There are three Diamond Sponsors of JavaOne 2011 and each gets an opportunity in a JavaOne 2011 keynote to address the conference attendees. Intel had their opportunity in the Technical (Opening) Keynote, Juniper Networks had their opportunity in the Strategy Keynote, and today IBM had its turn in the Community Keynote. Just as Intel opened the Technical Keynote and Juniper Networks opened the Strategy Keynote, IBM opened the Java Community Keynote (37780) on Thursday morning in Hilton San Francisco Grand Ballroom A/B.
Despite this being the latest starting (by 15 minutes) of the three keynotes, this keynote saw the latest arriving attendees. I don't know if this is due to the Appreciation Event last night, due to the effects of a long week full of activities, or due to people deciding to come late with knowledge that the sponsor gets the first portion of the keynote. My suspicion is that all three apply.
Jason McGee (Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect WebSphere Cloud Computing, IBM Corporation) started his "Cloud.contains(Java);" presentation by stating he was going to talk about two of his favorite things: "Java and the cloud." He said he would talk about "making Java and the JVM more suitable for the cloud." McGee identified two "cloud challenges for Java." These are the "layer of liars" ("dynamic platform behavior is the 'new normal') and "increased density critical to cost of ownership." He explained that "cloud economics" works based on a high level of sharing, leading to the increased density.
McGee talked about modularity being an important cloud innovation. He also stated that sharing (memory, classes, code, JVM) being a necessary cloud innovation. McGee talked about potential associated with the ability to share data between Java virtual machines. McGee talked about better sharing in the operating system with appropriate secure and managed data exchange. McGee then moved onto discussing sharing in the middleware. This has been done, but McGee said assistance is needed from the JVM to run different applications with different levels of trust together.
McGee talked about Balanced GC, "a new scalable large heap GC in Java 6.26 and Java 7." This garbage collector helps deal with large heaps. More details regarding IBM's balanced garbage collector can be found in Java Performance Tuning Tips for August 2011 and in When to use the Balanced garbage collection policy.
McGee moved onto discussion of scaling. He talked about elasticity being achieved via creation of more instances of the resources being run. McGee talked about other characteristics of Java servers that are cloud friendly and then talked about IBM's implementation of the "JEE Web Application Pattern."
McGee talked about "IBM's long commitment to Java" and said that his focus today is just one in a long list of contributions that IBM has made to Java. He said Java is already useful and IBM wants to make it even easier to use. He said IBM has shown itself committed to starting and leading Java open source projects. He cited IBM's joining OpenJDK as an example of IBM's involvement with open source Java.
After showing an Apple logo with white apple on dark background and having a moment of silence in honor of Steve Jobs (a nice, deserved tribute), Sharat Chander (Oracle Principal Product Director and JavaOne Program Committee Chairperson), talked about over 400 technical sessions being offered throughout this week. Mike DeNiccola, John Rose, and Patrick Curran were recognized for their efforts related to Java Community Process (JCP). Chander gave a plug to Oracle University and then introduced Donald Smith, Directory of Product Management for Java Platform Group.
Chander and Smith said this was the first ever Java Community Keynote. Smith then invited Martijn Verburg (London Java Community), John Duimovich (OpenJDK), Deepak Bhole (OpenJDK), Stephen Chin (Silicon Valley JavaFX Users Group), and Bruno Souza (SouJava) onto stage for a community discussion and acted as the monitor. Smith, a Canadian, attempted to get Canadian attendees to be as loud as the Brazilian attendees. The typical pre-keynote announcement to turn off mobile devices was immediately rescinded this morning because they actually wanted mobile device participation in this Java Community Keynote panel discussion.
There were several community polls conducted on a live basis. The first question was which version of Java developers were using most frequently. This was followed by a question regarding frequency of attendance at Java User Group events. Another poll question was developer involvement in OpenJDK. I kept hoping to a controversial question regarding Android to add some excitement. Other poll questions asked why developers don't attend user groups more often and if the pace of "Java moving forward" needs to be faster, slower, or stay the same.
Some of the questions tweeted during the community panel discussion involved JavaOne 2012. In particular, someone requested return to the Moscone and another requested Metallica as the Appreciation Event musical artist.
In the portion of the panel discussion regarding Java moving forward, Stephen Chin stated that "JavaFX is built for the cloud." Chin talked about a "huge groundswell of support around Java 7." Verburg told the Java community that they need to help fix things, "You need to help Oracle and other vendors build cool stuff you can use."
There was discussion about challenges of getting people involved in user groups. Chin said the Silicon Valley JavaFX Users Group streams sessions and using Parleys. They have more members using their online resources than attending meetings and he believes this is the future of user groups. Chin also mentioned benefiting from local access to "big names."
I thought that the concept of a Community Keynote was interesting and had potential. However, I noticed that a small but fairly steady stream of people flowing out of the Ballroom A/B as it proceeded. I believe there are a couple reasons for this. First, some of the things being discussed have been blogged about, written about, and spoken about repeatedly and frequently and are readily available to anyone with Internet access. Second, I think it is easy for us to become so enamored with idealism that we sometimes forget that many developers just want to learn new technical information and frankly aren't all that interested in a community discussion between panel members. Still, I thought it was an interesting idea and was worth attending. If I had to rank this panel among "pieces" of the three keynotes at this conference, it would be somewhere in the middle in terms of interest and relevance.
Chin had previously mentioned Parleys in conjunction with his user group and this became the focus of a latter portion of the Java Community Keynote. Stephan Janssen told the audience that slides, video, and demonstrations can be synchronized. He stated that twenty talks will be released today (enough for the airplane ride home) and about 160 will be released by the next JavaOne.
Several Duke's Choice Award winners had an opportunity to talk about their product. I liked the quote related to jHome, "There is life beyond database applications for Java EE." The jHome example uses a fairly complete Java EE stack along with jQuery and Arduino.
"Three-quarters of the Java Posse" (Google's Tor Norbye was conspicuously absent) were featured next. Carl Quinn, Dick Wall, and Joe Nuxoll asked who preferred various versions of Java, various JDK 8 features, and various alternative JVM languages. They then moved onto Java 9 desired features. These "surveys" decided the winner based on which received the loudest cheering. The three attending members of the Java Posse then acknowledged the Duke Award Winners by having them stand up and stated they'd be featuring them on the Java Posse in the future.
Chander concluded the Java Community Keynote with some observations about community participation and the "Java Life" video."