by Timothy Beneke and Tori Wieldt
A summary of a lively JavaOne.
Published October 2013
JavaOne 2013 gave Java developers a non-stop exercise replete with education and entertainment, strategy, technical, and community keynotes book-ending the conference, technical sessions, hands-on labs, panel discussions, tutorials, demos, a rock concert, widespread networking, code challenges, and much more.
By now, attendees' heads have stopped spinning and their sleep is less disturbed with whirling new thoughts and ideas.
If anyone still doubts that Java is the premier development platform in the world, here are some reminders:
JavaOne 2013 reprised its 2012 JavaOne "Make the Future Java" theme for a very good reason, according to JavaOne keynoter Peter Utzschneider, Vice President, Java Product Management at Oracle, who remarked, "There is a lot going on in the industry, with massive shifts and innovation happening which pose huge challenges and opportunities for Java." He observed that Oracle shares a common goal with the Java community—to make Java better, stronger, more robust, and relevant for decades to come.
And JavaOne did just that with five days of eight tracks, 500+ sessions, 490+ speakers, 70+ exhibitors, lots of late night parties, a code challenge, a Java Code Garden, and more, all in the gorgeous city of San Francisco.
JavaOne 2013's content curriculum was organized along eight tracks, with a new track on Java security added to this year's offerings.
Java expertise was in full flower at Java University, held on Sunday, September 22, where full-day seminars offered deep-dive training that covered 12 of the most-popular Java topics, led by some of the best Java developers anywhere, including Java Champions and JavaOne Rock Stars Martijn Verburg and Ben Evans, and JavaServer Faces architect Ed Burns. Topics included RESTful web services; Java for the cloud; Java SE 7 certification; Java EE 5/6 certification; JavaFX; Java EE 7; JavaServer Faces; Java performance tuning; and much more.
Keynotes held at the beginning (Sunday) and end (Thursday) of the conference freed developers to attend technical sessions and demos as well as engage in networking. Sunday's Java Strategy and Technical keynote featured talks by Peter Utzschneider, VP Java Product Management, Oracle; Nandini Ramani, VP of Engineering, Java Client and Embedded Platforms, Oracle; Cameron Purdy, VP, Cloud Application Foundation, Oracle; and Mark Reinhold, Chief Architect, Java Platform Group, Oracle. The Partner Keynote was given by John Duimovich, Java CTO and IBM Distinguished Engineer.
Several key messages dominated the keynotes. First, the Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay and is likely to alter our daily lives in coming years. As embedded devices get cheaper, more powerful, and more connected, and as the IoT grows, Java developers will face radical new challenges—not the least of which is security. Along with this, cloud computing has taken hold, complementing the IoT and making big and fast data available and ready to be analyzed.
Nandini Ramani made a strong case that the IoT is in serious need of a standardized platform to unify it—and it is obvious that Java is best equipped to serve that purpose. In addition, she described the effort to unify the Java platform— specifically, Java ME with Java SE—and pointed to three things driving this unification. "First," she explained, "Moore's Law is making devices more capable. Second, Java SE is being shrunk to fit into the embedded space and smaller devices. And third, Java ME is being brought up to be in parity with Java SE."
Cameron Purdy explained that Java EE 7 had three primary areas of focus. First, it offered HTML5 support with a variety of new features; second, the addition of batch capabilities strengthens the enterprise dimension of Java EE; and finally, developer productivity is enhanced because Java EE 7 requires less boilerplate code through features like CDI (Context and Dependency Injection) and more annotated POJOs.
In addition, Java SE 8 is scheduled to arrive in March of 2014, and with it, lambda expressions, which constitute the most substantial change to the Java programming model ever, as Mark Reinhold explained. "This is the first time we have done a carefully coordinated co-evolution of the JVM, the language, and the libraries all together—and the results still feel like Java," said Reinhold.
Reinhold summarized the key strengths of lambda: "Lambda brings three weapons to Java: syntax, performance, and abstraction."
Thursday's keynote, in addition to displaying a wide variety of creative applications of Java, presented a talk by Geoff Lees, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Microcontrollers, at Freescale Semiconductor, whose core messages came across loud and clear: "The microcontroller community is rapidly moving to adopt Java and we need your help." Freescale is working with Oracle to optimize Java together and bring Java functionality further into the network.
The Java Community Process (JCP) Awards Ceremony was held on Monday night, celebrating important contributions to the Java community, atop the Hilton Hotel. This year's winners were:
Brian Goetz, who won for Outstanding Spec Lead, and whose JSR, Lambda Expressions for the Java Programming Language, also won for Most Significant JSR, offered a statement in response to the awards. Goetz observed that lambdas, "represent a coordinated co-evolution of the Java SE platform, including the VM, language, and core libraries, to provide developers with a powerful upgrade—quite likely the largest ever—to the Java SE programming model...I think developers will find programming with this 'new and improved Java' to be a very pleasant experience—I know I have." You can check out the full photo stream on Flickr.
The 2013 Duke's Choice Awards celebrated innovation with Java. The winners, listed below, pushed the frontiers of medicine and technology by simulating the human brain and musculoskeletal system; providing guidance to cars, satellites in space, and robotic fish; offering better training for future Java programmers; making Java applications more secure; and contributing to building communities.
The Java DEMOgrounds presented the latest Java technology in action, with hands-on demos of technologies spanning the Java ecosystem and topics that ranged from embedded Java, Java EE, Java SE, Java ME, and JavaFX to other Java standards and technologies, such as Eclipse, NetBeans, and Hudson, that are accelerating Java application development productivity.
The Oracle Technology Network sponsored the JavaOne Codegarten, where developers could contribute to their favorite open source project and participate in an open source community to code, test, and share their work. Developers dropped in, joined groups, picked features and bugs to tackle, and submitted their results—often with open source project leads present. Developers worked on these projects:
This offered developers fun and innovative applications with Java Embedded technologies, Raspberry Pi devices, sensors, and more, with free training, technical expertise, and equipment—developers needed only their laptops. Pprojects included aheart monitor using Google Glass, a radio controlled car over the internet, home automation applications, remote control of devices, a load balancing cloud application, and a sobriety field tester. All the projects were created using Java Embedded and Raspberry Pi. Check out the photo album.
Many thousands attended the Oracle Appreciation Event that took place on Wednesday night on Treasure Island, San Francisco. The event is Oracle's way to thank attendees with performances by two leading bands, Maroon 5 and Grammy Award-winning Black Keys. Revelers celebrated well into the night.
JavaOne 2013 did an outstanding job of keeping pace with the rapidly accelerating speed of technology as it beat the drum for lambdas in Java SE 8, Java Embedded's place in the coming Internet of Things, and much, much more. Here's to the memories, and thanks always for the high energy that is JavaOne.
Timothy Beneke is a freelance writer and editor. His interviews, which cover a wide range of topics, including culture, gender, technology, and psychology, have appeared in many journals, including Mother Jones, the East Bay Express, and the Chicago Reader.
Tori Wieldt is the Senior Java Developer Community Manager for the Oracle Technology Network. She works across all channels of Oracle's developer program: OTN/Java, @Java, Java Magazine, blogs.oracle.com/java, and YouTube/Java. If you didn't see her at JavaOne, you probably weren't there.