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JavaOne Preview: Virtual Sessions, 'Show Devices,' and Two Kinds of Rock Stars

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. -- The annual JavaOne developer conference, underway this week (May 6 through 9) in San Francisco, is expected to draw about 15,000 attendees to the Moscone Center for keynotes, 137 vendor exhibits, technical sessions and a chance to rub elbows with fellow Java jocks.

The 300-plus sessions at this year's event will cover everything from the core Java platforms (Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition and Micro Edition) to the emerging JavaFX platform. There's also lots of emphasis in the sessions on Web 2.0, rich media applications (RIAs), scripting and social networking.

The conference keynote roster includes Rich Green, event sponsor Sun Microsystems's executive vice president of software; Thomas Kurian, Oracle's senior vice president of server technologies development: Douglas W. Fisher, the vice president of Intel's software and solutions group; and Sun Fellow and all-around Java guru James Gosling.

Conference organizers announced on Friday that Rich Green will be joined onstage on Tuesday by singer-songwriter Neil Young. The veteran rocker and Sun are scheduled to provide "a special demonstration of a new multi-media music project," Sun said.

But Mr. Young won't be the only rock star at the show. In 2005, Sun started its Rock Star Program, which recognizes outstanding session speakers. Josh Bloch is a returning Rock Star. A former Sun distinguished engineer, he now serves as Google's chief Java architect. He was the spec lead for JSR 175 and 201, and he's the author of Effective Java (Prentice Hall PTR), the revised edition of which will debut at the JavaOne conference bookstore.

This is Bloch's third year on the JavaOne Rock Star list, and he'll be on hand at the show to host a Birds of a Feather session called "Writing the Next Great Java Technology Book," which he says will cover "the interesting new stuff" in the new edition of the book.

During a pre-conference interview, Bloch shared with ADT "Josh's Rock Star Picks," his list of must-attend sessions at this year's show. His list includes:

Bill Pugh, University of Maryland

  • Defective Java Code: Turning WTF Code into a Learning Experience (TS-6589)
  • Using FindBugs in Anger (TS-6590)

Cliff Click, Azul Systems

  • Debugging Data Races (Java SE) (TS-6237)
  • Toward a Coding Style for Scalable Nonblocking Data Structures (TS-6256)
  • JVM Machine Challenges and Directions in the Multicore Era (TS-6206)

Joseph Darcy, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

  • Tips and Tricks for Using Language Features in API Design (BOF-5874)

Martin Odersky, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

  • Programming with Functional Objects in Scala (TS-5165)

Brian Goetz, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

  • Let's Resync: What's New for Concurrency on the Java Platform, Standard Edition (TS-5515)

The full Rock Star session list for this year's show is available at the JavaOne Web site here.

Sun also took a big step into 3D social networking by creating an "inworld" presence on Second Life. "Sun believes that virtual worlds and other 3D Internet environments offer significant opportunities to our company, our customers, and the world at large, especially as these tools evolve, grow in use and popularity, and become more integrated into many aspects of business and society," Sun said in a statement.

In Linden Lab's 3-D, online, open-ended virtual world, "players" assume roles embodied in avatars, and then interact with other avatars. Since it was launched in 2003, Second Life has become an international phenomenon filled with thousands of "residents" who explore the environment and participate in individual and group activities.

Sun will be hosting Second Life events Monday-Thursday on topics ranging from NetBeans to OpenSolaris to JavaFX. Technical experts are scheduled to "speak" and then participate in Q and A sessions. And there will be an "inworld" party. The schedule is available here.

Attendees will also have a chance to buy, at a discount, one of three "show devices." These include the Pulse Smartpen from Livescribe, a "computer within a pen" device designed to capture handwriting and record audio simultaneously, which users can upload into a PC; the Sony Ericsson K850i Cyber-shot mobile phone/camera; and the Sentilla Development Kit, which combines the world's smallest Java ME system with Sentilla's pervasive computing application framework, according to the company.

Sun estimates that the Java platform has attracted more than 6 million software developers worldwide. Sun claims that Java now "powers" more than 5.5 billion devices-everything from mobile phones to Blu-ray players, PCs to car navigation systems.

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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