September 29th, 2014

by Ivan St. Ivanov

As always, the first (or I should say zeroth) day of JavaOne is dedicated to the community. All the talks were done by the Java User Groups (JUGs) about their activities and also by the Java open source projects from Oracle – NetBeans and Glassfish. It was also the day of the keynotes.

I could divide the technical talks in two: presenting what is new in Java 8 and talking about organizational stuff.

In what is new in Java 8 part we saw all these things that I believe most of the JUGs should have done already: lambda expressions and their use cases, default methods in interfaces, the stream  API (but mostly the na?ve part of it), method handles and all the rest, about which we had a series of meetings in in Bulgarian JUG the beginning of this summer. The surface for Java 9 was scratched a little bit. Some presenters talked about the new features there: from the already announced modular source code (part of Project Jigsaw), HTTP 2.0 client, process API updates, lightweight JSON API, monetary API as well as some new stuff that is not in the Java 9 timeframe like generics on primitive types and value types (known as project Valhalla), collection API improvements (List.of(), Set.of()) and units of measurement API.

The other part of the talks were those about building communities. A substantial part of a JUG or community is how they contribute to existing Java developments – OpenJDK and the various JSRs. I saw a very inspiring talk by London Java Community’s Martijn Verburg. He addressed not only the JUGs, but also the big companies that use Java by stating that if a company has thousands of Java developers and millions lines of code, it should care how Java is evolving and one of the ways to do it is by participating in activities like Adopt a JSR.

As I am teaching Java and Java EE together with my SAP Labs Bulgaria colleagues in a couple of universities in Sofia, I was interested to see the talk about the free tools for teach Java, where distinguished university processors and book authors shared their experience mainly with NetBeans. Some of the talked about the projects that their university participated like Neuroph Studio and the completely new UML plugin done by students from the University of Belgrade as well as the Quorum programming language designed to help blind people to program. All of the presenters agreed that the IDE should not stand in their way while teaching and I cannot agree more with that. I still remember the troubles that we had with our students while we were showing them how to set up JDBC, JPA or a Web Server in Eclipse. One of the professors said that he first starts by introducing maven for dependency management and SVN and Git for source control. He uses TomEE (as we do) for a server as it has everything that you may want to teach: Servlet, JSP, JSF, JPA, EJB, Web services, JAX-RS.

The biggest controversy of the day was the JavaOne keynote. As always, it was divided into three big parts. In the beginning Oracle executes (i.e. vice presidents) present the strategy of the company for Java, not forgetting to mention how awesome the current year was for us all. BTW, kudos to the company for joining Devoxx4Kids initiative. We had several young boys and girls on the stage talking about their experience with programming legos and minecraft mods. During the strategy part Oracle stressed on its accent on Internet of Things (IoT) and on Java SE Embedded and Java ME (which most of the audience didn’t care much about). The second part was the sponsor keynote, where the IBM guys showed us again their ability to put tons of information on one slide. The audience didn’t want to hear much about IBM’s efforts in the cloud and on the mainframe. The thing that we all wanted to see was the last part – the technical keynote. Unfortunately there was no time for the most interesting part: the Java 9, 10, 11 outlook. Brian Goetz just started to talk about the already mentioned project Valhalla, when he was cut by the organizers because the time was over. How sad that Mark Reinhold had to do the dirty job and not one of those VPs that bored the audience to death.

We all left the hall puzzled and in silence. Only the twitter stream was not silent. Don’t worry, Brian, you will tell us all this at Devoxx!

One Response to “ JavaOne 2014, community day in my eyes ”

  1. Unfortunately I can provide no insight as my flight was delayed. Real shame to hear things like this though. All I can say is Oracle is big in the entire area, making their presence known at just about every traffic stop and lamp post. Glad to be here to see the rest of it though. I am sure it’s going to be a busy week.

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