June 5, 2009

JavaOne: Days 3 and 4

javanet_logoI'm here at the final day of the JavaOne conference and things are starting to wind down. The pavilion floor is closed, there are only a few sessions left on the schedule, and people are starting to wrap things up. Karl and Keith actually caught flights home this morning but this being my first JavaOne (and last?), I wanted to stay for the whole thing. What JavaOne will look like next year is anyone's guess.

In any case, yesterday was a light day for me at the conference. I attended a session which was essentially a survey of a grab-bag of small test tools and gizmos. An interesting takeaway from that session was that testing Java code is not always best done using Java. Often times certain necessary and useful features of the language (like private methods and security features) make things difficult to test. Technologies like Groovy and JRuby, though, contain hooks that allow you to circumvent some of these features for the purposes of testing, without making your test code ugly, brittle, and difficult to maintain. I think the case that was made was good in the case of some tools, but others just traded one piece of complicated (but recognizable) syntax, to another piece of complicated (and unrecognizable) syntax instead. There were some things worth investigating though.

After that session, as mentioned I also recorded a quick podcast on Project Darkstar at the java.net CommunityCorner. The podcast was in the form of a conversational type interview with one of the editors at java.net and he told me that he'll be posting it and a blog of the event somewhere on java.net within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for that.

I didn't do a lot Thursday afternoon. I wandered the pavilion floor, talked with a few people, and handed out the rest of the hundred or so Project Darkstar pens that I brought with me to the conference. I then met up with Keith, Karl, and Mike. Mike and his wife offered their generous hospitality with a low-key, very nice get together at their house in Oakland Hills.

I attended James Gosling's general session "Toy Show" this morning and there were some neat things showcased. One of the cool innovations that was demoed was the mashup of a Wii remote, a JavaFX application being projected onto a piece of transparent, frosted glass, and a glove with infrared sensors on the finger tips. The result was a makeshift touch screen that gave a user interface similar to what they compared to as something out of the movie Minority Report. Pretty slick. There was also a more sobering presentation on how one company is using Java to do image recognition and analysis to identify images, including sharpening the ability to more quickly, easily, and accurately diagnose and identify cancer from biopsy images. Other highlights included a Java powered, energy efficient, hybrid Lincoln Continental, and an Audi capable of driving itself.
I'm getting ready to attend a few more sessions before the conference draws to a close, and I'll have some closing thoughts a little later.

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