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Updates from JavaOne

Posted by fabriziogiudici on September 21, 2010 at 1:52 PM PDT

One day after the splash, I must say that the "distributed venue" approach for JavaOne is showing a number of pitfalls; the most important one being the time you waste moving back and forth. Consider that walking from the Hilton or the Parc 55 to Moscone (e.g. for following a keynote) takes about 20 minutes. If you have to move twice back and forth, that's more than one hour spent walking. In centralized conferences, the gaps between sessions are mostly useful for socializing, or sitting down and reading blogs or going deeper in what you've already learned. Actually, such a waste of time during a conference is a moderate annoyance. Meeting people is also impacted by the fact that your fellows are probably scattered in different places than you. While I usually meet more than one dozen people in the first half day of a conference, yesterday I stopped at three. The figure, fortunately, increased in the evening; but I'm still chasing Fabrizio Gianneschi and Gabriele Carcassi, and we weren't able to get in some close spots at the same time. I think that Oracle should really think of those issues for next year - but, honestly, I can't think of a practical solution: if numbers are as reported by my friend Fabrizio, I don't know how hotels can't be used to accomodate a conference of 41,000 attendees. This has to do with the "JavaOne got too big" issue that I was mentioning yesterday, summed to the size of Oracle World itself. It's also to be said that there's a big number of room changes for the sessions; they are notified by email (and by mobile messaging if you subscribe a service, that I fear it could be too expensive if you have international roaming), but you can't be connected to email at every moment. But this specific problem could be due to the prime time of the distributed organization.

For what concerns the beef (I'm interested into), I think that this statement by Adam Bien said it all (the emphasis is mine):

JavaOne Keynote was surprising (with a "bit" Intel marketing): Glassfish
and NetBeans (Roadmaps) were presented by Oracle guys (not former Sun
employees). Actually both were covered more intensively, than last year
:-)

Which should prove definitely wrong the doomsayers about the NetBeans' future. For what I can understand, even better news will come in future, but I can't anticipate them. Stay tuned.

Some JavaFX haters would enjoy the announce that JavaFX Script has been discontinued, even though I don't understand their rationale: JavaFX-the-runtime has been confirmed strategical for Oracle as an official Swing 2.0 (it's talked about at 30 speeches). For me is a partially bad news, since I liked JavaFX Script; but the beef is the runtime and the announce that it will be accessible as an official Java API more than compensates the bad part. Indeed, the interoperability between the JavaFX runtime and Java was sort-of promised circa 2008, and later not maintained when we discovered that the API were not official and there were constraints about the redistribution of the runtime. It's sort of being on the right track, too bad that it's two years later. Also, I hope to see some more detailed roadmaps, otherwise people will joke about JavaFX being announced again for the fourth year in a row.

The promised, supported interoperability with Swing is excellent. In the NetBeans Dream Team (it sounds as this year there's the largest gathering of fellows ever; at this morning talk Sven Reimers said it looked like "a family meeting") we're excited about the fact that a number of ideas, coming from two years ago, are now feasible: like integrating the NetBeans Platform Nodes or the Visual Library with SceneGraph. Pretty cool indeed.

Of course, there are lots of doubts. At the moment I have got more questions than answers: for instance, JavaFX binding has gone, and it's not clear, from what I've seen so far, what will replace it. Will Oracle revisit BeansBinding? It also appears that we'll have first-citizen properties in Java 7/8, but this only adds to the pile of questions. I'd also like to understand how this can be integrated with the parallel development of SwingX, that I see as fundamental in the industrial Swing adopters for the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, it sounds as there's the expected confirmation of the death of JavaFX Mobile. Too bad. This also means the death of blueBill Mobile for JavaFX, that I suspended a few months ago, after no significant news came out from Barcelona. God bless Android, that allowed me to roll out a working blueBill Mobile for Android in a matter of months. Mobile plans by Oracle are on a renewed Java ME, whose roadmap to me is not clear. Looking at the specs, it sounds as a thing completely comparable to Android, including an upgrade of the VM. Good. In the end, if it's Java I can port easily my stuff. What's not clear - so far - is when this will happen...

No word about the war with Google, which is bad (I mean: I know that there are lots of legal traps, but I would at least expect the CEO or a VP to talk about it). If nothing will show up about that before the end of the conference, it will be a bad move from Oracle.

Not a boring JavaOne, anyway; at all.

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