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My Top Five Sessions From JavaONE 2008

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[img_assist|nid=3306|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=198|height=80]The JavaONE technical sessions have been made available with featured videos and PDFs of the technical sessions, helping those of us who missed the conference with an opportunity to catch up with all the latest news. There are over 150 technical sessions available, so I've condensed the list into my own top five talks.

  • Extreme Innovation

    [img_assist|nid=3310|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=63|height=95]This video session is from one of the Sun General Sessions presented by James Gosling. The thing I like most about this video is the first project mentioned here - Blue Wonder. It makes use of Real Time Java , where Sun produce the hardware that it runs on. This is exciting to me for many reasons. For one, they use Real Time Java on this industrial PLC, which is within my interest area. Secondly, this JSR has been around since the very beginning. It's great to see it being used in a domain such as industrial automation. Here Sun created a piece of hardware that was based on an x86 system with a high temperature range and diskless to suit the industrial environment. There's a pretty cool demo of the system in action with real industrial sensors. It's a good example of how the Java RTS could change the traditional approaches of industrial automation.

    Related to this is Real-Time Specification for Java (JSR 1) : The Revolution Continues, where you can find out more about the JSRs for Real Time Java and what it means to program for real time, safety critical systems.

  • Let's Resync - Concurrency Features in JDK 7

    [img_assist|nid=3311|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=143|height=95]When it comes to concurrency, Brian Goetz is the best qualified to talk about it. In this video, he outlines what we can possibly expect JDK 7 to provide for us in concurrency. Because of changes in hardware trends, with multiple cores, we need to be able to handle finer-grained parallelism in our Java applications. This talk is great because it really gets you thinking about the challenges that will face developers over the next few years.

    While on the topic of additions to JDK 7, this discussion on the New I/O APIs is quite interesting, and outlines the asynchronous I/O API and the long awaited file system API that Java developers have been missing (unless you've used Commons IO).
  • Closures Cookbook

    [img_assist|nid=3312|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=63|height=72]Closures have been a hot topic for quite some time now, and in this talk Neal Gafter presents how closures can reduce boilerplate code in your Java classes. I personally lean more on the side of leaving closures out of Java 7 and keeping the language simpler. But to have a balanced argument, it's important to see both sides of the debate. Here I think that Neal provides a interesting presentation on his own closures proposal. Will we still be talking about closures at next years JavaONE?

  • Filthy Rich Clients: Filthier, Richer, Clientier

    [img_assist|nid=3314|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=50|height=78]Probably one of the most popular talks on the desktop track is from Romain Guy and Chet Haase, continuing on from Filthy Rich Clients sessions in the past few years. If you're a fan of the bookor a desktop Java developer, you'll enjoy this presentation, which is available in video or PDF.

  • Comparing Rich Client Platforms

    [img_assist|nid=3315|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=63|height=87]Kai Toedter and Geertjan Wielenga ran a very interesting session comparing the Netbeans Platform with the Eclipse Rich Client Platform. It's a good introduction to the architecture of both platforms and covers the main points about getting started in developing applications for either of the platforms. It's interesting to see the screenshots of the demo MP3 Manager application Kai wrote using both approaches - both create really slick, professional looking interfaces. Both platforms offer similar things but the big difference is the choice of toolkit, where you need to choose between Swing and SWT, and the consequences that flow from that.

Geertjan has recently provided his top personal insights from JavaONE, and this list gives you an idea of what I was interested in. So now it's your turn - what sessions did you enjoy and would you recommend to the community?

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