whose name I missed, was pretty energetic. The most exciting thing Jonathan mentioned is he's interested in creating an organization like Doctors without Borders for technology. He should talk to the folks at GeekCorps. I think they've been doing this for a while. That wraps up the Tuesday keynote. I'm going to try to blog the rest of them all the way through by posting updates while the keynote happens. I'll have to make sure I tweak my battery settings though and I'll have to use the wi-fi interface as my evdo card just pulls too much juice out of the laptop.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

JavaONE 2007

I'm out at JavaONE 2007 all week. I'm looking forward to a great conference packed to the gills with technical sessions and information. This year I'm lucky enough to afford to bring out more of my team from HCM to the conference. I'm anticipating this is going to be a great experience for the whole group. CommunityONE, the warm up act for the main event, looked like a good prep. Originally cast as Netbeans Day, it quickly grew into a showcase for Sun's open source efforts. We didn't make it in until mid-day so we missed most of the morning sessions but we did get to sit in on some of the afternoon events. I was able to catch two sessions on Glassfish. The first was about the partner community that has sprung up around this promising open source application server. There were representatives from Genuitec, Caucho, Interface21, and Terracotta. Terracotta had the most interesting presentation. They showed some actual running code using their distributed shared object technology. I'm attending another presentation by them later in the week. Looking forward to it. The second presentation was a preview of Glassfish V3. I was blown away. They have implemented a JSR-277-like module system for Glassfish that allows the container to dynamically load services at runtime. The server starts up with a 100K jar file and then each component (http, ruby, web app container) all load dynamically including dependencies. Very impressive. We need this kind of functionality in the Java world. JSR-277 is targeted to Java 7. I'm not sure we can wait.

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