Ask TSS: What was new and cool at Java One?


News: Ask TSS: What was new and cool at Java One?

  1. I am sure that a lot of people had more time to check out the sessions/exhibitors floor than I did, so here is your chance, tell us what you thought was interesting and cool from last weeks Java One? I personally got a kick out of Pramati's local interface support, and Object Frontier's implementation of a real entity bean distributed shared object cache.

    Not to mention those cool Nerf sling shot arrows that Sonic was giving out. I launched countless numbers of those across the show room floor. At the Middleware Company booth, large crouds drew in to play our 'The Weakest Reference' game, which drew in scores of people who tested their J2EE knowledge in-order to win a glass trophy.

    I also enjoyed seeing the 1000+ audience errupt in a roar of clapping and cheering after Ed Roman concluded that J2EE wins over .NET for Web Services support in his conference closing Friday afternoon session.

    So what did you think were the coolest demos/talks/giveaways/experiences?
  2. I think the award for 'coolest new idea for a technology' has to go to Halcyon. Quite simply, they allow you to run Microsoft.NET code on any platform. I actually saw a demo of running .NET code in Apache. Mind you, this is nowhere near complete .NET support, but it is a start.
  3. Halcyon people are very talented. Last time I checked out their product InstantASP at ApacheCON and was amazed by the fact that it lets ASP code run on apache without much effort. And Unlike Chilisoft, it lets you run vbscript code instead of perl's.
  4. Hey, speaking of "Weakest Reference" contest, my coworker Lawrence Bruhmuller won (with my over-the-shoulders help, of course..) When do we get to see the winners posted on this site? :-)

    I heard the best party thrown at JavaOne was Iona's... anyone attend? I was at Jillian's bar in the Metreon watching the Lakers getting pummeled while fending off hordes of rowdy 76'er fans...

    BEA Open House on Monday was pretty cool, giving us the opportunity to grill the developers. My apologies to the party throwers, for us three Kiko attendees must have drained half of their Coronas! :-)

    I was kind of disappointed at the lack of quality foosball tables at this years JavaOne, especially at the Argent. Is this the beginning of the decline of the Golden Era?

  5. The Iona party was definately over the top. Spinal Tap was hilarious. Although, I got the impression not everyone knew that they were trying to be funny. The B-52s put on a good show Thursday night too. As far as the sessions go, my favorites were Rapid Fire Wireless 101 (during lunch so sparse attendance), the design pattern and blue print/pet store sessions were good too. Especially the "a billion and two pets a day - scaling the pet store for performance".
  6. Did anyone see the Direct-to-Java client presentation by Apple on Friday?

    I saw it at WWDC 2 weeks ago and was blown away.

    You start with an Object-Relational Model file which maps
    Java classes to database tables and progress to a 3-tier
    applet/application without writing any code, just using a GUI assistant to edit/create a set of rules. The 'engine' uses the model and rules to create the SWING based UI at run-time. Once a UI is defined with model and rules you can then generate code (called 'freezing') for the applet and make source code modifications when the engine itself won't provide you with what you want.

    The same technology can be used to develop 'normal' web apps with HTML UI.

  7. I think that JBoss BOF was the coolest of them all.
  8. Was Rickard at that BoF? And I didn't know you were at JavaOne, Dimitri, or we could have hooked up! I think the coolest thing for me at this year's JavaOne was meeting face-to-face people who I've chatted extensively via theserverside, java listservers, newsgroups, etc... For example I met Rob, Cedric and Tyler from BEA at their open house, and Sean Neville after the session he gave on EJB Design Patterns.

    And I wasn't able to catch Floyd either, even though I stopped by The MiddleWare booth a couple of times (and cheered on as my coworker won The Weakest Reference contest! :-))

    Well, there's alway next year!
  9. Wow - I was at the BEA open house as well ;-)

    Anyway - I think that JavaOne outlived itself somehow and the BOFs are much more interesting than official conferences.
  10. 1) Yes, I was at the JBoss BOF with Rickard. We went out with Marc and had some drinks after that.

    2) Gene, Dimitri, you were both at the BEA Open House :-)

    3) Floyd has been very busy (mostly interviewing people ;-))
  11. I wrote a quick and soapbox like report on what I saw at JavaOne at

    I did see some interesting things but I'd like to take a counterpoint and talk about what was *missing*, for a change.

    For example, did anybody else notice how deserted the Palm synchronization cradles were, as opposed to the past two years where attendants were standing in line to synch their Palm?

    How about Jini? Hardly any mention. Oh but wait, it's changed name, it's called JXTA. I can't wait to see what name Bill will come up next year to try to sell his vision. He has so many of them, one of them is bound to happen some day, I just hope I'll still be alive to see it.

    Anything else?

  12. Yup, Thurday's keynote totally rocked. Larry Ellison sounded a bit like a voice from $19.95 TV mail-order commercial "But WAIT! If you order in the next 45 minutes we will double your order ABSOLYTELY FREE!!!"

    BEA WebServices demo is totally cool, but when I tried it at home, getting traffic reports in French were pretty much the only services which worked (from the list on xmethods) - most others didn't for one reason or another. Same is true for other vendors I guess - using MS SOAP toolkit I almost always have to use low-level API when talking to non-MS server from a C++ client.
  13. Coolest thing I saw in the daytime was the micro-server/micro-proxy talk - which was basically a guy serving web content from his (MIDP) mobile 'phone. After all the marketing-led talks it was just nice to see an actual programmer talking about actually doing cool stuff.

