David R. Heffelfinger

  Ensode Technology, LLC


JavaOne 2014 Trip Report

I just came back from my annual trip to JavaOne. As usual, the conference was great. This year I had two talks, I participated in a panel at NetBeans day on Sunday right after the Technical Keynote. The title of the session was "Get Productive with Free Java Tools". I had the pleasure of presenting with Tony Epple (@monacotony), who was moderating the panel and gave a quick demo on DukeScript, Sven Reimers (@SvenNB), who showed how to integrate the NetBeans IDE with JavaFX's SceneBuilder, Michelle Chamberlin, who explained the cool things she is doing at Boeing with the NetBeans platform, and Bernd Ruehlicke, who presented how the NetBeans platform is being used in the oil industry.

My other session was a Java EE Hands-On Lab I co-presented with Mark Heckler (@MkHeck). Many thanks to Josh Juneau (@javajuneau), Sven Reimers (@SvenNB) and Bob Larsen, who helped us proctor the lab. The session was packed to the brim, there was a waiting list and many couldn't make it inside.

Feedback for the Hands-On Lab was great, attendees were stopping me in the hallway to tell me how much they enjoyed it, made my day. If you were one of those who couldn't make it in, or if you couldn't make it to the conference, all the materials for the lab can be found at http://ensode.net/downloads/JavaEE_Hands_On_Lab.zip.

In addition to my own sessions, I attended several sessions by some of the other great speakers. Sunday morning I attended the GlassFish community panel, with John Clingan (@jclingan), Cameron Purdy (@cpurdy) and Anil Gaur (@annilgaur), moderated by Reza Rahman (@reza_rahman), in this session, the panelists reiterated Oracle's commitment to GlassFish.



During the GlassFish Adoption session Mohamed Taman (@_tamanm) talked about a large scale deployment in Egypt, in which he used GlassFish on a UN project. His company won the contract, and  by the time they started to work on it most of the work was already in place, readily impressing his client. Mohammed also briefly talked about this project during the community keynote. Martin Mares (@MartinJMares) also talked during this session, showing some cool things he is doing with the GlassFish command line administration tool, asadmin.

I then attended the technical keynote, which included speakers from IBM and Oracle. The keynote was running behind schedule, I had to leave early since I had a session right after, as I'm sure you've heard by now, Brian Goetz (@BrianGoetz) was kicked out of the stage towards the end. I missed when it happened live, but I plan to watch the recording.

Later on Sunday I attended a session on using NetBeans for teaching, with Ken Fogel (@omniprof), Johannes Weigend (@JohannesWeigend), Paul Anderson (@Paul_ASGTeach), Gail Anderson (@gail_asgteach), Zoran Severac (@neuroph) and Andreas Stefik (@AndreasStefik). In addition to my daytime job as a Java EE software developer, I sometimes teach short courses on Java EE using NetBeans, I picked some good tips from this session that I'm sure to use in future courses.

John Ament (@JohnAment) gave a talk on Monday morning about building RESTful web services outside an application server.

On Monday, there were many sessions about the future of Java EE, Linda DeMichiel  had a very interesting presentation about the future of the platform as a whole. Pavel Bucek (@pavel_bucek) had a session about the future of the Java API for WebSocket. Martin Grebac (@mgrebac) had a session on the JSONB specification that is slated to be included in Java EE 8.

Geertjan Wielenga (@GeertjanW) and JB Brock (@peppertech) had a great
session on Monday about Coding for Desktop and Mobile with HTML5 and Java EE 7. In
this session they showed the NetBeans / Chrome integration, in which
changes to the markup in NetBeans result in an instant refresh on the
browser, greatly speeding up web application development, very

On Monday night I attended a couple of GlassFish Birds-of-a-Feather
(BOF) sessions. The first GlassFish BOF was the GlassFish Community BOF
and was led by John Clingan (@jclingan), I had the pleasure of meeting
Manfred Riem @mriem, JSF and MVC co-spec lead during this BOF. The
second GlassFish BOF was about contributing to GlassFish, it was led by
Reza Rahman (@reza_rahman), GlassFish and Java EE evengelist at Oracle,
and Steve Millidge. Steve is the CEO
of C2B2 consulting, a consulting firm in the UK, and is
also the man behind Payara, a new supported distribution of GlassFish,
if you are using GlassFish for your Java EE project, you should check Payara out.

I also attended a JSF BOF on Monday night, in which
Kito Mann (@kito99) and another JSF expert group member explained their
ideas for future features in JSF.

