JavaOne every year seems to have one prominent topic that overshadows everything else. 2008 seems to belong to JavaFX and Java on mobile and consumer devices. There’s been no talk of SOA and minimal talk on enterprises. Rich Internet Applications (RIA) is definitely Sun’s focus this year. The other talk from Sun dealt with Java for movies, Java for DVDs and on other consumer electronics. So like one speaker said, Java has gone full circle, it began with consumer devices and is now returning to the same.
One wonders if RIA will stay the focus for all companies presenting at JavaOne. The Adobe keynote in particular will be closely watched. Adobe or earlier Macromedia were never a much talked about company at JavaOne but suddenly with Flex and Flash, Adobe is the talk of JavaOne, with most looking at javaFX as an attempt to compete with Adobe’s Flash and Flex.
In the morning keynote, Sun talked about how Amazon Kindle and Sony Ericsson used Java. These examples didn’t say much beyond emphasizing that Java is being used in billions of different mobile devices. The JavaFX demos were impressive in terms of
their capability to leverage web services and create flashy
applications. The ability to drag and drop an application from a
browser window to the desktop also looks interesting. Although
in times when every application is moving to the browser this seemed
like a cool feature that few would use.
Java enjoys penetration in the mobile devices space that no other RIA solution can boast of and that’s where Sun believes that it has the edge over other RIA solutions. JavaME runs on 2 billion devices and JavaFX wants to be the RIA solution across all these devices. A JavaFX demo running on a Google Android simulator was interesting as JavaFX will offer a much better value proposition if it ran on other platforms.
Glassfish seems to be moving beyond being just an enterprise application server with slimmer versions being developed for other uses. The new kernel is said to be just 98k. Rich Green later showed download charts which showed relatively low numbers for India and China for NetBeans and Glassfish.
Sun Java now ships with Ubuntu’s latest release and with Redhat Linux and is expected to soon be available on all flavors. That’s a big step as I have tried java development on Ubuntu and Sun java not being the default Java did make things a bit difficult. You had to tweak some settings before you got the normal Sun Java working.
In just one day of talks, meetings, discussions…I have already heard quite a lot about JavaFX and Java on devices.
The Oracle keynote on Wednesday morning showcased the JDeveloper Tech Preview 4. It was a typical enterprisey JavaOne keynote with a complex enterprise application demo that highlighted the features from not just Oracle’s traditional tools but also acquired tools like Coherence and Weblogic. It showed clustering, reports, JRockit garbage management. Most of the demos leveraged a rich and fancy set of JSF components that had graphs, charts and animations. The presenter, Thomas Kurien talked of how Oracle tools are sticking to open standards in all its tools. He also announced Oracle’s plans to soon release a set of Eclipse plugins.