This article covers more technical sessions, the Wednesday afternoon General Session on Mobility, and a couple of BOFs.
First up is "Extreme GUI Makeover,” in which Amy Fowler, Dan Grieve, Jasper Potts, and Paru Somashekar, took the Swing email application that was the “after” version of a previous makeover and added some JavaFX fashion sense. The new application is a hybrid; part Java, part JavaFX. One interesting note is that the application included a tree control to display the folders containing email addresses. Unfortunately, the tree was something Amy Fowler created for the demo and is not part of the official JavaFX 1.2 release. The most popular change was Jasper’s innovative way to delete email using an animated misile; the missile streaks out of the application and arcs back to strike the email message and explode in a nicely animated fireball, complete with the appropriate sound effects. The team did a fine job of showing off how easy it is to create an interesting and useful interface for an existing Swing application using JavaFX and the new UI controls available for it.
“Creating Compelling User Experiences” by JavaOne Rock Star Ben Galbraith was interesting, informative, and, for some people, a bit controversial. He asserts that if your user interface provides a compelling user experience to your customers, it doesn’t really matter how well the rest of your system is designed or implemented. As an example of this Ben points to the Wii gaming system. Though some gamers consider it underpowered and not up to the standards set by the PS3 or Xbox 360, most consumers don’t care. They like playing the games and that’s enough. Galbraith looks at this idea and at what developers can do to improve their customer's user experieces for most of the session. Whether you agree or disagree with this idea, I recommend watching the video once Sun makes it available.
“JavaFX Programming Language + Groovy = Beauty + Productivity” by Dierk Konig took an interesting look at combining JavaFX and Groovy in applications based on their strengths. Use JavaFX to create stunning user interfaces and use the high programmer productivity Groovy provides to build the rest of the system. This was another excellent talk and worth watching, once it is available.
Eric Klein, VP of the Client Systems Group at Sun, used the afternoon General Session to tell us more about opportunities available for Java developers due to the rise of the “connected device.” While the vast majority of these devices are phones, of which 2.6 billion run Java ME, the story doesn’t end there. Devices like the Amazon Kindle, netbooks, Sony PlayStation 3, Internet connected TVs and set-top boxes are increasing the market size and Sun is positioning JavaFX mobile as the development language of choice for creating the applications that run on these devices.
Eric let us in on an addition to the Java App Store that Sun had kept secret until now; the Java Warehouse - check out http://java.sun.com/warehouse for details. The idea is that developers can submit their Java or JavaFX applications to the warehouse and Sun will do the grunt work of getting it ready for sale (testing and certification, content management, provisioning, etc) and ships it to either the Java App store (for desktop apps) or to the app stores run by their Carrier and MSO partners (phones and TV) so your application is available “everywhere.”. Sun even has a catch-phrase for this new process; “Submit once, sell everywhere.”
At the "Hudson Community Meet-up," Tom Huybrechts and Kohsuke Kawaguchi showed off some of the new features and plug-ins for Hudson and got feedback from the community on their likes, dislikes. One of the most interesting plug-ins lets Hudson interact with the Drools rules engine to create flexible build processes.
The "Griffon in Depth" BOF, presented by Danno Ferrin and James Williams, was an excellent introduction to the internals of Griffon - a Grails-ish framework for building Swing applications. Griffon leverages the Groovy language, the Model-View-Controller pattern, and some of the tenets of Grails (like convention over configuration) to increase programmer productivity. If you are interested in creating rich user interfaces for the Java platform, but aren’t ready to dive into JavaFX, Griffon is a likely candidate and this session was a good introduction. Check out the video when it becomes available.
Burk Hufnagel reporting for DZone