Monday, March 02, 2009

Sun Tech Days 2009 - Breath Taking Technology

There were several Sun technologies that were displayed and taught at Sun Tech Days 2009. New additions to the Sun technology arsenal like - Zembly, JavaFX and Java TV were showcased. Also a lot of new improvements on existing technologies like NetBeans, Solaris were projected.

The Sun Showcase, the Keynotes by James Gosling and Matt Thompson were in the main auditorium and were attended by several people. After the keynotes each day, the sessions were distributed into tracks like - Enterprise Computing, Client Technology, Tools and Best Practices, Hands-on Labs, etc.

The first day comprised of 7 tracks with an overall of 36 sessions. The second day comprised of 6 tracks with an overall of 31 sessions.

Sun Showcase

The first day showcased the latest breath-taking technologies of Sun, which included - MySQL, VirtualBox, JavaFX, Java TV and a few more.

  • The demo on MySQL was very interesting. It showed a great way to integrate MySQL to AJAX and how a web-page created with this combination can be viewed cross-platform using VirtualBox. The demo also covered a small showcase of how rollback can be used in MySQL
  • The demo of JavaFX was cool and raised a lot of eyebrows in the audience. In fact JavaFX looked like the show-stopper of Tech Days 2009. The demo covered a lot of great features of JavaFX which were beautifully presented
  • Finally, there came the Java TV, the integration of Java and set-top boxes. The demo was reasonable good and showed the future of Java in our leisure life

Keynote - James Gosling

On the first day, after the showcase we had a keynote by James Gosling, the father of Java. The keynote was very exciting as it showed in a lot of new technologies based on Java. It also gave a glimpse of the various products of Sun, like GlassFish and finally ended with a projection of Java in the near future.

Keynote - Matt Thompson

The second day started off with a keynote by Matt Thompson, which mainly covered the advent of Sun in the arena of Cloud computing. It mainly projected trends in cloud computing like Zembly - an online platform for building social applications and Project Kenai along with online virtualization. The virtual environment wasn’t only in terms of operating systems but also in terms of hardware virtualization too.

NetBeans 6.5 - What’s New and Cool

The NetBeans session was great; it gave us a good insight about NetBeans and introduced us to NetBeans 6.5 by a short and quick tour of its various features.

One of the best concepts introduced in NetBeans 6.5 was the variable class paths, which was explained well in the presentation. As a part of the session, several demos were shown, which included -

  • Compile on Save, which was shown using Hibernate + Servlets
  • Hibernate, which was demonstrated using Visual Java Server Faces + Hibernate + Java DB
  • Search Mechanisms
  • Database Manager
  • JSF connected to a database for CRUD with AJAX

DTrace - Bridging the observability gap for Java and scripting languages

The session on DTrace was very interesting. Especially as it started from the basics, we had a good opportunity to start fresh and learn from the session.

Some of the concepts covered in the session included

  • The philosophy of DTrace (Dynamic Tracing)
  • Performance vs. Probes
  • DVM providers and Hotspot providers
  • Java Statically Defined Tracing
  • Scripting Language support for DTrace - Python, PHP, JavaScript and Ruby
  • MySQL support for DTrace

JavaFX - The new platform for rich internet applications

This was one session which students should have attended. The main reason was that it was a pure introductory session and introduced many to the world of JavaFX.

The primary focus of the session was on features like -

  • JavaFX and the underlying structure and its attachment to Java2D and Swing
  • The basics of JavaFX like data types, variables and constants, access modifiers, sequences
  • Binding of variables in JavaFX
  • Animations - simple tweens and how timelines can be created and amended
  • Media Design Goals and the Java Media Components (JMC)

Building Social Applications using Zembly

Initially this presentation looked very boring, but as time progressed and the demo started, things started to look interesting. The demo primarily showed Zembly - an online platform to build applications for social networking sites. The best part of Zembly was the online editor for writing programs. It didn’t require anything to be installed on the system and stored the projects online.

This was a big step of Sun towards Cloud Computing.

Connecting the world with REST

This was one session which I attended without knowing anything about the topic. It seemed very foolish on my part to come to a totally alien topic. But to my surprise I did understand a little from the session.

Even though I haven’t tried anything on REST after coming back from Sun Tech Days, these were the topics covered at the presentation.

  • Representational State Transfer (REST)
  • Resources and how resources are transferred using GET and POST
  • Resource Oriented Architecture (ROA)

Swing - Best Practices

This was one of the best sessions which I went to, during Tech Days. This covered a lot of things which could make a Swing application more beautiful and interesting.

The main topics covered in the session were -

  • Look and Feel of Swing
  • The Nimbus Look and Feel
  • Accelerator Keys
  • Splash Screens
  • Undecorated Windows
  • Faking full screen
  • Tray Icons

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