    Coolest thing I saw in the evening was Spinal Tap - being within 6 feet of Nigel was almost a religious experience for me (I also felt not enough people realised that they are satirists - though a damn fine band regardless). If enough of us make sure we recommend Iona products maybe they'll do it again next year ;-)

    Other cool things were a BOF about trust relationships in Jini (still an extremely interesting problem imho), a talk about the practicalities of doing SSL on MIDP devices (the guy used assembler for bits of it...hmmmm...I hope I'm not turning into a "real programming" bore...), a really cool talk about the future of the network, the Spanish Inquisition talk (almost the coolest talk of all, just pipped by the microproxies one for me).

    Lamest thing I saw in the daytime was probably the "Design patterns for J2EE" talk. Practically "...and that funny beige television on your desk is called a 'computer'". Needed to be either advertised as an introduction or to have something new/advanced in it.

    Lamest thing I saw in the evening was the lack of food availability at the B52s' venue!

    Other lame things were the fake "conversations" in the plenary sessions ("Say George do you have a slide with you that explains that" "Well funnily enough it just so happens that I do"); a whole plethora of talks that seemed to use precisely the same slides as each other and talk in vacuous generalities about The Future; and the Pavilion closing before I'd had a chance to talk to Sun (they were all round the edge, I was going to spend an hour or two on Friday talking to various of their groups...except it closed at 3 on Thursday...).
  14. Cool things:

    - headway's headwayreView visualization and analysis tool. Has a lot of potential to manage large project dependencies, metrics, etc. Also is a good tool to learn a codebase. I really liked this thing.

    - The best speakers of the entire conference, imho, were John Gage and Larry Ellison -- two opposite ends of the spectrum that show you can be a good speaker through both eloquence (Gage) or through hubris (Ellison).

    - Larry Ellison's keynote. Probably the most entertaining part of the conference, if you like a bit of blood & mud-slinging. I can't believe some people actually took offense to this speech -- the guy giving the 2 billion pets a day talk actually went so far to say he doesn't want to use Oracle anymore after that... I mean, grow some skin! We had 5 days of rather boring peace & love keynotes, and then Larry spiced things up. It was fun -- and it catapults Orion to the mainstream, showing that it really CAN compete with the big boys.

    - The release of BEA WL 6.1 beta. Once again, I'm in awe of the BEA engineering team's talent for time to market. You guys rule!

    - Pekka Ala-Pietilla's speech announcing Nokia's support for PersonalJava and J2ME. Over 100 million phones by 2003!

    Things that might be cool someday:

    - Bowstreet's parametric design products.

    - Open Cloud's Savanna fault-tolerant J2EE server

    Cool sessions:
    - The discount broker on a Palm for doing trades, charting, etc. for Credit Suisse. Very good discussion of how to get the times down for an SSL connection over a Palm (with an IR hookup to a GSM cellphone). They did some very pointed assembly code for the RSA and IDEA algorithms to bring the times down, but otherwise things were in Java (compiled natively using jPad).

    - Vlada Matena's session with Ericsson on the feasibility study on creating a highly available J2EE implementation for telcos. I gathered that some in the audience were angered that it was just UML, not a working prototype, but I have to admit that this was the most involved, advanced, and technically intriguing session I've ever seen at JavaOne. They're to be commended for their efforts (now it's time for someone to try :)

    - Some of the BOFs were very good, especially case study BOFs -- one from Bayshore technology doing an ecommerce site for Barclay's Bank, another on trusted transactions for J2ME devices, etc.

    Uncool things

    - Too many rudimentary web services sessions

    - Please, please, please, send all technical and keynote speakers to a coaching session on how to talk to a crowd! I really can't deal with 60-90 minutes of monotone speech with seemingly faked enthusiasm.

    - A few of the Q&A or "meet the team" BOF sessions really felt kind of uncomfortable or disjointed.. the questions weren't free flowing, there wasn't much of any kind of ice-breaking presentation, etc.

    - Most of the EJB / J2EE idioms and pattern sessions were very "folk-lore"-ish and somewhat shallow. A lot of it came down to "don't use entity beans, they're scary, just use stateless beans". On the other hand, the Core J2EE Patterns book guys (Alur/Crupi/Malks) at least embrace stateful session beans.

    - No beer at the BOFs!

    - I really felt bad for the guy who did the JAXB session. He didn't belong there, and basically self-destructed around 20 minutes into the presentation... It was too much detail too quickly, without any kind of voice modulation or visuals to explain the very verbose slides. Admitting that he had no idea what he was talking about sealed the fate of the session as people streamed for the doors....

    - BEA's video. What were they thinking??? It could have been so much better.

    - Lotus' booth looked rather lonely, don't you think?

    - IBM's lack of presence during the keynotes. Why didn't they do a platinum sponsorship this year? Too much rivalry with Sun?
  15. .. and the best part of JavaOne:

    The Friday BBQ in SJ with Ed & Floyd, and watching Floyd trying to find his wallet while drunk out of his mind!