Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Short note about Java ONE 2011...

Hi there,
last friday i returned from my trip to JavaOne and i have to say that this conference really rocks.
Well to be honest i did not thought this way when i arrived at the conference because the venue was terrible in my eyes. This is because i never attended a conference where the talks have been split up to different hotels...and we are talking about huge hotels which means it takes a while until you find your way through all these floors...
The splitting somehow destroys the "community feeling" that usually is present at a conference which means all the people are hiding somewhere in the hotels and it's hard to find someone if you are searching for someone.
But nevertheless i met a lot of people which was a really great experience, especially talking to Greg Brown of the JavaFX team was really interesting because we simply had a lot of stuff to talk about...really enjoyed that.

When i arrived at sunday evening i was a little bit in a hurry to check in to the hotel and pick up my badge for JavaOne because i arrived in SFO around 6pm.
After i picked the badge up i went outside to the Mason Street café where i met Frank Greco from Kaazing. We had a nice discussion about HTML5, websockets etc.

Fortunately i met Andres Almiray and Ixchel Ruiz on monday morning so they picked me up at Mason Street café and showed me the speakers lounge etc. which was great to know. After that we attended the keynote that had some nice things in it (i just say JavaFX on an iPad and an Android device...)
After the keynote i started exploring the venue and attended lots of talks.

On tuesday i continued my exploration by visiting the exhibition area. I talked to the Vaadin guys and decided to add support for Vaadin to the FxgConverter. In addition i asked again for one of their t-shirts but again got the answer that they don't have them available. I told them that i asked them last year at JFokus and this year at JFokus and again on JavaOne and never got one...so they said they will send me one...what should i say...they really did...THANX A LOT !!!
After talking to Vaadin i walked to the Jetbrans booth and talked with them about the possibility to add the fxg converter as a plugin to IntelliJ and they directly send me a template that i'm now working on to get the FxgConverter as plugin for IntelliJ Idea. Again THANX A LOT !!!
The last booth i visited was one of the JavaFX desks of Oracle where i met Greg Brown of the JavaFX team. Like i said we had a lot of good discussions that i really enjoyed...so i'll keep in touch with Greg that's for sure.

Another highlight was the Java Desktop lunch that was organized by Stephen Chin (a really nice guy btw) and i have to say even if it was short it was good to see and talk to people that have the same interests as i have...Java on the desktop.

You know i kept an eye on JavaFX since back to the days when it was called F3 (FormFollowsFunction) and "just" a project of Chris Olliver and i really didn't liked the whole JavaFX script stuff that Sun made out of it. I can't really explain why i did not like JavaFX script (might be all the braces) but i know that something prevented me from ever using it.
When i heard that Oracle will reinvent the wheel another time i was not really looking forward to the result but i have to say that it was worth taking a look at it.
Now that it's implemented in Java the whole JavaFX thing makes much more sense and if you start working with it, it feels somehow familiar. Maybe this is because it was made by the same people that created Swing...
Well it's not completely finished yet and i still miss some things that are available in Swing but i have to say that the JavaFX team did a great job by porting it to Java. They convinced me so that i started porting the SteelSeries library to JavaFX which means there will be a SteelSeriesFX in the near future (depending on the spare time that i'll have in my new job). So even if you think you won't need all the effects and animations in JavaFX it's really worth a look.

Well to be honest there are also parts in JavaFX that really looks quirky and lead to a lot of boilerplate code but fortunately Dean Iverson and Jim Clarke did a great job on creating GroovyFX which is a Groovy port to JavaFX. With using GroovyFX you are able to reduce the amount of code to a minimum. The really good thing is that you won't loose the readability but you will in fact get a better readability too...it's just amazing. By the way there's also a Scala port to JavaFX called ScalaFX which is similar to GroovyFX in the amount of code you won't have to write.

I knew it for some time but never played around with it...SHAME ON ME !!! Griffon really rocks and i hope to find some time to finally play around with it. After attending the talk of Andres Almiray i just can tell you if you are a Swing developer you should take a look at Griffon, it really has some nice features in it.

Back to the conference:
Mentioning Dean Iverson reminds me on the talks he gave at JavaOne...if you ever have the chance to attend to one of his talks...GO THERE !!!!! This guy is really entertaining and has a lot of knowledge to share with you...his talks have been my favourites at JavaOne.
Another great talk was the one of Dierk König (Canoo) which was slideless...such a nice idea to simply code in front of the audience. So anyone that had a question just asked and Dierk replied to it by live coding the answer. The complete contrast to Dierks talk was a talk about JavaFX multimedia stuff which was one of the not as good talks i attended. After this talk i thought by myself that it should be forbidden for the speaker to sit in front of his computer during the talk (except he is coding/showing something). The whole presentation got so boring just because the speakers (3 of them) just sitting in front of their computers which made the whole scene looked like a "Stillleben"...i left the talk before it was finished.
Even if i'm not coding for mobile devices i attended a talk about LWUIT (LightWeight UI Toolkit) which is used in the Java ME area. The reason why i attended this talk was that they have a nice concept for the presentation, they brought their graphical designer with them and let him explain how and why he created specific graphical things in LWUIT. This was interesting because it demonstrated the problems with the Designer-Developer workflow that was part of my talk.

On wednesday i had my talk at 1pm and it was fun...so for everyone that is interested you could find the pdf of my presentation here
Wednesday evening i spent some time at the event on treasure island where Sting and Tom Petty and the heartbreakers played but i have to say that there have been too many people out there for me so i decided to went back to the hotel early.

At thursday which was the last day of the conference i decided to spent half the day at Google in Mt. View visiting Alex Ruiz which was worth every second...
Alex is such a nice guy and we talked a lot (most of the time about our kids) which i really enjoyed and i'm looking forward to meet him again...

Because i started my new job at Quintiq yesterday i won't have much time left to blog but i'll try to keep things running so stay tuned...

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