Day 2 - Sun Tech Days - Boston, MA
I spent most of Day 2 of the Sun Tech Days working on the pavillion floor at the JavaDB booth. Things were pretty quiet during the technical sessions and keynotes, but we did get a fair amount of traffic in between sessions and during breaks. People generally wanted to know what JavaDB is and what kinds of applications it is suited for. I recommend checking out the JavaDB page on the Sun Developer Network page for more information. In addition to JavaDB, there were booths for GlassFish, OpenESB, NetBeans, PostgreSQL, Sun Learning Services, and Sun Microsystems Press. Oracle and AMD (our sponsors for the Boston Tech Days) also had booths that seemed well attended. There was also an OpenSolaris installfest area. James Gosling bragged a little bit about the laptop he was using for his keynote presentation which was running Solaris.
The day started with a couple of keynote presentations. The first was given by (my boss) Tom Kincaid and it focused on JavaEE 6. One of the planned improvements for JavaEE 6 is the introduction of platform profiles which will allow the platform to focus on specific classes of developers or applications. The expert group will define a "web profile" which will be a subset of the EE platform targeted at web application development. The expert group is also going to focus on pruning technologies that are no longer as relevant as they once were. Things like JAX-RPC (which has been superceded by JAX-WS) will become optional. Modularity and extensibility will also play a major role in the platform. As new technologies emerge in this space, it is desirable to have a standard way to layer or plug them into the platform. The central concept in these planned improvements is "take what you need". JavaEE 6 will also continue the "ease of development" theme from EE 5, especially in the area of deployment. Towards the end of his presentation, Tom invited Bobby Bissett on stage to show off some of these ideas which are available now in very early builds of GlassFish V3.
A panel of Sun technology evangelists came on stage after Tom's presentation for a "demo-shootout" where they were each given 5 minutes to demo something new and cool. There were some really interesting demos of rendering flikr albums on a cellphone, a couple of profiling tools, JavaFX, virtual on-line meeting rooms, and Sun SPOTS.
James Gosling gave a mid-day keynote presentation which was a "tour of the Java landscape" where he shared his thoughts on the state of all things Java. He spoke about Java's role and impact as a ubiquitous computing platform ("write once, work anywhere"), the extent of it's popularity (the Brazillian health care system, eBay & Orbits, JPL, etc), and how important Java is as a community. He also gave status updates on JDK7, GlassFish, NetBeans, and a new "consumer JRE" that is supposed to be more friendly to install, have better start-up performance and download size. James stressed the importance of the Java community a number of times and called on the audience to participate in the evolution of the platform.
It was a great conference - please check the Sun Tech Days schedule to see if it will be stopping near you!