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JavaOne Thoughts after Browsing the "Emerging Languages, Tools, and Techniques" Track

Posted by editor on September 26, 2011 at 5:26 PM PDT

The JavaOne Emerging Languages, Tools, and Techniques track could have had a longer title, given the variety that exists in the 100 sessions that have been grouped into the track. Visit the JavaOne Content Catalog and select "Emerging Languages, Tools, and Techniques" in the "Tracks" pull-down to see what I mean.

The key word for this track is "Emerging" -- it's about efforts that are happening right now that look to the future, but aren't yet well established within the Java ecosystem. Hence, it's a very broad category, since at any given point in time, lots of new ideas are being worked on by lots of people. But, at the same time, looking at the sessions grouped into this track, you'd think that this track was used a bit as a kind of catch-all. All that means is that whatever your primary JavaOne interest is, you may want to take a look at the "Emerging" track sessions list, to make sure you don't miss something you'll later wish you had attended.

For example, there's Java Champion Kirk Pepperdine's session "Are Your Garbage Collection Logs Speaking to You?" (Tuesday, 5:30 PM). That's a pretty critical topic, when you're talking about operational software within a Data Center, or client software that connects to a Data Center, or desktop software that a company sells. Kirk describes his session as follows:

If you wanna know what your garbage collector is up to, the best place to look is in the GC logs. Using the right set of switches, you can get information critical to the proper tuning of your JVM while incurring minimal overhead. For example, many applications are starved for memory in at least one of their internal memory pools. GC logs will tell you about these starvation conditions, and with a few calculations, you can do the necessary reconfiguration. But it's not only starvation that can be a problem. Having too much memory can be equally problematic. Or your problem may be as simple as your application's calling System.gc(). All this information can be found in the GC logs -- but only if you learn how to listen to what the logs are telling you.

So, among the available JavaOne tracks, where would you put Kirk's session? It's a practical look at situations Java developers face every day. I expect it will be very well attended. It turns out that Kirk's session is listed in both the Core Java Platform track, and in the Emerging Languages, Tools, and Techniques track. This makes sense.

It also points out once more how difficult it is for people who are attending JavaOne to actually construct a schedule of sessions they'll attend. I've made a schedule, finding many more sessions I wish I could attend than can possibly fit into the available time. And, now I'm realizing that I'll have to pare back the schedule I've made -- else, I won't be able to do any blogging about what I'm seeing at the conference!

So, what else will you find in the "Emerging" track? Everything from Java Benchmarking to the cloud, Mylyn and Hudson, low-level Hotspot flags, Java User Groups, OpenEJB, Java startup performance, the JCP, Netbeans, OSGi, API design, JRuby, Gradle... the list goes on! Weblogs

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