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Eric Bruno

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JavaOne: The Keynote Summary

May 06, 2008

JavaOne 2008 opened with John Gage talking about Sentilla sensors and software that have been placed all over Moscone. The theme around this is "Pervasive JavaOne." For instance, every JavaOne attendee has an RFID tag in his badge. The sensors track everything, from arrival times and early exits from sessions, to the temperature in individual rooms, carbon dioxide levels, escalator demand, and power flowing through the building. In general, it's a real-time measurement of human interest in the events that take place at JavaOne, as well as the environmental impact from it all.

Attendees have access to a web site that displays a map of Moscone, where the colors of the rooms change based on the data (number of people in the room, its temperature, and so on). Similar to what you see on many sites these days, tag clouds (groups of words and phrases tagged to content) are then associated with different rooms, driven by the biometrics, power consumption, and popularity of sessions. All of this data and its presentation are meant to serve as an example of ways technology can be used to help the environment. As James Gosling said, we're at a point in history where we can do anything technology-wise, it's a matter of thinking of ways to put technology to better use.

Suggestion: Google the London Underground Oyster JavaCard

The Power Shift: Java + You

Posted all over Moscone, and San Francisco, is the phrase, "Java + You."  Early in the keynote, a video was presented showing how people's lives are impacted each day by Java-driven technology. examples include cell phones, in-dash navigation systems, games, web applications, mapping software, online bill pay, ATM machines, and book readers such as the Amazon Kindle device. Another theme given was the "connected developer." For instance, years ago, the programmer was often also the artist; but today it's a collaborative effort between developers, artists, designers, and content authors. Java + You extends the "Connected Developer" theme from developers, Java's target audience from years ago, to consumers. 

Next, Rich Green took the stage and immediately made a powerful point about how a power shift has occurred in our lifetime, where important decisions are now being made by consumers and employees, not businesses or other leaders. Life is more open than ever, and any product, network, company, concept, or country that tries to keep things close is doomed to failure (if it hasn't failed already). An example given was the arcane mainframe applications that the airline industry used years ago, with its cryptic commands and ugly interfaces. Because of the web and consumer-driven demand, most airlines now offer well-designed web interfaces with integrated features that seamlessly allow you to book a flight, choose your seat, book a hotel and rental car, and decide how to pay, all with a few clicks of a button.

JavaOne Keynote Guests

Ian Freed, Vice President of Kindle at Amazon, joined Rich on stage to talk about the Kindle book reader device. By now, most people know that Java powers all of the software on the device. Ian mentioned that the main reasons Java was selected is because of the availability of Java developers, and its ability to run anywhere. This made development quicker for the devices as Amazon's developers were able to build and run the Java-based software on whatever desktop/laptop computers they chose. Later, when the devices were manufactured and made available internally, the software ran just the same on it. 

The fact that Ian mentioned Java's pervasiveness as a development platform as the number reason for choosing it makes me wonder if Amazon will open the platform to third-party applications and services some day soon. Time will tell. Overall, Kindle serves as an example of a very useful device that blends the ages-old past-time of book reading with 21st century technology. For instance, it has built in support for wireless connectivity, such as 3G wireless, to allow you to purchase content remotely no matter where you are. You can go from reading a book, to browsing the web, checking a blog, purchasing, downloading, and reading a magazine or newspaper, all from the device.

Next, Rikko Sakaguchi, SVP Sony Ericsson, joined Rich on stage to talk about his company's success. In just the past 6 years, Sony Ericcson has grown over four times its initial size into a $19-billion company. Rikko bases the company's success on something he calls emotive design - a simple design concept that blends technology, form, and function with the human senses. Their goal is to provide seamless, unified media ability and content with the devices. Java is a core part of their strategy because of its media-rich capabilities, the Java ecosystem, and because it enables them to easily produce a product with a strong user experience. As a result, Sony Ericsson's plan is to continue powering all of their devices with Java.

When Rikko finished up, Rich mentioned that it has become hard to separate business and personal experiences on the web. He went on to extend this statement to include all the screens of our lives (i.e. computer monitor, cell phone, and television). In fact, screens in general have become a view-port into our lives, and the lives of others. Most importantly, Java has become the foundation for the services that power these screens. The result is the true rich Internet experience (RIA): applications that serve human experiences across all of these screens seamlessly. It's up to us to monetize the innovative new uses of this shift.

