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JavaOne Tokyo, Day Two

Posted by gsporar on November 9, 2005 at 8:26 AM PST

I've been in a rut all week: I wake up at about 4:00 AM and can't get back to sleep. Since I've been staying up late that naturally results in a bit of sleep deprivation. The good news is that it was not difficult for me to be ready to go at 7:00 this morning, which was our agreed upon kick off time. The "our" consists of myself, Charles Beckham, and Jeff Jackson. Jeff was doing a keynote speech at 9:30 AM and Charles and I were going to be doing demos during the keynote.

You wouldn't think we would need 2.5 hours to get set up to do two demos, but it's not as simple as it sounds. There were some configuration changes needed for my laptop, Jeff had to rehearse part of his speech, we had to meet with the translators, etc. So the time flew by, although we did have time for a pre-show photo, that's Jeff on the right and Charles in the middle:


The show started and Jeff took the stage and among other things, announced the official launch of Java Studio Enterprise (JSE) 8:


Charles went up and did a few demos of JSE:


Charles and Jeff then announced that one lucky attendee would be winning a brand new Sun Ultra 20 workstation. This is the snazzy Operton based workstation Sun announced a few months ago. Here's the way the contest works: Each person who attended that morning's general session was handed a CD on their way in the door. Each CD contains a copy of JSE 8. One of the CDs has a copy of JSE 8 that includes a special welcome message the first time JSE 8 is started. That message is the happy news that the owner of the CD has just won the new Ultra 20. What I find particularly interesting is that in order to win you not only have to install and run JSE 8 (neither of which is difficult and in fact can be quite rewarding) but you also have to attend the general session. Let that be a lesson to all future Java One attendees who are tempted to sleep-in. :-)

Anyway, after that I went up and did a rushed version of my standard Project Matisse demo:


And this is where it really got interesting. I ran the application in English as usual, and then I switched the locale and ran it in Japanese. As I've written countless times before, I do this to demonstrate that even with different strings, the layout manager included with Project Matisse will still "do the right thing" at runtime:


When the dialog displayed in Japanese there was applause from the audience. I find that interesting because I had been told that Japanese audiences are typically very reticent, and in fact that's what I had observed. The only exception I had seen was during the session Scott Violet and Hans Muller did yesterday when an audible gasp went through the crowd at one point.

So they were impressed, which is nice. It is very important to note, however, that the applause was not for me. The applause was for the technology being demonstrated, which means it was really for the people who built that technology. The NetBeans IDE is a big effort spanning multiple teams, but I would like to recognize the three primary contributors to Project Matisse: Tomas Pavek, Jan Stola, and Scott Violet.

After Jeff's speech, it was time to sing Happy Birthday to Java. Two very talented ladies with powerful voices led the audience in belting out the tune. There was a cake and a giant walking Duke, so it was pretty much your typical 10th birthday party. In the photo below you can see Jeff Jackson in the background, the two professional singers are shown on the big screen, and that's Charles Beckham hugging Duke.


Then Alan Brenner took the stage. His presentation was on the use of Java in consumer devices. Naturally, mobile phones were featured prominently in his comments. But he also had several folks do some really nice demos. A representative of Ricoh showed off a printer that will display print jobs for a user. In and of itself, that's not all that cool, but this printer grabs the user's identification from a JavaCard. The coolest demo, though, was of the Blu-ray Disc technology. A Blu-ray player that was operated by Java software was shown doing things like downloading additional languages for a movie's subtitles, ordering movies and merchandise, etc.

The final portion of the general session was a short presentation by Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter. Both formerly with Sun, they work for Google. Joshua Bloch showed some really cool optical illusions and then Neal Gafter described the many ways that Java is used at Google. That ended the morning's sessions, so it was time to collect my laptop and head for lunch. I chatted at the podium with Joshua Bloch, who was gathering up his laptop. He and I actually have a mutual acquaintance: Dave Spott. Dave and Joshua worked together on Java long ago and then later Dave hired me to work at Sun. Anyway, we chatted about illusions, visualizations, and the work of Edward Tufte. Right at that moment, John O'Conner walked up with his camera to record the moment:


After lunch it was time to prepare for my next session: "12 Reasons to Use NetBeans." I did this along with Inyoung Cho and Charles Ditzel. We had a pretty good time with it. There are actually a lot more than 12 reasons to use NetBeans, but even when trying to describe just 12 we ran over our time limit. The 12 we picked were:

  1. Good Out of Box Experience. There's a lot of functionality built right in - no need to add things on.
  2. Full J2EE development support, with Java BluePrints included. The BluePrints make it especially easy to jumpstart your web and enterprise development efforts.
  3. Project Matisse. It got applause in Japan - enough said....
  4. Mobility Pack. Build J2ME apps. with ease.
  5. Code-aware developer collaboration tools.
  6. Editor improvements in v5.0. Hints, code completion improvements, and code templates.
  7. UI Improvements. Compared to 1.5 years ago, the look, feel, and performance of the UI is dramatically better.
  8. Debuggers. Not just for Java code, but also for JSPs and Ant scripts. And the HTTP monitor is a essentially a debugger as well.
  9. Monitoring/profiling tools. The very powerful NetBeans Profiler, plus a JMX plugin that integrates JConsole, and finally a VisualGC plugin.
  10. The Platform. A powerful mechanism for building rich client applications.
  11. The Update Center. You don't have to wait for the next release of the NetBeans IDE in order to get new functionality. We put new stuff out on the Update Center all the time.
  12. The Future. Version 5.0 is almost here and it is loaded with cool new features. Further out, there will be a release that provides full support for the forthcoming Java EE 5 specification.

We took a photo afterward:


I then hustled over to a session by Scott Violet and Hans Muller called "Desktop Java Technology in Project Mustang and Beyond." This was essentially a laundry list of the improvements made in AWT, Java2D, and Swing in the upcoming JDK 6. Hans admitted that the amount of time elapsed between the filing of 4080029 and the commit of the fix (in JDK 6) was, quite frankly, a bit embarrassing. I arrived a few minutes late and had to leave a few minutes early, so maybe I missed them, but I did not see any demos. That was kind of a bummer - the previous day's demos had been so impressive that I was hoping for more. Nevertheless, the content was still worth hearing about.

And for the first time since I arrived in Tokyo I spent a night out on the town. A group of us went to Inayaka a "Country Style Pub-Restaurant." The food was quite delicious. Even more entertaining was the Beatles cover-band that we listened to before hand at the Cavern Club. In between songs they would talk with the audience in Japanese, but they sang in English. One of them even looked a bit like John Lennon.