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Reflections on Java One

Well, Java One has come and gone again so what have I learned? To start with the marketing around the name change of J2SE and J2EE was not well done. I know that is a lame observation to begin with but both of these are now targeted for a version number of 5 rather than 1.5 and even Slashdot did not notice until the conference had been over for days. With that said I never have been that excited about J2EE 1.4 but I am interested in J2EE 5 after the conference, particularly due to changes being planned in JAX-RPC 2.0 (see TS-2394) which will be making use of annotations to expose Web services from your Java classes. Annotations are a feature of J2SE 5, I’ll post a follow up in the near future with an example of what this looks like.

What else is exciting? Eclipse 3.0, and no I don’t know when the NetWeaver IDE will be based on it but I can’t wait. I’m obviously not the only one excited on this one as I couldn’t even get in the room and had to go to an overflow room.

So what wasn’t cool? Well a lot of people would like to learn about the J2EE platform they are using. Unfortunately Sun has a very strong policy on keeping proposals for sessions vendor neutral which results in some subterfuge on the part of some presenters. I made a lot of efforts to keep my talks neutral, others didn’t. What really stunk about this was some talks on even a JSR which could have been neutral turned into product demos. There was another three letter company that was the worst offender on this point (no not IBM) to the extreme that I started avoiding any session where they were speaking. I really don’t have a problem with vendor specific talks at Java One, they have their place and are valuable. Let’s just be honest so attendees can intelligently choose where to spend their time, there is almost always more than one session at a time that is interesting and pointing out that a talk is specific to a platform greatly enhances intelligent decisions about where to go.

One thing I am still surprised by is how few people realize SAP has a J2EE 1.3 app server. We pushed SDN hard last year and again this year, maybe next year we should put something along the lines of “We put the Enterprise in J2EE” on our bags rather than the SDN url. Personally I learned a lot from the other staff in our booth this year, more so than from the conference itself. For me that probably reflects where I spent my time since I had booth duty most of the week but at least it wasn’t wasted time. I also learned quite a bit from the people who stopped by the booth, both existing customers and people who were simply interested in NetWeaver as a development platform. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to send me a note with any follow up questions.

Finally I’d like to thank anybody who came to either of my talks on using the Basic Profile (TS-2601) or J2EE and Web services (TS-2610). I had a great time giving them and got a lot of great input from the attendees afterwards.

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