Demo: The "Connected Life"

Nandini Romani from the Java FX team showed an application that runs on Java FX (a platform in addition to the Java FX script language announced last year) that integrates with Facebook. The application, called Connected Life, was shown running within a browser that integrated content from Flickr, Twitter, and IM with Facebook users. Nandini then dragged and dropped the Java FX application from the browser, to the desktop, where it lived independent of the browser. In fact the browser was then closed to drive the point home. At that point, the application came alive with 3D pictures of people in Nandini's Facebook floating within a window. A point was made that any Java FX application can run within any browser or desktop that has Java installed. It takes less time to develop, and even as a web 2.0 application, it uses the resources of the client computer it's displayed on to provide a rich experience. As a finale to the demo, Connected Life was shown running within a low-cost cell phone. Eric Klein, Vice President of Java Marketing, later showed Connected Life running on the Google Android emulator running on Mac OS X. 

JavaFX Platform Summary:
-It's built in Java
-It runs on Java SE ad Java ME, within a browser, on a desktop, a cell phone, or a TV (all screens)
-It contains a runtime, graphics engine, ad codecs on top of what's offered in Java today
-It contains tools for designers and content authors, as well as developers

Demo: Photo Flockr

The next Java FX demo involved a mash-up of Flickr content and high-definition movie trailers, all available on the web. Flockr takes text input, which it uses as a phrase to search against available metadata, and then displays the results as images and videos floating around the screen in 2-D. When you move the mouse over an image or video, it opens and smoothly displays in full-screen mode. As dramatic as the demo was, it was taken to the next step as all of the content was shown floating around the screen in 3-D. The end result was a dramatic combination of animation, sound, and HD video, all performed with Java FX on Java. It was then claimed that the application was put together in roughly one night, which highlights the power of Java and JavaFX, and the ability to quickly put applications together with them.

Java statistics:
-The number of Java downloads: 48,000,000 / month
-There are 2.2 billion Java ME devices in the world
-85% of phones run Java ME
-90% of desktops run Java SE 
-100% of all Blu-ray players run Java
-All of these platforms work with Java FX, and will run Java FX applications

Java FX Mobile was announced last year along with Java FX Script. The response from handset manufacturers has been the desire to get the technology as soon as possible. To show that progress is being made, Rich spoke about the Java/Java FX roadmap:
-Java SE Update 10 preview release out today (May 6, 2008)
-July 08: Java FX Desktop SDK EA released
-Fall 08: Java FX Desktop 1.0 released
-Spring 09: Java FX Mobile and TV 1.0 released

Sun Open Source Project Statistics:
-Glassfish: enormous growth rate (both rate of downloads and user base are increasing)
-MySQL: from 50,000 downloads per day to 65,000 per day in two months (since acquisition)
-NetBeans: 44% growth year-over-year in terms of active users
-OpenJDK now ships with Ubuntu and RedHat  (with more to come)
-New: Project Hydrazine:
  -Aimed at content creators and developers
  -Platform for services: find, merge, deploy, share, and monetize (in a cloud to be shared)
  -Delivered after Java FX
-New: Project Insight:
 -Takes advantage of instrumentation (two way communication) between Java application users and it application creators
 -Usage information goes back to developers
 -Will allow users to provide feedback directly back to customers also
 -100% free for everyone
 -Sun will not have access to the collected data and will not be in the middle of the transaction. This helps to enable the technology and ensure that the data goes where it should.

JavaOne Keynote Finale

Towards the end of the keynote, Jonathon Schwartz took the stage and reiterated Sun's desire to reach more devices with its techology; whether it's on Solaris, Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, embedded devices, consumer electronics, or appliances in our homes. Overall, the Java platform will give more insight into content about users and uses of that content.

Finally, Neil Young took the stage to talk about a project he envisioned almost 20 years ago. He has had a desire to take all of his musical work, compile it with photos and videos of him and his concerts through the years, and make it available in digital form. His vision includes the ability of users to look through the musical archives, listen to the music within, and browse the rest of the content at the same time. DVD technology failed him, until the introduction of Blu-ray and the Java-powered players. With Blu-ray, the sound and picture quality are finally good enough, and Java allows the user to interact with the content while listening to it. It also allows Neil to update content on the web to be integrated with the disc when played on the Blu-ray players.

The navigation is through a virtual file cabinet, where the user navigates through; pages with text and pictures guide the user. Depending upon the music's original medium (vinyl, 8-track, cassette, and CD), virtual players (i.e. virtual record player plays early years songs) are shown playing the music alongside associated images and videos. In effect, it portrays musical history as well as Neil Young's music. Blu-ray navigation via Java is what he has been looking for, and delivers on his dream. Java made it possible to accomplish Neil's goals, and he mentioned several times that he was grateful to Sun and to Java for making it possible. 

Neil also spoke about his Link-Volt project (http://www.hybridcars.com/news2/neil-young-linc-volt-hybrid.html), which demonstrates how you can eliminate road-side refueling. Java is used to measure sensors throughout the car, and to make all of the data live on the web. 




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