On Tuesday, Arun Gupta (@arungupta) had an interesting talk about
lessons learned in real-life Java EE 7 projects. In this session he
described several Java EE 7 already in production, including Mohamed
Taman's project that was featured in the technical keynote on Sunday.

Also on Tuesday, David Delabassee (@delabassee) had a very interesting talk about
implementing home automation with JavaEE. He was actually controlling
the lights in his home office in Belgium live from the session, which
was being held in San Francisco, very cool stuff.

Tuesday night there was a BOF on meeting with the Java EE specification leads with Bill Shannon, Linda DeMichiel, Ed Burns (@edburns), Manfried Riem (@mriem), Pavel Bucek (@pavel_bucek), and all other Java EE specification leads. It is always an honor to be in the same room with those to work so hard to bring us the latest Java EE specs.

Josh Juneau (@javajuneau) had a session Wednesday afternoon about Concurrency Utilities for Java EE, a new API that was introduced in Java EE 7.

On Thursday morning I attended the community keynote, it started with Michael Greene from Intel, we saw some of the stuff that Intel is doing with Java on the server side, also, there was an announcement about Intel joining the OpenJDK project. During the community keynote, there was a lot of very interesting coverage about Java powered robots, including automated cars from Perrone Robotics, a company based in Charlottesville, Virginia, not too far from my neck of the woods. There were several community members on stage at one point or another. The community keynote wrapped up with no other than James Gosling, the father of the Java language, talking about how Java has come full circle, it started as an "Internet of Things" language, and is currently used more and more in that realm.

An annual tradition during JavaOne keynotes is that at one point or another, they start throwing t-shirts at the audience. This year there was a twist, they were using a rubber catapult contraption to be able to throw t-shirts to members of the audience that are sitting farther back (side note, Sven Reimers, which was sitting two seats away from me, got hit in the face with one of these t-shirts thrown using the contraption, Sven, if you are reading this, I hope you are ok, but that was very funny). Every year I try very hard to catch one of these t-shirts, to no avail, this year, I finally was able to catch one.

On Thursday right after the community keynote there was a very
interesting Java EE 8 community panel, with representatives from all
major Java EE application servers, including [dude's name] from IBM,
Mark Little [twitter] from Red Hat, David Blevins (@dblevins) from Tomee
[spelling], Cameron Purdy representing GlassFish, John Clingan
(@jclingan) representing the Avatar project. And Adam Bien representing
himself as a member of the Java EE community.

Bruno Borges (@brunoborges) had an interesting session Thursday afternoon on implementing JavaFX clients for Java EE server side code.

Also on Thursday, Adam Bien (@abien) had a cool session about using Nashorn, the JavaScript implementation included in the Java Development Kit (JDK) 8, in Java EE applications. Adam is a great speaker, make sure you check his AirHacks online seminars.

I tend to focus on Java EE sessions when I go to JavaOne, but this year I went to a couple of sessions covering other very cool stuff. Tony Epple (@monacotony) and Jaroslav Tulach (@JaroslavTulach) had a very funny and informative session about DukeScript, DukeScript applications are plain Java applications that internally use HTML5 technologies and JavaScript for rendering.

Baruch Sadogursky  and Yoav Landman , another great comedic duo, had a great session on Groovy puzzlers.

Venkat Subramaniam (@venkat_s) delivered a fast paced, humorous and interesting talk on Groovy closures, this was late in the day on Thursday, a great way to end the conference.

A major part of the conference is the vendor's booths. This year I dropped by the Tomitribe booth, Tomitribe provides support for the Apache TomEE application server. I also visited the CodeName One booth, these guys make a product that allows you to develop applications in Java for both Android and Mac OS. I also dropped by the IDR solutions booth, this company makes a product that converts PDF documents to HTML5, and the Payara booth, who provides technical support for GlassFish.

Wednesday afternoon I had a book signing at the JavaOne bookstore, my first time signing books at JavaOne, great experience.

In addition to sessions, booths and book signings, JavaOne always has plenty of social activities. This year I attended the NetBeans party on Saturday night, the Java EE community appreciation event on Sunday night, and the JCP party on Monday night. I also attended the Oracle appreciation event, this year they had none other than Aerosmith playing at the event.

As always, JavaOne was awesome, great sessions, great social activities and above all the opportunity to rub shoulders with the greatest minds in the Java community. Every year I meet new great people from all over the world, and even though I don't see them often, when I run to them at the conference it is always as if I'm meeting with old friends.

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the Java language, I'm sure JavaOne 2015 will be out of this world, I can't wait.


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© David R. Heffelfinger