Top 10 Desktop Sessions at JavaOne 2008
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.