Monday, December 8, 2008

Devoxx 2008 - Day 1

First thing after breakfast today was an extensive presentation on JavaFX done by Richard Bair, Jasper Potts and Martin Brehovsky - "JavaFX in Practice". It was an amazing thing to see and to try it out in parallel. There are lots of interesting features in JavaFX already and more to come. The downside is that deployment is not finally solved (how to get it to a customer, who uses a closed network) so no easy way to get around the actual deployment limitation.

The afternoon session was "Groovy and Grails in Action" with Guillaume Laforge - presenting all this small niceties Groovy has to offer in comparison with Java. But I have to admit - I did not find the flexibility very appealing; e.g. that it is possible to overwrite the operator "+" so that it always returns 1 (reminded me of my good old C/C++ days).

For the "Tool in Action" series we went to "VisualVM - new extensible monitoring platform" done by Kirk Pepperdine and "Building Java Projects With Gradle" by Hans Dockter. VisualVM is a must have troubleshooting tool ranging from Heap-Analysis to CPU-Monitoring. If you need anything else, just create your own plugin and extend the existing functionality, e.g. like TDA. The best is you now get it with your favorite JDK (and it brought the NetBeans Platform into the JDK). Gradle seems to be a quite flexible tool for creating a build environment, but somehow I missed a bit the declarative nature, as it can be found in Maven. So check it out and give it a try.

Afterwards we attended another session for JavaFX (from Martin Brehovsky) showing a bit more about the integrated workflow between developer and designer. Next up was "Tune It!" a performance related session with Kirk Pepperdine. For the finishing session at Day One we had a session about SwingLabs. The expectations were quite high I think after all those long e-mail discussions about Sun stopping funding for SwingX.

So what's the Story about JavaFX and Swing? Well I'd say that nothing special will happen - so there is still Swing and for more advanced fancy UI code there is now JavaFX coming up. Will there be a possibility for a mesh-up? Yes. The NetBeans plugin is already quite usable, but it still seems to lack some of the features a typical Java developer will try to use (e.g. in place rename, comment out, code completion) - hope there will be updates quite soon (next year)

So what may be on the roadmap for Java7 from a Java Desktop User's view?
  • Integration of Scenegraph API and other tools and laguages should be scheduled
  • JWebPane is still in the works
  • Full Java/JavaFX Meshups still to be done
  • JavaApplicationFramewrk
  • Beans Binding
  • JAM (???)
  • ....
My personal subjective impression - there is a cool technology coming up - so please stop whining - if you need something be part of the community and contribute.

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