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Getting Ready for JavaOne 2007

The 12th annual JavaOne developer conference gets underway this week at San Francisco's Moscone Center (May 8-11). This year's event for Java jocks promises to attract more than 15,000 attendees, and will have 90-plus exhibitor booths, according to organizers. The event is sponsored primarily by Santa Clara, CA-based Java creator Sun Microsystems.

The show will expand on a recent JavaOne trend by adding a host of new and recurring extracurricular conference events.

Show Highlights
NetBeans Day is back, but as part of a larger, preshow event called CommunityOne Day. The free, one-day event, which takes place at Moscone on Monday, May 7, is designed to provide open-source and Web developers with detailed technical information on free and open-source projects.

"We decided to go bigger this year, and build on the success we've had with past NetBeans Days, which have been absolutely packed," said Jean Elliot, Sun's senior director of Java Software product marketing. More than a thousand attendees are expected to attend the preconference event, she added.

The event is divided into various technical tracks, covering NetBeans Software, the OpenSolaris Project, the GlassFish Project, OpenJDK, and the Mobile & Embedded Community. There will also be a Web 2.0 track, and a session on "Linux versus Solaris."

CommunityOne Day attendees will get a look at the preview release of the NetBeans 6.0 integrated development environment (IDE).  The new IDE is designed to provide developers with support beyond Java and C/C++ by providing a rich set of features for the Ruby and JavaScript dynamic scripting languages, according to Sun.

Prior to the event, Sun announced several enhancements to the NetBeans GUI Builder (formerly code-named "Matisse"), including full support for new desktop technologies, such as Beans Binding (JSR 295) and the Swing Application Framework (JSR 296). JRuby is included with the NetBeans Ruby support, allowing developers to use Ruby on Rails with existing Java code. Other features of the release include: improved code editing, inspection and navigation capabilities, local history, integrated support for Subversion, and extensive profiling features integrated into the standard distribution.

In only its second year, the popular Sun Startup Camp (which is now a component of CommunityOne Day) brings together members of the startup community for a face-to-face collaborative get together. Attendees drive the agenda.

New to JavaOne
New this year is the JavaOne Business Day, which is designed for the marketing side of Java application development.

"We have something just for them that will help them to understand the marketing programs, branding, partnering and services that are available as part of the Java ecosystem," Elliot said.

Marketing specialists start the show on Tuesday at the opening keynote with their technical counterparts, but then split off to follow their own conference track.

A new JavaOne TV Day is aimed at the growing population of Java developers who create content for television, especially in the Blue Ray space.

Also new this year is the JavaOne Camp. It's being billed as a kind of town hall in which the sessions are driven and created by the participants. The theme of the sessions is "The Future of the Java Platform." This event, which will take place during evening activities on Tuesday and Wednesday in several conference rooms, is open to JavaOne attendees and speakers.

The .Org Zone is a new booth on the show floor reserved for nonprofit members of the various .org communities. The "dotorgs" can drop in and participate during exhibit hours.

Open Source
Sun expects a range of open-source communities that are driving key Java technology initiatives to be represented at the booth, Elliot said, including PostgreSQL, Apache Derby, GlassFish, OpenJDK, and the Mobile & Embedded Community. Other new and upcoming open-source communities will also attend, including Project GreenFoot and the OpenID community.

The theme of this year's show, "open possibilities," underscores Sun's relatively recent (and long-anticipated) decision to release its Java implementation under an open-source license. The company is expected to make some announcements about the progress of its open-sourcing initiative at the conference.

JavaOne has also gained a reputation for showcasing cool, bleeding-edge gizmos not yet in stores that attendees can purchase at discount rates. Attendees lined up around the block during an earlier show for an opportunity to buy the then-just-released Palm V, the first PDA with a curvy form factor. Two devices have reportedly been selected for this year's show, the Motorola MOTOMING A1200 smart phone and WowWee's RS Media Robosapien development platforms for embedded robotics.

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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