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JavaOne 2009 Day 3 - Part 2

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More technical sessions, and IBM’s Keynote at the afternoon General Session.

In “The New World: JavaFX Technology-Based UI Controls”, Richard Bair, Amy Fowler, and Jasper Potts, gave us a first look at the new user interface controls, charts, and layouts in JavaFX 1.2. The goal was to make using the controls to be simple and easy to learn, while being practical, and rich in terms of what they can do and how well they scale. The architecture was designed to make it easy for developers to create controls for their own applications, or to sell in a third-party market. JavaFX controls follow a modified Model/View/Controller pattern where there is a little bit of two way talk between the different parts of the control to make it easy for the different parts of the control to work together. The JavaFX look “Caspian” was intended to give JavaFX it’s own style, which had to work with on all the different devices JavaFX can run on, work for different types of applications, be “skinnable” using CSS, and not look too much like anything else. For many Java developers creating a UI, layouts are difficult, and JavaFX has been designed to make them a little easier to understand. Amy Fowler did an excellent job in taking a complicated subject and giving us a reasonable introduction to it in about twenty-five minutes. If you’re interested in layout management in JavaFX, Amy recommended reading this entry in her blog, http://weblogs.java.net/blog/aim/archive/2009/01/layout_primer_f.html, as a start. If you’re interested in learning more about JavaFX, watch the video of this session when it becomes available.

The Hands-on lab “Breathe in JavaFX Technology” was run by Fabiola Gallegos Rios and Mike Skvor from Sun, and it provided an opportunity for us to get our hands dirty and gain some experience writing JavaFX code. There were three exercises, each teaching a little more about JavaFX and what how to program in it. The first exercise is a pretty spiffy slideshow and it takes about 45 minutes, the second is a video player that runs in a web page and it’s about another 45 minutes, and the third is a simple video game and only takes about 30 minutes. It’s a good lab, though the instructions sometimes seem a little out of order, and I recommend taking it if you’re interested in getting a feel for JavaFX programming.

IBM took the floor for the afternoon General Session and Craig Hayman, VP IBM WebSphere, spoke to us about their answers to the problem of scaling services and solutions in a talk titled “Extreme Transaction Processing and Elasticity - the Answer for Your Most Demanding Aplications.” Part of this is the idea of a “smarter planet”, which involves software and hardware that is better instrumented, more interconnected, and more intelligent. The key to all this is Open Standards, Open Architecture and Open Source because “we won’t get a smarter planet from one vendor.” According to Hayman, IBM development model is to contribute to open source projects with code, or developer time, then harness the innovation that comes from that contribution and bring it back into their product lines.

As an example Hayman used the Apache Harmony project, which is an open source JVM, where they used what they’d learned about OSGI from the Equinox project and made a plug-able JVM that loads quickly by only including the parts that your application needs. Hayman introduced Tim Ellison, VP of the Apache Software Foundation, who presented an introduction to the Harmony project.

Hayman announced that the Websphere Application Server which is built using OSGI and runs on Harmony is now free for developers. IBM products are also available as Amazon EC2 images, to make it easier for developers who want to get their feet wet with cloud computing. IBM is also making it easier to create an internal cloud computing system using a product called the CloudBurst Appliance. He also spoke about their “Elastic Data Grid” which makes horizontal scaling easier, Project Zero which is a platform for building Web 2.0 style applications, and work being done on the WebSphere RealTime JVM. Check out the video at http://java.sun.com/javaone/2009/general_sessions.jsp#gs6 for more information.

After Dark Party was held indoors to avoid the threat of rain. Sun promoted it as “a high-intensity, greatest-hits rock concert by the World Classic Rockers!” and they did a good job of living up to that claim. The food was decent and it looked like the people there were enjoying themselves.

Burk Hufnagel, reporting for DZone

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