JavaOne 2012 Review: Make the Future Java

by Steve Meloan

Summary of the jam-packed JavaOne 2012 conference.

Published October 2012

After five days of non-stop keynotes, technology sessions, hands-on labs, panel discussions, BOFs, networking, and nighttime club/music crawls, many JavaOne attendees are probably still just catching their breath. They're back at their workplaces now—heads filled with cutting-edge new concepts, technologies, possibilities, business contacts, and friends.

Figure 1

The repeated theme for this year's conference was "Make the Future Java," and according to recent stats, the groundwork is already firmly in place:

  • There are 9 million Java developers worldwide.
  • Three billion devices run Java.
  • Five billion Java Cards are in use.
  • One hundred percent of Blu-ray Disc players ship with Java.
  • Ninety-seven percent of enterprise desktops run Java.
  • Eighty-nine percent of PC desktops run Java.

This year's content curriculum program was organized under seven technical tracks:

  • Core Java Platform
  • Development Tools and Techniques
  • Emerging Languages on the JVM
  • Enterprise Service Architectures and the Cloud
  • Java EE Web Profile and Platform Technologies
  • Java ME, Java Card, Embedded, and Devices
  • JavaFX and Rich User Experiences

Off and Running

Figure 2

JavaOne 2012 hit the ground running and never let up. Java University opened its doors Sunday morning, offering expert-led, full-day courses in a dynamic classroom setting and covering such topics as Certification Exam Cram: Java SE 7 Programmer I and II; Designing Robust Enterprise Applications for the Cloud; Designing Secure Java Web Services; Building Dynamic Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) using JavaScript, Ajax, Comet, and Dojo Toolkit; and more.

In order to make time for technical sessions slots on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, this year's Strategy, Technical, and Partner (IBM) keynotes took place Sunday afternoon, while the Community keynote was held Thursday morning.

On the Move

The keynotes covered all facets of Java technology—from the smallest embedded devices all the way up to the cloud—and demonstrated a technology clearly on the move. Whether it's the open sourcing of JavaFX by the end of the year, the rich UI functionalities of JavaFX Scene Builder, Mac OS X and Linux ARM support for Java SE 7, Java Standard Edition for Embedded Devices, the Java Embedded Suite 7.0 middleware stack, Project Lambda and Project Nashorn (which are planned for Java SE 8), or the multitenancy functionalities slated for Java EE 8, there is a wealth of new (and near-future) features, functionalities, suites, and tools available to Java developers. As Georges Saab noted at the Strategy keynote, "In the last year, we've added as many new platforms for Java as were added in the previous decade."

Meanwhile, the IBM partner keynote explored hardware and software dependencies in the era of cloud computing and the innovations required in Java to support such cloud workloads.

Java Embedded @ JavaOne

Figure 3

With Java having now shipped on over ten billion embedded devices during the past ten years, the era of an "Internet of Things," is right now. During the Strategy keynote, Nandini Ramani declared this embedded realm to be "the next IT revolution."

And with this revolution in mind, Java Embedded @ JavaOne presented a conference within a conference, targeting C-level executives, architects, business leaders, and decision makers—offering keynotes and sessions that explored the burgeoning era of ubiquitous smart devices and the role of Java within this exciting new realm. Whether it's Perrone Robotics' roving, ARM-based security-bots or Liquid Robotics' ocean-going, ARM-based Wave Glider bots (both presented during the Community keynote), Java is rapidly becoming an essential element of the embedded realm.

By the Community, For the Community

Figure 4

At the Strategy keynote, Hasan Rizvi stated that a key part of the conference theme of "Make the Future Java" was community participation. And Sharat Chander powerfully brought this home at the Community keynote, citing that 60 percent of the material at the JavaOne 2012 conference was presented by Java Community members.

And where would a technology-driven community be without social media? The JavaOne conference blog, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages kept attendees up to date on the latest conference announcements, updates, observations, and heads-ups—both from Oracle and from fellow attendees.

Duke's Choice Award

Figure 5

Each year, the Duke's Choice Award recognizes the best and brightest innovations in the world of Java, and this year's winners didn't disappoint. As part of the growing influence and participation of the Java Community, this year's recipients included a Community Choice Award category, with the award going to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for its MASE Integrated Console Environment (MICE). Oracle also announced that it is extending the Duke's Choice Award to include regional winners, announced at each international JavaOne conference—beginning at this year's JavaOne Latin America 2012 in São Paulo, Brazil.

Exhibition Hall and Java DEMOgrounds

Figure 6

Whether it was a book signing; a cutting-edge technology demo; booths by established companies such as AMD, Hitachi, IBM, JBoss, and JFrog; the latest offerings from industry startups; or simply interacting with developer peers and industry thought leaders in a casual setting, the Exhibition Hall and Java DEMOgrounds were the places to be for between-session activity.


Figure 7

And for a quick caffeine fix, a sugar rush, a place to "chill" while recharging your devices, a game of pinball, or simply a place to catch up on e-mail, The Zone offered an entire developer-focused neighborhood at the heart of JavaOne—including the Taylor Street Café's Buzz House and Candy Bar, the Game Zone (for closet pinball wizards), Hang Spaces at local-area hotels, and more.


Figure 8

No one ever claimed to be bored at JavaOne, but this year's conference took between-session nighttime entertainment to a whole other level. There was, of course, the annual Oracle Appreciation Event held on scenic Treasure Island—a private rock concert for 20,000+ with a Ferris wheel, a full-scale midway, and the main-stage rock offerings of Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, and X!

Figure 9

But this year's Oracle OpenWorld Music Festival also offered the cutting-edge vibe of Coachella and SXSW—presenting emerging and local indie bands, as well as scratching DJs, at some of the hottest clubs and most scenic outdoor venues in San Francisco.

And on the final day of the conference, the It's a Wrap! gathering, held at Yerba Buena Gardens, offered a day's-end opportunity for casual networking, sumptuous treats, delicious drinks, and the have-to-dance rock stylings of The Hives and The Five Hundreds.

Going Global

At Thursday's Community keynote, Stephen Chin, newly appointed JavaOne Community Chairperson, announced that as part of his new position, he'll soon be crossing Europe by motorcycle—meeting up with Java Community members along the way and streaming his adventures live via Ustream. Chin also urged attendees to join him at JavaOne Latin America 2012 in São Paulo, Brazil (December 4–6, 2012), noting that the conference CFP (call for papers) had just been extended by a week and that "December is summer in Brazil!"

See you then…

See Also

About the Author

Steven Meloan is a former software developer and has covered the Web and the internet for such publications as Wired, Rolling Stone, Playboy, the San Francisco Examiner, and the SF Weekly. He also recently published a science-adventure novel, The Shroud.

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