It's that time of year where I try to decide what technologies I'm going to focus on for the next few months, a developer's new year resolutions. 2008 was a good year but I didn't get around to learning everything in depth (who does!). So here's my list of topics:
JavaFX was the big focus for Sun last year but, because I don't need to use it in the day job, it hasn't really caught my attention. After discussing the release with some of the guys from Sun it became apparent to me that this could be something great. My plan is to try and write some larger scale applications with JavaFX, mess around with the Swing component interaction and to see if the single sourcing idea will work when JavaFX mobile comes out.
To just have Spring as a heading is pretty wide-ranging. But this year I want to find out more about the Spring portfolio. I will be focussing on Spring Web Flow and Spring MVC, in an aim to get a better appreciation of web frameworks.
Even if it's a technology that I may not have to use, I'm sure I'll find many useful design tips/patterns within the Spring product line.
Eclipse is very much rooted in OSGi with the Equinox implementation. While at Eclipse Summit Europe last year, I saw two really interesting demos. One was Jeff McAffer's Equinox and OSGI Best Practices talk where he showed how we can all improve our use of OSGi. I really need to take these tips on board and write better quality OSGi applications. The upcoming Equinox and OSGI: The Power Behind Eclipse book will be a must-read for me, as well as the Equinox Refcard which is due for release this month.
The other interesting OSGi-related tip I found was that if you seperate your code into sensible bundles, you can just stop one bundle within the application through the OSGi console, make changes to the code, and restart the bundle again to continue debugging. It makes sense, but I had never thought of it like that.
So I really need to revisit my own use of OSGi, and get better at it.
Java Real Time Specification
Last year I had the chance to find out a little bit more about the earliest JSR when I interviewed Greg Bollella. This year I want to learn how to leverage the Java RTS in detail. To do this I'll be running my application on Solaris, which is something new for me as I usually use Windows. I'm looking forward to the challenges of real time concurrency.
As I work with Eclipse technologies a lot, one of my big plans is to get certified through the Eclipse Training Alliance, to sharpen my skills. There's three certifications available - Eclipse RCP Developer, Advanced Eclipse RCP Developer and Eclipse OSGi/Equinox Developer. They sound really interesting and you'll be able to follow my progress on EclipseZone where I'll be giving some more background into the certification process.
So there's my list, which I'm sure will change as I progress through the year. What are your plans for 2009? Have you got any predictions for the Java community?