June 5, 2009

JavaOne: Signing Off

javaoneI just went to two more sessions here on the last day at JavaOne and they were actually both quite good. The first was given by William Pugh who is one of the creators of the FindBugs static analysis tool. We use FindBugs extensively in our build process with Project Darkstar and it has proven to be quite useful. It was interesting to see that a few of the bug examples given during this session actually had some overlap with Josh Bloch's Effective Java talk that I attended earlier in the conference. In addition to the FindBugs talk I also went to a talk on the ins and outs of the Java Virtual Machine. I am certainly no JVM expert so this was an interesting talk for me to see some examples of how the JVM does speculative optimization, garbage collection, and some other neat tricks to speed up your code.
I have one more session on my schedule for today but this will likely be my final blog post on this year's JavaOne conference. A few closing thoughts:
  • On the subject of Project Darkstar, I would say it was a generally positive event. Darkstar is a technology that clearly many have heard of, are interested in, and have a sincere desire to apply it for their own needs. With DarkChat, the CommunityOne and JavaOne sessions, and the hands-on lab, this conference seemed to do a decent job of generating some additional buzz.
  • On a more general note, there's obviously a bit of uncertainty surrounding the future of Java, JavaOne, and how Oracle will handle its future direction. I think that showed a bit at this conference, as there was no clear air of excitement and energy around anything in particular. There weren't really any groundbreaking announcements, no killer apps, no prototypes that can truly be considered game changers. I did see many examples of fine engineering and innovation but nothing worthy of eliciting that "Wow" factor from a general audience.
  • Finally, on a personal note, I enjoyed coming to this conference and felt like I was able to connect a little more to the community than at the two GDC conferences I've been to this year. While Project Darkstar is a technology targeted specifically at games, I wouldn't say I consider myself a "game developer" at all. I'm a Java developer, and more generally a software developer, and while it was a long and exhausting week, I was glad I got the opportunity to be here and expand my horizons a bit.
So that's it for my week at JavaOne 2009. I hope you enjoyed following along. Next week I'll be back to my regularly scheduled Ultimate-playing ways.

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