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Eric Bruno

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JavaOne 2012

October 03, 2012

From what I've read and heard, JavaOne 2012 is a hit. With success stories around Java SE 7 JavaFX on ARM, JDK 8 profiles with JavaFX bundled, demos of Java and JavaFX on Raspberry Pi and BeagleBoards, simple sized-down Java EE deployments, HTML5 enhancements for NetBeans, and a sneak peak at JDK 9, what's not to like? The keynote sessions should be available on Oracle's Video on Demand site — be sure to check them out if you weren't able to attend. First, let's dive into JavaFX (a favorite of mine these days, if you couldn't already tell)! Here is an excellent write-up of the Sunday JavaOne Technical Keynote.

JavaFX on ARM

Although Java doesn't yet run on iOS, and Android still doesn't include a real version of Java, The Internet of Things is real and Java is there. JavaFX is now there also. JavaOne 2012 has been filled with lots of talk, demos, and sessions showing Java and JavaFX on ARM devices such as RaspPi and BeagleBoards, running actual, useful applications.

In fact, a handful of the kiosks at JavaOne this year were built by Jasper Potts using Java SE Embedded, JavaFX for ARM, and ARM-based devices such as Beagles and RaspPi's with large touch-screen LCDs. Want to know how he did it? Read his "how-to" blog post here.

You can try it yourself by downloading a developer preview online. I plan to extend the recent project I wrote about, regarding Java SE Embedded and a GuruPlug ARM-based device. More to come later.

Project Sumatra

Work is being done to allow the JVM to better utilize graphics processing units (GPUs) and accelerated processing units (APUs) to offload work from the CPU and improve performance and scale. The focus right now is to offload HotSpot JIT compilation and garbage collection work to GPU cores, freeing the CPU to run core application code. You can hear about it in the JavaOne technical keynotes, as well read about and keep up with its progress online here.

NetBeans Project Easel

On the first day of JavaOne, Oracle demoed a beta of NetBeans 7.3 with a set of HTML5 tools and enhancements called Project Easel. In a sentence, NetBeans 7.3 with Easel will provide total support for HTML5 project development and debugging, including an entirely new HTML5 project type. It will include full-featured editing and debugging of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS files, support for building HTML5 clients combined with RESTful web services, and support all of the JavaScript libraries available today with an easy method to add new libraries going forward. It comes bundled with popular JavaScript libraries, making it easy to upgrade to newer versions or to add your own as you build them or as new ones come along.

Easel also includes a new NetBeans Plugin for debugging JavaScript, HTML, and CSS in your projects, with file editing and debugging greatly improved over past NB releases. This includes full-featured syntax highlighting, code completion, and instant documentation for all HTML file types (JS, CSS, and HTML).

Project Easel offers total flexibility, allowing you to select the browser to debug and test your application with, along with easy round-trip editing. For instance, if you change JS or CSS code in the browser, it's instantly picked up by NetBeans, and updated so that your browser reflects those changes. The reverse is true as well: Make changes in NetBeans and those changes are automatically propagated to your browser client without needing to restart anything. You can test your HTML5 application on various browsers, screen sizes, and even device screen sizes (common smart phones and tablet screen dimensions).

As for web development and layout, if you hover the mouse over various elements in the page, the code in the IDE is highlighted, and vice-versa. Clicking on elements opens the CSS to the proper style that controls the element's visuals. It works the other way as well: Choose an element in the IDE, and the element in the browser is highlighted. CSS code completion is integrated with the HTML editor to make it easy to identify elements that use each style and instantly see the HTML update as the style is changed.

There's a screen cast posted on the NetBeans site showing all of this and how it works together while coding and debugging an actual HTML5 NetBeans project: http://netbeans.org/kb/docs/web/html5-gettingstarted-screencast.html.

JavaOne Interesting Tid-Bits

Random item of interest:

By the way, I've covered Java SE 7 in depth over the past 12 months as well:

I recently covered Project Lambda, and what it's like to write Java closures in a recent blog post on Dr. Dobb's here.

If you want to eliminate performance issues from your Big Data applications, check out the latest from companies such as Terracotta, Azul, and Pervasive's Big Data.

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