It's all about decisions

Yes, really. One has to decide, firmly, in order to get moving. Too many projects has failed prior to beginning as the people involved has gotten bogged down in debates (not discussions) on how to get moving, goals, how to reach the goals, etc. Well, these debates often degenerated into a debate on terminology. And, leading nowhere and everything is delayed further ...

The decision should focus on what is actually at hand, not what can be (in near future or far away into it). What goals we should have and so on and so forth is the next step.

After a while it very often becomes clear that a new decision has to be taken, we simply know more now and things have changed - they always do, change. Nothing is constant but change. So a new decision has to be taken, effectuating it is often called refactoring. Gain knowledge by doing; you have to try things.

When there is really to much to do, you are stressed and your boss is more nagging than usual - take the courageous decision to do nothing. Really, take a step back and ponder on the situation. Find out what is the most crucial, single most important item, to get done now. Then focus on that! The main thing about the main thing is to find out the main thing about the main thing.

So, knowing the above; can we now decide to take firm decisions from now on and get things going? Lets try things, not debate over what is wrong and not? The world will be a better place with more resolute people around.


100 % of blog readers want closuers in the Java Programming language

The poll regarding closures in Java is now officially closed. The result:
- 100 % Yes
- 0 % No
- 0 % Uncertain

In other words everybody wants to see closures in the Java Programming language. The number of respondents? Well, hmmm ... three persons has voted... nevertheless an interesting result... :-)


The actual report from JavaOne

Yesterday we held the presentation, report, at the JavaForum venue. Everything went quite well, I think. "We" are; Ove Nordström, Jonas Södergren, Mattias Holmqvist, Magnus Kastberg and myself.

Prior to our talk Jimmy Falkbjer, Jayway, talked about web services; how to start using WS etc. Informative and engaging. Erik Hellman, Sony Ericsson since three weeks, held a major crash course in closures for Java. Also, he gave a brief, but quite thorough, historic view of how closures emerged through time. Very interesting! (if you care about closures, please vote)

However, some collected details and highlights from JavaOne and the venue yesterday:
- JavaFX, almost same as last years JavaOne, but more developed, bigger and more stable. Well, the demos presented crashed all over the place but gave an overall cool impression; dragging a running application from a browser onto the desktop, closing the browser and the app continues running just like that.
- Java and Blue Ray; the formats battle is over - Blue Ray stands as the winner!
- Rock'n'Roll; Niel Young showed up on the first keynote giving credit to Java and Blue Ray.
- Glassfish modularized with a very small footprint, now able to run in a mobile unit.
- Java appearing in more places than before; Java RT in industrial automation, an area not yet penetrated by higher level of programming.
- The Livescibe Pen, pretty cool gadget! Has JavaME with some incredible applications. Ove has promised a demo on next JavaForum.
- Sentilla sensor nodes, also running JavaME and requires very small amounts of power. Also check out the SICS page about sensor networks.
- Java is used to run and monitor the accelerator complex at CERN; they do some pretty cool stuff, in the new detector (ATLAS) they will be detecting what happened just after Big Bang. It is pretty massive; 25 meters tall and weighs in at 7000 tonnes, with 100 million readout channels. When in operation, there will be about 600 million collisions per second, generating a whopping 15 petabytes of data, also managed with Java technology. This includes "an Event viewer written by the ATLAS developers with Java 3D to visualize the particle tracks", and it is open source.
- JMARS; NASA has produced a very impressive tool for mapping Mars and handling various geological data, Java technology in use. The amazing application showing Mars' elevation, hematite mineral deposits, chloride salt distribution, potential landing sites, and a large amount of surface detail shots.
- Tommy Jr., the DARPA-winning autonomous vehicle, Paul Perrone, CEO of Perrone Robotics, spoke with JAmes Gosling about Tommy Jr.'s internals, including the stuff that runs it: Java RT, Java SE, Java ME, Sun SPOT, MAX Robotics Platform & Drivers, and MAX-UGV framework (navigation rules).
- Chris Melissinos, Sun's Chief Gaming Officer, and Joshua Slack of NCsoft showed Project Darkstar, engines, community, and commercial applications. Project Darkstar is Java technology-based infrastructure software designed for massively scaled online games.
- JavaCard 3.0, now includes a webserver. WS on a card! A robot competition was held running two JavaCard apps.

There was of course more to report. I'll leave it for now, but I might come back with more stuff when appropriate.

How was the conference? Well, as usual it was great. But the not that many news actually. What was news last year is now announced as being implemented. This is both good and bad; Java is becoming mainstream and thus things are stable, but on the other hand also becoming somewhat boring. Please misinterpret me correctly on this one. The latter should, in my opinion, be perceived as something good. The rate of innovation might have decreased, but those new things are more stable and feature rich. However, there are still ares where innovation is eminent.

One such area is the Java Programming Language itself. In order to survive (Erik's presentation yesterday) the language needs to evolve; in other words we need things to be added like closures.
On the other hand adding JSR-277 is in my opinion not progress. As Buckley said in his technical session (TS-5581), the language should be clean, leave it up to applications to be rich. What I am saying is that there is a more than sufficient module system in OSGi. One could argue, however, that there is no type safety with OSGi, but I think that will come with time. The R5 spec. is on its way. As there are numerous devices out there not yet on par with a level corresponding to Java SE 5 OSGi has to be without generics. Be patient, I am convinced that OSGi will be upgraded with generics in the near future.


