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Strange Town

Posted by editor on March 7, 2008 at 5:49 AM PST

The Java Posse Roundup overwhelms a town's pizza capacity

Today is the last day of the Java Posse Roundup open-spaces conference. Last night, the group got together at the house the Posse is renting for some Scala demos, lightning talks (including a very impressive JavaFX demo in which duplicated their Flex-based conference viewer in JavaFX), and pizza. Problem is, with 38 attendees, we apparently overwhelmed the pizza-making capacity of the small skiing town of Crested Butte: the first two delivery places we contacted balked at the size of our order. So we ended up having to order pizza from three different places to get everyone fed. Yeah, hardship, I know, but when was the last time you heard of someone turning away a big order?

Anyways, after last night's lightning talks, Dick Wall took his portable mic and gave everyone a chance to talk about where they'd come from, what they did at the conference, and what they might change in the future. This session has already gone out as Java Posse #168. While the comments give a good overview of the conference, they don't delve into specifics, and for that, you'll presumably have to wait until the recorded sessions start going out on the Posse's podcast feed.

This year's discussions have displayed a tendency to stray in unanticipated directions. A talk about Java's many widget frameworks spent significant time on Joe Nuxoll's assertion that not being component-based, and thus not fostering a third-party market for components, has badly harmed all of them. One session was based on the idea that the GPLing of Java has led to a second renaissance for the platform, and that it would have perished if not open-sourced. A session kicked off by Bruce Eckel with the broad goal of trying to reinvent work in the style of an open-spaces conference tried to find the common points between everyone's favorite jobs. And Dianne Marsh led a session on the often-unappreciated importance of networking, how to do it, and when you need it. Being an organizer of CodeMash, she also launched a very detailed session on hosting smaller, user-organized conferences, exchanging ideas and details with our host, Bruce, and Stephan Janssen, founder of Javapolis.

So, one more day of geeking out on Java here in Crested Butte, then we all head out of the snow and back to real life. It's been a blast.

In Java Today, is proud to announce the availability of NetBeans IDE 6.1 Beta for download. Highlights of this release include: Rich Javascript editing features, improved performance, especially faster startup (up to 40%), support for Spring web framework, new MySQL Support in Database Explorer, and more The final NetBeans IDE 6.1 release is planned for Spring 2008.

Coming off appearances at Mobile & Embedded Developer Days and other mobility-oriented conferences, JDJ's "JSR Watch" columnist Patrick Curran focuses on the state of ME and its relevant JSRs in JSR Watch: Java Mobile and Embedded Spotlight. "A total of 77 Java ME JSRs have made some progress through the JCP since its inception and 42 have been completed. Twenty Java ME JSRs were active in 2007 (getting started, publishing drafts, going to ballot, or making final or maintenance releases). A quick review of the active JSRs gives a clear picture of the breadth of technologies covered in the ME space: speech APIs (JSR 113), data synchronization (JSR 230), user interface customization (JSR 258), broadcast services (JSR 272), vector graphics (JSR 287), automotive telematics (JSR 298), event tracking (JSR 190), digital TV (JSR 242), and XML (JSR 280)."

Brian Goetz has posted the latest installment of a series on currency, Stick a Fork in it, Part 2, introducing an important new Java 7 class. "One of the additions to the java.util.concurrent packages coming in Java 7 is a library for fork-join-style parallel decomposition. In part one of this series, author Brian Goetz showed how fork-join provides a natural mechanism for decomposing many algorithms to effectively exploit hardware parallelism. In this article, he'll cover the ParallelArray classes, which simplify parallel sorting and searching operations on in-memory data structures."

In today's Forums,
bi11w00ds advocates
JavaFX as a utility scripting language
I'm just looking for thoughts, comments on JavaFX being used to replace traditional scripting languages such as Perl etc. Aside from being a good basis to write GUI applications, I believe with all the new constructs (specifically sequences) this would be a great non-gui general purpose batch scripting type language. Any thoughts?

mamuneeb asks
What is the procedure for compatibility testing (TCK) for J2ME JSRs.
"I would like to know the procedure to develop TCK test suite for Mobile JSR's such as (CLDC,MIDP,MM etc...). I came to know that specTrac tool is required to generate the test cases, but what will be the operating environment for this."

Would-be Blu-Ray Java developer darkmoon_uk shares recent experiences working with
Playstation 3, BDMV and BD-RE.
"I recently invested in a PS3, Burner and BD-RE discs for testing my development. However all is not well. The PS3, like many other players, does not want to play a BDMV folder structure burned straight to the disc. There are a few threads online, mainly from the 'backup' community, who have found that the PS3 *does* play this structure if burned with Roxio DVDit Pro and a PS3 patch. Presumably some bits need to be set on disc during the burn which are not covered by a normal UDF2.50 burn. I have personally found this not to work, burning the HD Cookbook sample project leaves the PS3 in a black screen state. However, I burned a quick, test Roxio DVDit project and this DID work on the PS3, showing menus and video. This proves to me that it is possible to have the PS3 play BDMV, even with the latest firmware (I have 2.10). The question is, how to make the HD Cookbook project play? I consider this an important question as, being a key player, the PS3 makes a good and cost effective test platform... that is, if only it would work."

In light of the kind of effort extended by darkmoon_uk and other BD-J aspirants, and others not put off by the $4,000 fee for the BD-J content development specs, the latest Poll asks "What's your interest level in Blu-Ray Disc Java (BD-J)?" Cast your vote on the front page, then check the results page for current tallies and discussion.

In today's Weblogs, Mandy


While I do assert that becoming Open Source is essential to Java's continued growth, there actually is a bit more to it as I declared (in 2006) that there were four pillars to The Great Java Renaissance (GPL, GWT, JPA, and BD-J). Of course Apache is the foundation that sustained Java through the dark decade of not being OSS.

And now two years later we see that the pillars are well and that we even have a fifth now, Google Android.