Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Thoughts from the front of the Keynote

So its over, presenting in-front of what seemed like a legion of people. I was up on stage with Charles and Jeff Jackson who was hosting the demo presentations, which were focused almost entirely around the J2EE platform, with a bit of Swing thrown in at the end. They demo'ed Microsoft Indigo (WCF) working with interoperable security between it and the Glassfish J2EE platform.

So as per yesterday, what goes into a presentation to what was described as "maybe the biggest JavaOne yet"?

So this is what it all looks like before it kicks off. Remember the I Robot bit? Like that with chairs. It was pretty relaxed at this stage thanks to the rehearsal day the before. Then as it fills up... well it really fills up. Its huge.

Now for what is backstage and remember this is all done either from my video camera or a Nokia Camera phone, hence the woeful quality.
So it looks a little dark, but all of those lights and screens, probably about 40 or so computers are in the production element, and then there is all the various camera, audio and other kit that is about. I have to admit that I was expecting about 10 computers and a bit of config, after all how much does it have to do, amazing to see how much actual effort is required to run a bunch of powerpoint and cameras!

Then there was the presentation itself. What I was presenting was on the new BPEL and XML tools that Sun are releasing into Open Source, its stuff I saw last year in alpha and now at last its actually out there. Its BPEL 2.0, and pretty slick in how it works (although its still the same as everyone else with one WSDL per BPEL rather than being able to group things.
Here is Charles presenting the BPEL element, he also demonstrated some visual XPath functionality.

Now to be honest while this stuff is nice, and its BPEL 2.0, the stuff that was really impressive was the XML Schema work, paticularly one feature "uses" which graphs out what elements reference, use or extend a given schema element, very useful if you are looking into refactoring schemas or just to understand how someone has designed the schema.

Not sure if you can make it out but its there on the right hand side showing how elements in the schema relate. Its a very slick view on schema.

Then for the wow finish, I've been asking Sun to release this stuff for over 12 months now, and been bagging them for 2 years for not getting Charles' technology out there in the market quicker. Well boy have they listened. All of these tools are now available in Open Source, and available for free to download today over at netbeans.org so if you are interested in understanding if its smoke and mirror or a little bit more, get it here. Certainly pushes Sun up a bit on the tooling side, BPEL 2.0 support and proper enterprise tooling (amazing how one bit of Sun understands, while the JavaSE guys continue to go after the Slashdot crowd).

-- Update
Its on the JavaOne Website now, 8:30 in on segment 4 (High | Low res). And before anyone asks... yup it was scripted :)


Anonymous said...

If a framework is so complicated that you need tooling, don't you think the problem may be in the framework? Thats why I have never been a fan of BPEL, etc.

Steve Jones said...

In a word no. The JVM is very complex and you get given tools (Java and the compiler) to make it work. Does this make Java too complex?

BPEL is good for modelling processes that have sync and async elements in them, its rubbish at doing decisions and detail. BPEL doesn't compete with Java, it does different things.