Oct 032011
 

JavaOne has been the primary Java conference since its inception. The 2010 conference was the first to be run by Oracle and while there were many interesting promises made, there wasn’t much to show. However now that Oracle has had more than an year in charge of Java, JavaOne 2011 is going to be the the place where the community examines & evaluates Java under Oracle, the progress made and Oracle’s commitment to Java.

While there are many things I am looking forward to at JavaOne 2011, the things I would be primarily looking at are a)Cloud b)Mobile c)JavaFX , cause not only are all three important for software development today, but it is also critical that Java gets it right in these domains.

Cloud

With the Cloud wave over the past couple of years, a lot of JavaEE development today is either directly targeting the cloud or building with the cloud in mind. While Java is doing well on the cloud, that’s more cause it makes commercial sense for vendors to support Java & JavaEE. Java as such does not directly deal with the cloud and there’s no inherent support or standardization for the cloud in JavaEE.

Also various cloud vendors support their own snippets of JavaEE technologies, which leads to vendor specific development and also lock-in for the customer. This kind of goes against the principles of Java & JavaEE.

So while Java EE 7 is said to be focused on developing for the Cloud, it would be interesting to know how exactly that will be done, the roadmap & release dates. Even from a marketing or buzz word perspective, “Cloud” has about an year or so of fizz still left in it. So it’s important for cloud support in JavaEE to surface in 2012 for it to be considered timely.

I think it would be good if we could reach a point where we have JavaEE certified cloud vendors, for just the Web Profile or the entire stack. So that developers who currently have to go through the FAQs & details of what each vendor offers, could instead directly get started developing & deploying on the cloud.

Mobile

On the Mobile front, I hope that Oracle will not commit the blunder of ignoring Android. Today most Java developers are picking Android as their development platform for obvious reasons. JavaME has been around for a long time but has seemed incapable of competing with Android.

Java ConferenceSo either Oracle has to look at Android as a positive for Java (highly unlikely) or compete. I hope that the Java Mobile keynotes at JavaOne 2011 do not present only feature phone applications and have some concrete announcements about JavaME on smartphones. It would be great if they maybe have a new super smart device or vendor on stage brandishing a cool new iPhonesque device & inviting developers to build JavaME apps for the device.

I understand the importance of feature phones, but JavaME is anyway accepted as a great option for feature phones. What developers want to know is whether it is great on smartphones & tablets and can compete with Android, iOS, Windows Phone etc. BTW curious that the JavaOne & Openworld conference mobile apps were first available for iPhone & Android and also now on Blackberry. No feature phone support.

JavaFX

For a long time, Java has struggled to deliver a good solution for rich desktop & internet applications. Flash currently rules this space with HTML5 is still in its early days.

At JavaOne 2010, Oracle announced a major change in JavaFX by scrapping JavaFX Script and moving JavaFX entirely to the Java language. This was a positive move as learning a new language & picking up something outside Java was stopping many from looking at JavaFX.

Java began it’s journey with applets running on the desktop and it would be great to have a Java solution for rich applications. JavaFX 2.0 Beta is currently available and I look forward to what’s happening with JavaFX at JavaOne 2011. I hope that it is stated loud & clear as to how JavaFX supports / handles / renders HTML5, as that’s something a lot of people would be wondering about.

Again, JavaFX has a pretty small window of opportunity. If it doesn’t start moving & make real impact soon, if could fizzle out as just another rich apps solution that didn’t make it.

So that was my quick note on expectations from Java at JavaOne 2011. Looking forward to the show… Live updates @IndicThreads

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Harshad Oak
Harshad Oak is the founder of Rightrix Solutions & IndicThreads. He is the author of 3 books and several articles on Java technology. For his contributions to technology and the community, he has been recognized as an Oracle ACE Director and a Sun Java Champion. Contact - harshad aT rightrix doT com & @HarshadOak
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