Report from JavaOne 2008

Tomorrow, we wil report from JavaOne 2008 at JavAForum Stockholm. I do not want to reveal to much yet. But, I can say this much that JavaFX has been developed since the announcement made last year, Glassfish has become modulerized and has a very low footprint, Blue Ray won the battle of the formats - Niel Young appeared in the first keynote and gave Java credit. He now has the the tools to do what he wanted to do 20 years ago... an interactive record of his entire music production (!).
There is a lot of interesting things happening in the mobility field. Check out Ove's as he covers the area very well.
Contents of Java SE 7? Well, it has not been determined yet; there is still some debate, especially in the Java modules area - JSR-277 & -294 vs. OSGi (JSR-291). Also, will there be closures or not. Which lead to functions types, maybe? Well, SE 7 is slated for release next summer. So lets see what happens at JavaOne next year.


We are preparing a report from JavaOne 2008, but ...

We are in the process of preparing a kind of report from the JavaOne 2008 conference. Well, it seemingly takes longer than expected as since arriving home things have wound up and I also found myself in a rock band. Yes, picked up playing again after more than 15 years ..!. as I haven't played music for such a long time, I hope the other guys will bear with me for a couple of initial weeks - they are truly professionals, i.e. they not only play their instruments, and sing, very well, they can - in contrast to myself - also pick out chords, notes, rhythm, etc. just by listening on recorded music.

There will be presentations from JavaOne and a summary will appear here, eventually. Meanwhile, check out this guy!


Last day of JavaOne 2008

The last keynote of the conference is usually the one stuffed with most of the cool and fun stuff. And, Mr. Cool Stuff himself, James Gosling, did not dissapoint this year either. Numerous cool gadgets and awesome equipment all connected to Java somehow. I will sum the conference together with Ove as last year. Unfortunately I'll have to do that when I am back home. The cause, it is explained in next paragraph.

As every other year place is being torn down prematurely; they have already removed a number of Sun Ray terminals here at Moscone. This is a bit of a disappointment. The conference is not over yet. As John Gage said at key note; "there are nine hours left to go, many more sessions". This also makes it harder to find a free terminal after the last session so I'm not connected to the Internet once the conference is over (which might before the last session ends!).

Overall it has been a great conference. No doubt about that! A fuller report from JavaOne 2008 will soon follow. Until next week - stay tuned!


Java and Rock'n'roll!

After the first and half day of Java one I finally got around having enough time on my hands to actually write something down here. In between two sessions with a longer break so I, so here I am again ...

Niel Young appeared on the key note yesterday! A real rocker appears on stage and promotes Java and Blue Ray. They still manage to produce surprises! I thought Java was becoming mainstream and thus a bit boring - i.e. JavaOne would become more like a regular serious conference, but it is still as fun as the earlier years. There is also still innovation going on; the whole story with dynamic languages (just came from Ola Bini's talk on Ruby/JRuby on Rails - very interesting!), the contents of Java SE 7 (much debate yet), Java FX (getting into shape nicely), and much more.

New this year, conveyed during the key note, is more emphasis on Open Source and the community. Sun is becoming more Open about Open Source. There is an ongoing revolution: the enterprise lock-in is dissolving, we will see more modularity, not only in architectures but also in business models. We will see more ways of connecting to our data, the notion of the many "screens of one's life".

Back to the Java SE 7 contents and the 'module' discussion in particular; seemingly there is still some controversy about it. I.e. the OSGi vs. JSR-277 thing. I tend to lean more towards the OSGi approach, as it does not imply any actual additions to the language. It is also a proven and working model. More, yesterday I listened to Alex Buckley's talk on how and what to add to a language and why. According to Buckley a language should be kept as clean as possible, whereas an application should be as rich as possible to satisfy users of it. In my opinion a strong argument for OSGi as the module system for Java.

Tomorrow I plan to listen to Peter Kriens. Hope get a chance to ask him about his view on this.

When will Java SE 7 appear? Some say next summer... JavaOne 2009 is scheduled for June 2 - 5. Coincidence?


CommunityOne and JavaOne 2008

At last! The Conference we've been waiting for has started. Rather, the pre-conference CommunityOne started today at Moscone in San Francisco. I just picked up the complimentary T-shirt and had a lunch sandwich. So I'm good!

There are more people coming to this pre-event this year than the previous, 50% more according to Ian Murdock, Sun, who started off the key note. Emphasis is on open source, sharing, i.e. we are moving away from monoliths towards modular architectures. It is also about building communities and keeping those communities active and passionate about the software and technology. But, the community also encompasses users, they actually form the bulk of the community. So, it is not only about code; documentation, tests, etc. are equally important - isn't rather irritating that undocumented (javadoc) part you so dearly want to use?

Anyhow, maybe not that big news, we have heard much about openness on previous events. I think the emphasis on community building is rather new and fresh. We need to get together more and create great software by sharing... what do you think?

P.S. I'll be posting more here during the conference week whenever I do get an opportunity. Maybe I'll manage to get some pictures up here as well. I'll keep you posted....