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Times Like These

Posted by editor on December 21, 2007 at 8:28 AM PST

What was 2007's biggest story?

We're closing in on the end of another year -- we'll publish the last front page of the year on Monday, then take a week off for the holidays -- so today's the day for the last new poll of the year. And as it's been a pretty eventful year for the Java community, it seemed a good time to take a look back and say "what happened?"

Some of this year's major events were expected in advance, like the release of the unencumbered OpenJDK code, as promised by the GPL announcements in late 2006. And NetBeans 6.0's release capped a long development, with many developers downloading milestones and betas over the last two years or so.

But surely nobody saw JavaFX coming. Or the Google-driven Android platform. And as of last year, we were all expecting Apple to release Leopard with a Mac JDK 6 in the Spring... none of us thought Leopard would slip to Fall, and still not include JDK 6.

Heck, at the beginning of 2007, 17% of us expected to be using Java 7 by year's end. Predictions are tricky things.

So let's apply 20-20 hindsight with
our final Poll for 2007, which asks "What was the biggest Java-related development in 2007?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.

In Java Today,

Metro, the web services stack that's part of GlassFish, has just released Metro 1.1 and
Metro 1.0.1. As Vivek Pandey explains in a blog on the dual release, "Metro 1.0.1 is a restricted bug fix release and is integrated with Metro 1.1 release includes WSIT 1.1 and JAX-WS RI 2.1.3. Metro 1.1 is a stand alone release but can be easily installed on Glassfish v2 UR1, see the instructions on how to here. Good news is that Metro 1.1.1 which is a bug fix and selected feature release of Metro 1.1, will be integrated in to upcoming Glassfish v2.1 (Sailfin)." Metro 1.1 features include efficient Handler using Handler support, large and Streaming attachment support, XML Schema validation support for SOAP messages, early access support for WS-Reliable Messaging 1.1 and Kerberos tokens, and more.

The EnJine Project "is an open-source (GPL) game engine written in Java and making use of the Java 3D API. Its main purpose is to serve as a didactic tool to aid in teaching game design and computer science, especially computer graphics and software engineering subjects." Blogger Daniel Wildt recently posted an interview with Enjine's Ricardo Nakamura about the project's history, goals, and internals.

The latest edition, issue 152, of the JavaTools Community Newsletter is out, with a holiday greeting, tool-related news from around the web, a new project announcement, and a Tool Tip that rounds up statistics about the JavaTools community in 2007, including listings of the top projects and categories.

Joshua Marinacci takes on what may be a touch topic in today's Weblogs. In
Competition and the Java Ecosystem: why Sun launched the PDF Renderer and Scene Graph projects, he writes:
"Sun recently launched two new open source projects: the Scene Graph and PDF Renderer projects. In both cases some readers wondered why Sun felt the need to start new projects rather than contribute to or recommend existing open source and commercial projects."

Chet Haase offers up his recent sessions in
My JavaPolis07 Slides.
"Here are the slides from my 3 JavaPolis presentations: Scene Graph, Filthy Makeover, and Future Java Consumer Releases."

Finally, Cay Horstmann wonders why
Properties Get No Respect.
"Last week, there has been another flurry of discussions about closures in Java and minor language enhancements. Conspicuously absent from this discussion was my pet unappreciated language feature, native properties. Most of the effort about properties has been scattered about in the blogosphere. Nikolay Botev, a CS student at SJSU, did something about that and put together a nifty Wiki, complete with voting buttons. Check it out!"

In today's Forums,
lexi announces the
Hyperjaxb3 release 0.3.
"I'm glad to announce the 0.3 release of Hyperjaxb3. Hyperjaxb3 is a JAXB plugin which annotates schema-derived classes with Java Persistence API annotations effectively making these classes persistent. Hyperjaxb3 resolves a lot of incompatibilities between JAXB and JPA, taking into an account JPA limitations and JAXB peculiarities. Generated annotations are 100% standard (no vendor extensions used) meaning your classes will be portable across EJB3 containers. There are no database dependencies - you can persist your schema-derived classes in any database supported by your container."

mikaelgrev has some
API Suggestions for the Scene Graph project:
"I suggest that the SGMouseListener is done like in Piccolo or SWT where it is a single method and you instead swtich on the event type. This creates less verbose code, simplifies things such as catching popup gestures and can take advantage of when it becomes easier to implement single method inner classes (through CICE for instance). One can also install a default dispatcher that works like the SGMouseListener you have now, so having it the single method way actually makes both approaches possible."

Finally nsimpson addresses the inevitable API changes ahead for Project Wonderland in
Re: Project future and changes.
"Our goal for 0.3 is for it to be a stable release that people can use for evaluation purposes and to explore from a development perspective. As you've seen from the Google doc you reference below, we have a lot of ideas for how we want to evolve Wonderland. One aspect we're working on is a Wonderland kernel which can have stable interfaces and a plug-in architecture that allows people to extend it in interesting ways. Clearly as we move in that direction, there will be some refactoring and new APIs that will require developers to make changes. We will be developing on 0.3 ourselves, so we'll also be dealing with those issues ourselves."

Current and upcoming Java

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What was 2007's biggest story?