You Can't Do That With Java
[We had some difficulty setting up my blog account; this entry was actually written early last week...]
This is my first-ever blog. Yep, I'm selling out to the blog gods, even though I once said I would never blog. I even gave up writing in my own journal a couple years back once I realized that each entry sounded exactly like the last - a basic recap of the days events and nothing further. So if my blogging devolves into a similar style, I'll give it up. But for now, I think these weblogs give us a chance to have more "face time" with the community. Many developers have complained that Sun isn't open enough, and I'd really like to dispell that myth by offering some news and thoughts from the inside. Making Java better is a community effort, and we're just one small part of that community. Hopefully you'll come to understand that the folks in the Java Client Group really (really really) care deeply about the concerns of all our customers, and we all really want to see Java succeed everywhere.
Anyway, on with the program. I feel obliged to do the standard JavaOne recap... Let's just say that it was 400 times better than last year's JavaOne. This year, the mood was brighter, the products were cooler, and everyone I talked to was incredibly stoked about Java again (must be the new logo). The sessions all seemed to go well, and we had a lot of good interaction with folks at our booth and at the client group BOFs. On top of all that, we finally launched the javadesktop.org community site, which gave me a release vehicle for the project I've been hacking on recently, known quite unaffectionately as "Mu".
Possibly the greatest news we've had in a while was last week's announcement of the Game Technologies Group at Sun. I've had various lunchtime conversations with members of the new team, and believe me, this is one sharp group. Their charter is to find the deficiencies in the Java platform that prevent developers from writing leading edge games entirely in Java, and then plug those holes. One thing that really makes me cringe is when someone says, "You can't do that with Java". Well, have you seen "Alien Flux"? Did you see the High Dynamic Range OpenGL demos presented by Ken Russell and Chris Klein at JavaOne? With the GTG's release of open source Java bindings for OpenGL, OpenAL, and input controllers, I think you'll be hearing that "you can't do that" statement a lot less. [Ahh, I'm overcome with memories of a certain Canadian children's televsion program.]
Another complaint we've received in the past is that we have many great media technologies (Java 2D, Java 3D, JMF, JavaSound, JAI, Swing, and so on), but they don't work all that well together. It's great to know that we now have this team dedicated to making all these components fit together into one coherent layer. If all goes well, developers should no longer worry about mixing heavyweight components with lightweights, playing back video in a 3D application, or using the flexibility of Swing to create an interactive heads-up display in a 3D game.
Well, this first blog entry was all over the map, eh? Next time I'll pick one topic and stick to it like maple syrup.
In my ears: "Electric Version", The New Pornographers
In my eyes: "Blindness", Jose Saramago