Sun recognizes Java app innovation

Sun Microsystems honored the winners of its 4th annual Duke's Choice Awards last week at the JavaOne conference. The awards are given to the most innovative Java-based apps of the year. The contest attracts a wide range of submissions from developers and companies around the world. The winners are selected by James Gosling, VP and Sun fellow, along with a panel of Java technology experts at Sun.

"The 2006 winners truly showcase the power and breadth of the Java platform — ranging from enterprise and mobile applications to peer-to-peer networks, gaming and even robotics,” Gosling says.

Check out the 2006 winning apps:

Category: Fan's Choice
Product: 3D 8-Ball Pool
Developer: FlyOrDie
This audio-video game was voted "Best Application" by the community. Users play online in a realistic multi-player
environment, with online chat capabilities and can compete in tournaments,
beat the champions, play friends online, or challenge a stranger. Players
can also try to improve their game by using the "practice" mode.

Category: Java Card
Project: City of Sunderland Java Card Program
Developer: ICT e-Government Team, City of Sunderland, England
Location: Sunderland, UK
Technologies used: Java Card, Liberty Alliance specifications
The City of Sunderland, England is creating a large-scale, 80,000 user,
Java Card technology-based prototype infrastructure designed to make it
easier for service providers, in both public and private sectors, to
deliver services at an affordable entry cost. Cardholders have single
sign-on (based on Liberty Alliance specifications) authentication to their
portal of choice using open-source PKI and Java Card technology and can
order and configure a range of bank-solutions, secure ID functions,
government services and even secure electronic tickets (following the
European 'ITSO' standard for transport ticketing).

Category: Outstanding Platform Contributions
Project: Contributions to Java Platform Standard Edition 6 (Project Mustang)
Developer: Brian Harry
Location: Manchester, Iowa
Brian Harry, aka "leouser" on, is an active contributor to Java SE 6, having contributed more than half of the fixes that Sun has received so far. As an independent consultant in Iowa, Brian focuses on Java programming. His method is simple: he scans Sun's openly available bug database for intriguing bugs primarily in the Swing user interface code, prints them out, and puts the bug reports on a stack next to his computer. Then he digs in and fixes them one by one, submitting them through the standard JDK Community contribution process.

Category: Mobile Messaging
Product: Flurrymail
Company: SVB Technologies
Location: San Francisco, California
Technologies used: Java ME MIDP 1 & MIDP 2, Java SE, Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Servlet 2.3)
Flurrymail is a mobile messaging solution, built end-to-end in Java technology, that provides access to personal e-mail, news and RSS feeds from any Java Platform Micro Edition enabled mobile phone. Proxy servers written in Java SE manage the messages for users, sending SMS notifications when messages are available and compressing them to save on data charges for the mobile user. When deployed on the mobile phone, Flurrymail provides fast access to messages through a patent-pending technology developed by SVB Technologies and implemented in Java ME.

Category: Java Everywhere!
Project: JMRI: The Java Model Railroad Interface
Location: Berkeley, California
Technologies used: Java SE, Python/Ruby, JDOM, AJAX & Web services
JMRI is a community-based, open-source resource for model railroaders. Over the past decade, model railroads have started to use embedded microprocessors to allow finer control of locomotives, track switches, and other aspects. JMRI is a common library and set of apps that interface with digital model-railroad hardware. JMRI provides a no-cost entry point for hobbyists who want to start using computers to control and operate their model railroads. The superb cross-platform GUI tools of Java Swing technology allow people to contribute interactive apps for control towers, running trains, and in general have a great time using the program.

Category: Outstanding Community Contributions to Health Care
Project: JUG Sardegna for AVIS
Company: JUG Sardegna Onlus, Blood Donation
Location: Sestu, Italy
Technologies used: Java SE, Web services
The JUG for AVIS open-source project developed a software app and Web services that are fully integrated with the AVIS Blood Center's software. The JUG for AVIS app sends SMS messages to blood donors with Java technology enabled mobile phones to coordinate blood donations. The system can contact tens, if not hundreds, of people in just a few seconds, with a huge reduction of overall costs.

Category: Best Music Phone
Product: Motorola SLVR with iTunes — Java technology-enabled music phone
Company: Motorola
Location: Schaumberg, Illinois
Technologies used: Java ME
Motorola SLVR combines superb performance with cutting-edge features, all within the sleek design of one of the slimmest phones around. Not only is this one of the slickest looking handsets on the market, it also includes a fully functional Java technology-based version of iTunes music so users can sync it with their iTunes library and carry their favorite songs with them on the go.

Category: Secure Printing Services
Product: Office 2P2 JXTA implementation on Ricoh printers
Developer: Genius Bytes/Ricoh
Location: Germany
Technologies used: Java ME, JXTA, PKI
Genius Bytes, a Ricoh developer, has completed a PKI implementation of JXTA on Ricoh printers titled "Office P2P," enabling customers to send documents to each other from any internet-enabled source as well as from printer to printer using Java and JXTA technology. This implementation of Java and JXTA empowers Ricoh printers to be some of the most intelligent printers in the industry.

Category: Community
Product: OurTraffic — Location-based app for sharing traffic data
Company: Agilent Technologies
Location: Palo Alto, California
Technologies used: Java ME MIDP 2.0 CLDC 1.0, Java SE, Java EE
OurTraffic is a real-time road traffic monitoring system based on a pervasive network of collaborating Java technology-based mobile devices. As commuters travel in their vehicles, midlets running on their GPS-enabled Java ME devices measure their position and velocity, which are then sent to a Java EE based portal. The Java EE portal then integrates the measurements from various Java ME devices to provide a comprehensive real-time traffic map on the Web. Traffic warnings can also be sent to commuters. OurTraffic would not be possible without the stability of the common runtime environments across a myriad of phones and service providers that only Java technology can provide.

Category: Open Source
Project: Tapestry Web Application Framework
Developer: Apache Software Foundation
Location: Portland, Oregon
Technologies used: Servlet 2.2, Annotations (1.5)
Tapestry is an open-source framework for creating dynamic, robust, highly scalable Web apps in Java technology. Tapestry complements and builds upon the standard Java Servlet API, so it works in any servlet container or app server. Tapestry divides a Web app into a set of pages, each constructed from components. This provides a consistent structure, allowing the Tapestry framework to assume responsibility for key concerns such as URL construction and dispatch, persistent state storage on the client or on the server, user input validation, localization/internationalization, and exception reporting.

Category: Emerging Technologies
Product: Tommy & MAX
Company: Perrone Robotics, Tommy
Location: Crozet, Virginia
Technologies used: Java SE, Java ME CLDC 1.1, and Java Communications API
Tommy is a completely autonomous dune buggy that was selected for participation in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge qualifying events. The DARPA Grand Challenge was an historic race holding out a $2 million prize for the robotic vehicle that could drive by itself over 150 miles through the Mojave desert in 10 hours or less. Team Jefferson's Tommy was built for this challenge leveraging Perrone Robotics' patent pending Mobile Autonomous X-bot (MAX) technology. MAX is a general purpose robotics and automation platform. Tommy used a MAX standard profile running on top of Java SE and a MAX micro profile running atop Java ME. Tommy's use of MAX makes it the only Grand Challenge vehicle known to run 100 percent atop of Java for both standard PC and micro-controller software processing.