Devoxx 2009, day 1

18 Nov 2009    

Devoxx (formerly named JavaPolis) is an annual European Java conference organized by the Belgian Java User Group (BeJUG). Devoxx is one of the largest vendor-independent conferences in the world. Devoxx takes place in a cinema complex, located in Antwerp: Metropolis. Devoxx has 2 parts: 2 University days and 3 Conference Days. I have registered for the Conference Days.

It was the first time, I had the opportunity to visit this conference and I had very large expectations. A small resume of my first day @ Devoxx:

Keynote The first keynote started with an introduction from Stephan Janssen, the “main man” behind Devoxx. He also mentioned Parleys briefly, a website I should visit more often. Next up was Steven Harris from Oracle, who talked about the future of the Java platform. However, he wasn’t allowed to talk about the possible acquisition of Sun by Oracle. Following Oracle Roberto Chinnici and Ludovic Champenois from Sun Microsystems, Inc. discussed Java EE6 and GlassFish V3. Java EE6 has certainly been looking at Spring, which in my opinion is a good thing. I’m definitely looking forward to working with Java EE6 when it (finally) gets released. Last speaker of the keynote was Christophe Coenraets from Adobe. Chistophe had a very nice presentation prepared about the Adobe Suite, especially the integration between Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder and Photoshop was impressive! Agreed, it’s all Adobe and that might sound like a vendor lock in as is also mentioned on this blog.

ESB’s and WebServices in Practice by Nicolai Josuttis Nicolai discussed the core principles of ESB’s and webservices. The emphasis was more on infrastructure and architecture then on development and configuration of webservices. As I have a couple of webservice projects in the pipeline, this was not what I actually hoped for.

James Gosling James Gosling is the “father” of Java, so I had to see him. His presentation was about the Java Store, which is an alternative to the Apple Store. Unfortunately the Java Store is only available from within the US at the moment .. nothing a good proxy can’t resolve though. James mentioned that they are sorting out legal issues at the moment to make sure the Java Store will be available in Europe “soon”. James also showed a couple of web pages, made with JavaFX, they we’re doing for the Olympic Games in Canada. The pages looked really good: JavaFX really offers a lot of opportunities when it comes to designing rich user interfaces. I’m not quite sure if it’s a good idea that Sun is trying to deploy Java on all possible markets: desktops, mobile devices, TV’s, …

JavaFX by Richard Bair and Jasper Potts After the presentation of James Gosling, I was anxious to see what was going to be in the next JavaFX 1.3 release. During the presentation, Richard and Jasper did mention a lot of improvements, however they were not able to tell when a release was expected. When they we’re done, Tor Norbye demonstrated the JavaFX authoring tool, which looks great. Although JavaFX 1.3 will feature a lot of components, I still expected to see more …

Keeping Your Options Open, Even if the Cloud is Not by Doug Tidwell This presentation on Cloud Computing by Doug Tidwell (IBM), was very interesting. Doug started with some basics on the Cloud and different possibilities:

  • Applications in the sky
  • Databases in the sky
  • Storage (Hard drives) in the sky
  • Machines (VM) in the sky

He mentioned the SimpleCloud API they we’re building as an extra abstraction layer to be able to communicate with different Cloud providers, without having to write the same code over and over. Sun is also doing an “abstraction layer”, but the SimpleCloud API looked promising. Doug also talked about the possible problems that might be associated with the Cloud, such as privacy, concurrency and more.

After the presentation of Doug, IBM was serving champagne and Foie Gras, which was great for the overall atmosphere. I also visited Distributed Programming the Google Way by Gregor Hohpe and to end the day Devoxx offered Belgian Fries and beer. On to day 2!