This year is the 10th
anniversary of Java, and I think it's safe to say that Java has been
wildly successful as a language and as a platform. I was pretty
excited about this year's JavaOne, because I knew that we'd hear some
cool announcements, especially regarding JavaServer Faces (JSF).
Monday's keynote was
pretty exciting, featuring a band, birthday cake, and a new
Java-powered storage format called Blu-ray that will one day replace
DVD. In the realm of JSF, Tor
Norbye demonstrated Java Studio Creator, Sun's tool
for building JSF applications. Creator
2.0, currently in alpha testing, has a lot of new
features, including a new suite of components that use Ajax
Sheets (CSS) style editor, refactoring support, and portlet support.
I think it's safe to say that Creator was one of the stars of the
show, and it's good to see Sun adding more muscle to its offering.
During their keynote later in the day, BEA announced full support for
Spring, Struts, and JSF, among others. JSF was a hot topic this year
-- there were over
20 sessions on JSF (including keynotes and BOFs).
Personally, instead of
attending keynotes and sessions on the first day, I spent the time
finalizing the slides for my Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) session,
Exploring the JavaServer Faces Ecosystem (scheduled for the
less-than-ideal time of 9:30pm!). I did, however, make it to the show
in the afternoon, just in time to catch eBay's session on real-world
web services. The presentation spent a lot of time covering the types
of applications built using eBay's API, and how developers can reap
financial rewards for pushing traffic to eBay's site. Unfortunately,
the session was run by a couple of managers who, although quite
bright, weren't too familiar with the technical details of eBay's web
After the session I
decided to check out the pavilion, which is where companies showcase
their latest products. I immediately ran into Chris
Schalk, one of the JDeveloper
product managers from Oracle. I've corresponded with Chris quite a
bit since meeting him briefly at last year's JavaOne, but it was good
to chat with him again in person. We spent some time discussing
JDeveloper and the ADF
Faces Components, which are pretty hot topics -
especially since Oracle has announced that JDeveloper will be
available for free.
After taking advantage
of the free food available during the evening's reception, we headed
to the Meet the Experts event. At the Web Tier table, we ran
Burns, co-spec lead for JSF and Greg
Murray, spec lead for version 2.4 of the Servlet API,
neither of whom I had seen since last year. We chatted about
servlets, JSF, and Ajax, as Greg and Ed have been working on Ajax
Blueprints for JSF development. Then I ran into a
couple of developers I met last year at Sun Tech days in New York
City. Back then they had piqued my interest with the development of
JSF extensions that allowed for definition of JSF views using Java
classes. This is the same approach taken by the now dormant smile
project. Of course, they weren't able to get approval to open-source
the framework, and they're no longer able to work on it due to time
Afterwards, Chris and I
headed over to the venerable Thirsty Bear to meet up with some Java
bloggers for a few drinks. I got the chance to chat with a couple of
folks about the merits of Tapestry, and I also met some of Chris'
cronies. (As you can imagine, there were quite a few Oracle employees
at JavaOne). I left the bar just in time to make it to my
presentation at the Marriot. I was a bit baffled when I arrived
though, because there was a huge line waiting to get into the room.
As a matter of fact, I was told that the line eventually grew so much
that it wrapped around the corner, all the way to the escalators.
Needless to say, there weren't enough seats for everyone, and
everyone couldn't fit in the room. It was definitely encouraging,
given the fact that it was 9:30pm.
During the session I
gave an overview of the web landscape before JSF, and the situation I call framework paralysis -- the inability to choose a
framework due to the multitude of choices. Then I examined the
ASP.NET landscape, discussing how it provides a single, easy-to-use
stack, and has a vibrant user interface (UI) component market. After
setting the backdrop, I examined the growing JSF landscape in detail,
covering the current implementations, components, IDEs, and other
products. The bottom line is that the JSF landscape is growing, and
since the market size is roughly equal to ASP.NET, we can expect a
plethora of additional components in the future. I haven't yet posted
the presentation on the web, but I was able to find some excellent
After the session,
Manfred Geiler, Martin Marinschek, and Thomas Spiegel from the
MyFaces project stopped by. I met Manfred last year at JavaOne, but
even though I have frequently corresponded with Martin and Thomas
(especially for their In
the Trenches article), I had never met them in person.
The four of us went out for drinks at the W hotel across the street,
and had a nice chat about JSF and MyFaces - until Manfred and Thomas
started falling asleep! Whenever anyone starts dozing, you know it's
time to hit the hay...