What happened during the “Java Developer Days in Athens” event

Today I attended the “Java Developer Days in Athens” event held in Athens Information Technology (AIT), along with my good friend chstath. Some from the team of speakers were familiar to the greek audience. I still remember a “colorful” presentation back in 2001-02 held at the NTUA 🙂

The facilities at AIT where excellent, the speakers where motivating and I had the opportunity to see friends, people from JHUG, former colleagues and even an old friend from the army. The turnout was massive so the participants filled a large auditorium and at least 2 classrooms that had direct video connection.

Panoramic shot of the auditorium

Most of the people stayed until almost the end of the event, which is something I’ve rarely seen.

I will try to give a short overview of this exciting event, for those that couldn’t attend.

Keynote by Reginald Hutcherson

  • Mentioned an array of popular organizations that are know for their large scale java deployments (yahoo, google, youtube, ebay).
  • The motto he repeated many times was “It’s a lifestyle”.
  • Gave a short description of the Web 2.0 ecology.
  • Spoke about the emerging concept of having one virtual machine for all languages: java, php, ruby, etc.
  • Said that any software tool in the future will be deployed through NetBeans.
  • Suggested that with open sourcing java (along with other products like OpenSolaris), SUN became one of the biggest open source contributor in the world.
  • Since Duke was open sourced… people are doing some strange things with it.

Cool Demos by Simon Ritter, Doris Chena and Angela Caicedo

  • JSF, AJAX, NetBeans Flower Shop Demo (similar to Java EE 5 blueprints)
  • “Nasa Rover at your pocket” – Angela remotely manipulating a robot from her Java ME enabled mobile phone. Basically web services from a Java ME client (see NetBeans Mobility Pack).
  • “Search Inside Music” – Automatically create an mp3 playlist based on “audio fingerprint”. Finds similarities based on voice recognision.
  • SUN SPOT (Programmable Objects Technology) – Infrastructure for wireless network sensors. At some point the speaker used a virtual glove (see “Minority Report”).

Feedback from the community

  • Presentation of the JHUG:

Java SE Language Past, Present, Future by Doris Chen

  • Java SE 6
    • Timeline of Java
    • Said that in the future there will be no short maintenance releases but rather major releases every 6-8 weeks
  • Java SE 7 (H2 2008)
  • Reasons for migrating to v6
    • No major migration issues from 1.4 and later
    • Binary backwards compatibility
    • Client/Server Benchmarks show Tiger fast, but v6 FASTER
  • java.net description
  • Short explanation of the new licensing:
    • GPL2
    • +Classpath exception
  • Overview of many new features of v6 (a dozen o JSRs)
    • Personal favorites:
      • Password prompt for console. No more GUIs just for the sake of hiding a password
      • Classpath wildcards like “*”… but be careful if you need class loading in a specific order
      • Jconsole looked sexy
      • The new Desktop class (java.awt.Desktop) promises to speed up trivial tasks
      • Splash Screen for java apps (cool!). Even from prompt: java – splash:my.gif MyApp
      • Customized Tray Icon (cool again!).
      • Auto-update: Nice but still not as sophisticated as it should be
  • Some new features of Java 7 like inclusion of dynamically typed langs

Every time I attend an event where the speakers come from diverse cultures, I enjoy listening to the different accents. Actually I have a very flat Greek/Spanish accent that is typical of the region I come from. Well, Doris had an intriguing oriental accent that sometimes was… funny, hence emerged the joke “I know that the oriental cuisine is one of the best in the world but… what is all that about the `sauce code`”.

BPEL & SOA by Simon Ritter

  • What are “Services”
  • … “Service Oriented Architectures
  • What do Services do
  • Service Implemntation Tehnologies: The ecology
  • “Principles”
  • Descripion of “Composite Apps”
  • Bussiness Process Requirements and
  • NetBeans demo

Java ME for phones and devices

  • Intro to Java ME today, “The Big Picture”
  • A new acronym for me: JTWI
  • MSA (JSR 248) (they finally got it)
  • <At this point the coffee stopped having an effect on me due to a heavy lunch>

Solaris by Simon Ritter

Since it was a SUN event, it was expected to see something about Solaris. Although the presentation had nothing to do with Java, Simon managed to capture our attention with some cool stuff that come along with the new Solaris, like DTrace (3500 probes available also in Java).

Dynamic Proxies by Dr. Heinz Kabutz

Web tier with AJAX

  • What is AJAX
  • Autocomplete demo using a servlet (raw AJAX)
  • Description of toolkits
    • JSF Components
    • Client-side javascript libraries
    • Wrapper: jMaki (hot!)
    • Java to javascript translator (call me GWT)
    • Remoting via Proxy (DWR)


More information (in greek) regarding the event…




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