Professional Java Day in Frankfurt

As it was nearly a week since I last attended a conference I couldn’t be happier when on Wednesday my friend Miguel told me about the new chance available just at a few kilometers from Frankfurt. The conference allowed me to get up to date with Sun’s latest plans about the Java ecosystem.

The first presentation was from David Hofert (Sun) and it was titled “Taking Java to the next level”. Among the news I traced down the following:

  • Java 6 allows to get an application based on WebServices up and running in a very simple way. The adoption of the annotation “@WebService” seems a candy on top of such a clean interface.
  • A new solution named “Java for business” allows companies to file bugs regarding the Java technology and have them fixed in two weeks. These fixes will be integrated into the mainstream releases only after a period of 3-6 months.
  • CTera Networks is now marketing a new plug-computer based on an ARM processor and the Java platform.
  • Sun released the new Java RealTime System version 2.2, a new VM with an improved garbage collector called G1 (Garbage First) and prioritized threads. The new RTS is currently adopted by a joint team between Volkswagen USA and Stamford University in implementing a system for a completely automatic-drive car.

The second presentation was “The Commerzbank Java Framework and Community Model” from Thomas Vetter of the Commerzbank. The Commerzbank develops its internal software according to a well defined strategy that includes a software platform called Frame and a related community model dealing with coaching and organizational issues. The Frame platform uses technologies such as Spring, Spring WebFlow, JSF and Hybernate. There are roughly 150 J2EE applications from the Commerzbank and among these 2/3 are based on Frame. The framework itself is developed by 9 developers and 6 consultants.

The third presentation was also from David Hofert (Sun) and it was titled “Java in  business critical applications”. Mr Hofert started by quoting a case study about a trading system based on Java 1.4.2 whose performances started dropping at some point. The solutions was to refactor the system with a modular approach and by using the G1 garbage collector, capable of rearranging the stack in a smarter way.

Java applications can be classified according their realtime needs into one of the follwing groups:

  • Non realtime: as most Java applications are;
  • Soft realtime: missed time-frames are allowed but only within well defined boundaries;
  • Hard realtime: response times must be aligned with specific requirements.

The new Java RT VM 2.2 has the following features:

  • It is fully compatible with the standard JVM (applications for the standard version can run smoothly on the RT VM);
  • It is based on open community standards;
  • It is currently provided for Solaris and Linux but it is not available for Windows yet;
  • It provides a Scoped Memory that can be cleaned in one shot as soon as the variables go out of their scope – there is no need of a garbage collector

The following presentation was the one from Adam Bien and it was titled “Java standard inthe real world”. Here are the tips I grabbed:

  • The JDK 1.6 update N (17) should have been a proper full new milestone;
  • Jigsaw is an API for the OSGi standard included in the JDK 1.7;
  • The VisualVM, a tool to monitor the VM, is simply NetBeans with a new cover;
  • A new plugin is available to unify the WebStart and the Applet technologies;
  • Applets can now manipulate the whole DOM of the page hosting them;
  • The jcp.org website represents a unique example in the world of developers as it allows competitors to collaborates in defining standards in an optimal way.

So, definitely an interesting experience in Langen… and besides contents also the overall organization was good.

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