In addition to my general reports and news on Sun’s JavaOne developer conference this week in San Francisco, I also have the chance to feature some comment from inside the technical sessions. Although I am not attending these myself, I’m able to provide these opinions by virtue of the fact that my wife Terry-Lynn (a senior Java developer in her own right) is attending these meets. Below are her thoughts:
Picture source: courtesy of the Moscone Center
Session TS-6271 Java Platform, Standard Edition: A Youthful Maturity
This session was an excellent kickoff to my 75 hours of learning activities at JavaOne this year. In this session, several essential (Standard Edition) SE technical initiatives were conveyed. For example, I was pleased to learn that the JRE6 Release 10 is currently available. This release is designed for the 64-bit platform and it is also now bundled in with Ubuntu 8.04.
In answer to my deepest technical desires, this release focuses on improvements in performance, optimisation and tuning. These improvements can be seen in the Java classes (XML Parsing, TreeMap etc.), the Java libraries and the Java VM. Also, as a Swing developer, I was very excited to learn of the 'Nimbus Look and Feel' for Swing that has been incorporated into this release.
Other notable improvements with JRE 6 Release 10 that I became aware of in this session included a new plug-in architecture that allows each applet to have its own VM process outside the browser and a seamless Java Deployment Toolkit.
Another interesting topic in this session included a demonstration of Visual VM. Visual VM is a diagnostic tool that aids in assessing garbage collection routines and it is perfect (in my humble opinion) for determining memory leaks. With the aid of this tool, I really think I am finally through with those dreaded 'out of memory' exceptions that are sometimes thrown at me.
Lastly, in this session, I was very excited to be enlightened as to the future plans for the Java SE for the SE 7 version (which is to be released in mid 2009) and beyond. These future releases intend to focus on modularity, closures, extensions to annotations, improving type references and string insulation. I can't wait!
Back to Adrian…
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To conclude, one aspect of JavaOne that struck us both was the scale of the event and the mammoth queues that formed for each meeting from the general keynotes, to the classes, to the birds of a feather sessions. We heard figures around the 15,000 mark for the number of attendees, so perhaps it’s no surprise.
What this did mean was that classes were on the large size and arguably slightly more impersonal than at similar events. For more reaction on the individual sessions please visit Terry-Lynn’s own blog.