Skip to main content

Top 10 Desktop Sessions at JavaOne 2008

Posted by joconner on April 23, 2008 at 3:58 PM PDT

I've been doing a top 10 list for a couple years for JavaOne technology tracks. No need to stop now. So let's jump right to it. If you're interested in what I think are the top 10, must-see Java Desktop sessions at JavaOne 2008, the Desktop sessions that will influence you the most in the coming year, check them out and make sure you use the online Schedule Builder to sign up. Scheduled times and room locations can change, so check the catalog often.

My list is below, numbered but in not in any particular preference order:

  1. Desktop Track Overview & New Features in the upcoming Java 6u10 Platform, Session TS-6649

    Java 6u10 will have features that make deploying Java apps even easier. You'll learn about the modular kernel for smaller JRE downloads, the deployment toolkit, "Patch in Place" technology for faster and smaller JRE updates, the "QuickStart Service" that improves JRE startup time, improved graphics performance (for Windows only...sigh), and the new Nimbus pluggable look-and-feel.

  2. Using JavaFX Script To Build Swing Applications, TS-6609

    In my opinion, JavaFX Script was announced a little too early last year at JavaOne 2007. But the technology has matured, at least a bit more, and I think there's great potential value in this alternate tool for creating Swing applications. This presentation shows examples of how to use the language to declaratively create your UI, create custom components, animate your UI, and bind visual components to their models.

  3. Deep Inside JSR 296, the Swing Application Framework, TS-6605

    After learning about the Swing Application Framework, you'll probably change the way you create Swing apps. The session teaches you about views, tasks, resource injection, and actions. Plenty of examples demonstrate how to put an app together using the framework.

  4. Extending Swing: Creating Your Own Components, TS-4982

    The set of existing Swing components are great, but what do you do when you want to create really rich clients? You'll have to create custom Swing components. It's really not so hard. Attend this session to find out how.

  5. Nimbus: The New Face of Swing, Session ID TS-6096

    Nimbus is the next cross-platform look-and-feel for the Java desktop apps. The look and feel is also skinnable to allow your own twist on how things should look. This session shows you how to use Nimbus to create in your Swing applications and then shows you how to extend Nimbus to create your own custom look-and-feel.

  6. Extreme GUI Makeover: In the Real World, TS-6656

    In this session, you'll see the presenters transform a plain-looking application into a "stunning beauty." You'll also learn more about JavaFX Script and the new scene graph project.

  7. Distributed Client-Server Persistence with the Java Persistence API, TS-5969

    Sometimes you might think that those EE guys get all the best new APIs and technologies. Not true! Desktop apps can use and benefit from the Java Persistence API (JPA) too. This session shows you how to use the JPA in Swing applications. Hey, didn't I already write that article? But I didn't cover everything you should know. In this session, you'll learn about storing data locally and remotely, syncing with remote applications, and enabling "offline" modes that synchronize data on reconnects to the network. This is great technology that you'll want to adopt into your desktop apps.

  8. Designing Graphical Model-Driven Applications: Lego MindStorm, TS-6298

    Although this definitely also fits into the "Cool Stuff" category, I think there's something interesting and maybe even substantially different here for desktop application design. No doubt, there's some fun here too. Lego MindStorms! Come on, what's more fun than that? This session introduces model-driven design (MDD) as a programming paradigm for creating, drawing, and interacting with scene graphs for your graphical apps.

  9. The NetBeans Platform Compared to the Eclipse Rich Client Platform, TS-4895

    This isn't a session about the NetBeans or Eclipse IDEs. This is a session about how you can use their rich client platform APIs to create your own apps, saving you lots of time. Learn about component models, UI toolkits, actions, commands, help facilities, and dynamic updates for your own rich client desktop applications. Why create all that functionality yourself when you can get it for free?

  10. Beans Binding: Good for the Heart, TS-6657

    OK, someone got a little carried away with the session title, but let's look beyond that. I've looked at this API, and I think desktop developers should take notice. The "Beans Binding API" is the friendlier name for JSR 295, which simplifies how you bind beans or tie them together so that their data is synchronized. This session updates you on the project, which has been surprisingly quiet lately, and demonstrates how to use the API.

That's it! Join me for a few of these sessions this year. JavaOne is May 6-9 @ the Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA. And if you haven't registered yet, you'd better hurry.

Related Topics >>


Ah you are missing the BOF Beatnik: Building an Open Social Network Browser, wnich will be a talk about a semantic web destkop client. It is true that its home page is listed as being in the java-ws-xml space.

kirrillcool - I was just pointing to a place where some objective data is available. As I said, I will not be offended or insulted or even call you rude and hostile if you post a link to similarly objective source that justifies a whole session devoted to one particular layout manager and inverts that ranking in the link I mentioned..

In any case the layout problem is a very trivial part of the GUI design, although Swing has done its best to make it so hopelessly complicated that everyday someone invents a new layout manager

It's just like if someone wins a rat race, he is still a rat. So I don't really care as to which layout manager is deemed to be the best, but I expect Java One organizers to be better informed.

varan - which pages are you talking about? You refer to MigLayout as a library that "does not even make the top five in its class". If the definition of the class is "layout managers hosted on SourceForge", then it isn't much of a class. What does it matter where the project is hosted? Group layout is not there, Zone layout is not there, Form layout is not there and Mig layout is only partially there (the main download site is hosted elsewhere and has version 3.0.3, while sourceforge only has version 2.1.2).

kirill- Read both the pages: you are only 50% right.

I do not understand the accusation of rudeness or hostility. I just pointed to one link which is quite neutral and objective from which the readers can decide for themselves about what is being discussed here. Others are welcome to link to their own favorite source.

Mikael, funny you should say that I should have a top 11 list. I very much considered putting your session into my list! Aah, a top 10 is so hard!

Varan - the link that you attached lists the most popular layout managers that are hosted on SourceForger. Neither FormLayout nor MigLayout are hosted there, so you can hardly call this list "the top five of its class".

Varan, I do not know why you need to be so rude and hostile. Please promote your own LayoutManager instead of bashing ours.

Really? A whole session on a layout manager? Java-One does not seem to be very discriminating if it organizes a session around a library which does not even make the top five in its class In any case the layout problem is now quite trivial if the swing opened their eyes and forget about the six or seven of the layout managers that the package with Java and focus on one that does the job quickly and without any fuss. It can just be a ten minute tutorial, and the developers can go on to do more important things.

I'd love to read less above frameworks and more about libraries that enhance Java core.

Java is full of heavy frameworks that impose both a conceptual weight and learning paradigm on developers. Matissa was pure gold because it enhanced Swing without adding either of these unwanted constraints. Why can't we have more projects like that?

John, i think the java desktop needs more from the swingx side to be integrated into the core swing api. The xtreme gui makeoever sessions are cool ,but the people who make it are experts in swing... it would be better if they reused the exisitng tools and libraries(swingx or jide opensource) instead to do such wonderful things .

Strange, the preview showed the link OK...

Here it is in text for copy&paste..

John, you should've made a top 11 list. ;-)

Since the Swing Layout Managers have been so beaten up over the years a really really nice guy is presenting: TS-4926 Creating Simple to Advanced Swing and SWT Layouts Easily with MiG Layout.

Session Info

Mikael Grev