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Java faithful gather in SF for 8th JavaOne

Java devotees from around the country are gathering this week in San Francisco for the JavaOne developer conference, where Sun Microsystems and a slew of toolmakers promise to showcase a range of new and updated products. The eighth annual JavaOne conference opens tomorrow at the Moscone Center.

Sun, the event's founder and organizer, is expected to take the wraps off Version 1.2 of the Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE), which the company considers core Java technology. (Reportedly, Sun refers to J2SE internally as "Core Java.") The new version is designed to be easier to use, with new language features, including generics and meta data, according to company officials.

Sun announced last month its intention to unveil new, simplified Java development tools at this year's conference -- tools designed to address the needs of corporate developers who want to build transactional Java apps on the fly.

"At many presentations, we'll focus on enhancements to the Java platform that cater to simpler development paradigms," Sun VP Rich Green told reporters last week. "Ease of development is a theme at all levels, not just tools, but APIs, platform definitions, etc. are all trending to support this notion in a more focused sense."

Sun is not alone in its quest to make Java accessible to a wider population of developers. Simplifying Java development has emerged as something of a theme of this year's show. Attendees can expect similar pitches from Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and others.

BEA officials, for example, said last week that the firm will demonstrate new features in its WebLogic Workshop tools that can simplify Java development and integration. Motorola officials said that firm plans to show off its next-generation embedded Virtual Machine, the i.JV30, which it hopes will attract Java developers targeting a broad market of global handset manufacturers.

Sun last week also disclosed plans to announce enhancements to its SunONE Studio tools with support for Java Server Faces (JSF) at this year's show. JSF technology simplifies GUI development by using standard tags for certain functions with little custom coding in Java Server Pages.

Additionally, Sun officials said the firm plans to use the annual JavaOne spotlight to clarify its intention to "focus its technology and market development resources" on the multibillion network gaming market. Sun has formed a new Game Technologies Group, which will be managed by its new Chief Gaming Officer, Chris Melissinos. Through that group, Sun plans to extend Java and Solaris technology to game players and developers.

This year's JavaOne conference will host a gathering of more than 200 companies demonstrating a range of enterprise and client-based solutions. Attendees can expect to find mobile phones, communications technologies, smart cards and appliances powered by Java.

The five-day conference includes more than 500 technical sessions and a number of keynote presentations. Keynote speakers scheduled for this year's show include Hasso Plattner, co-chairman and co-founder of SAP; John Yuzdepski, vice president and general manager, SprintPCS.com; Richard Green, vice president and general manager of Java and XML platforms at Sun; Paul Saffo, director of the Institute for the Future; and everyone's favorite Java guru, Sun Labs fellow and vice president James Gosling.

Interestingly, Jonathan Schwartz will give the opening keynote this year. Sun's irascible chairman and CEO, Scott McNealy, is not scheduled to take the stage until Friday morning.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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