Thursday, December 13, 2007

JavaPolis 2007 - Day 4

So on with day 4 of the JavaPolis. First thing is that you are starting to feel worn out. But this is ok - there is a price to pay for all this fun we are having. So even being maybe a bit tired we managed to get up early enough to get to the Metropolis in time for a good breakfast (seems I am starting to repeat myself, but it is quite astonishing even on day 4) and got into the keynote session - no need using the overflow room. Before the keynotes started the traditional JavaPolis Family Photo was taken - with all in the JavaPolis T-Shirt - but we have to wait for the result.

So the first keynote was about Flex. It was presented by Bruce Eckel with a lot of help from his friends from Adobe. It contained some definitive pretty slick UIs, but nothing that couldn't be done in java as well. The availability of the AMF remote protocol was announced, but there is nothing quite special about a binary remote protocol - I think we all have used one before. But you have to give them credit - the overall experience was quite amazing. Fitting in with this Stephan Janssen demoed the new version 2 - awesome UI (written in Flex), nice features and the best is you can use it offline and download all the Java talks to your local harddisk and play them from there. But describing the UI is not very useful - register for beta testing and see for yourself, if you are interested. The last keynote was done by Tim Cramer (VP Java FX Development at SUN) and was mainly focused on the Java FX product family and espceially the JavaFX Mobile Application Stack. It is a really interesting way to approach the cross device size problem - see for yourself by trying the different things out (all open).

The Java SE Update by Danny Coward had all the details on what is actually on the list of possible changes for Java SE 7 (and what is not - maybe). For details you can also visit his blog. Some interesting things seem to be coming and some language changes are also to expected (backwards compatible) but there is no decision what precise will be chosen. This directly takes me to the next talk from Josh Bloch - The Closures Controversy. Originally he planned to speak about Effective Java Reloaded - but he promised that he will directly start the work on the book when he gets home and will have it available printed and bound for Java One 2008. Instead of presenting about his new upcoming book he instead had a brand new talk with him about the benefits and risks of closures as actually proposed in BGGA specification (see yesterdays post).His main objections are that a adding closures and function types would add a new dimension of complexity to the Java language that are completely against the Feel of Java (as originally proposed by James Gosling in 1997). Indeed it is a quite scary syntax with a lot of fine tuning necessary how it should in deed work. Additionally there is additional overhead put to the developer until he can use this feature in a correct and concise way. So what is the point of introducing closures in such way? Just google it, go to Neal's blog and find out for yourself. So no conclusion on this - time will tell.

After this brain twisting presentation a quite fun event was up: The JavaPosse - Live Recording from the JavaPolis with Dick Wall, Carl Quinn

and Joe Nuxoll and Tor Norbye - the latter two were just available on-line ;-)

A lot of interesting things were discussed and at the end Neal Gafter and Josh Bloch were asked to join in for some questions and answers - that was real one of the entertainment hightlights of the conference - but find out for yourself at once it is out.

Next on the schedule was Stephen Coleburn presenting the JSR 310 - Date and Time API. Finally we are getting somewhere with the Date and Calendar problem - the API's look already real useful and quite compatible with JODA-Time, but you will have to change your code a bit.

So back to the big two rockstars Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter. They did a nice presentation of the JavaPuzzlers - quite astonishing how many people missed often the correct solution, nevertheless real entertaining stuff. Get the book - I can only recommend it!

Then there was the prize draw at the SUN booth - but besides one Duke caught I did end up zip. Too sad - no UltraSparc as a continous buildserver for SQE. But hey that's life. So say good bye to our nice hosts atr the SUN booth (since it was the last day of the exhibition) and off the last BOFS of JavaPolis 2007.

First was the OpenJDK BOF presented by Mark Reinhold and Dalibor Topic. There were a couple of interesting things discussed from "How will all this with Mercurial work out" to Governenace, projects. It sounds like a real fun to be part there - sso stay tuned.

So getting already late in the evening the last BOF began: New Languages Features with - who would have expected this - Neal Gafter and Josh Bloch. They gave an overview about the possible additions to the Java Language and took a vote for each of the features presented. They hope that not everything they came up with, will necessary end up in the Java Language. Since the list was long it took quite some time to go through all those details. So it got really, really (45 min overtime) really late.

Because of this we once again ended up in the Hollywood Café drinking a good beer and discussing language changes with Neal and Josh. Thanks for sponsoring the event ;-) Can't wait to see any of those new spiffy neat (or whatever you might call them) features in Java. So that never again a kitten has to die because a Java Developer has to write Collections.<Man>emptySet().

Ah I forgot to mention tonight was Beowolf on for the conference participants - but hey isn't the JDK more sexy than Angeline Jolie - ok I have to think this over again ;-)

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