If you read my editorial last month (JDJ, Vol. 7, issue 4), you'll recall that I was trying to work out just who the Java community was and whether or not you or I feel a part of it. Well, I think I met the community at JavaOne 2002.
During JavaOne we spoke to over 100 people at SYS-CON Radio, and recorded and uploaded these conversations to JDJ's Web site. Some are more interesting than others, and some have more to offer the Java developer.
There's a lot of jargon to wade through in these interviews and it's often tricky to identify what it all means.
Two years ago, the big thing that so many companies were talking about was application servers and how they were going to save the world. That area of the Java world has now consolidated and the emphasis at JavaOne had progressed to the next stage - software to analyze our software!
There was a major focus on testing and performance tools. Java technology has matured to a point where applications and systems are now so widespread that the market is demanding tools to fine-tune the software's efficiency and performance.
We've built the house. Now we need to find out where those drafts are coming from and fit some double-glazing.
Besides the software-tuning vendors, it's always interesting to speak to authors and discuss their specific topics. As authors, they tend to be effective communicators and speak in a language developers are used to.
Adam Kolawa spoke to us animatedly about his new book, Bulletproofing Web Applications (coauthored by Kolawa, Wendell Hicken, and Cynthia Dunlop and published by Hungry Minds, Inc.), and how we, as developers, can ensure our Web applications are reliable and consistent. The book contains an interesting section on JSP, and the interview is well worth a listen (www.sys-con.com/java/javaone2002b.cfm).
Iain Shiegoka also gave a good overview of Java instant messaging and explains what it's like to write these types of books. His book, Instant Messaging in Java (Manning Publications), concentrates on the open source Jabber XML-based IM protocols (www.sys-con.com/java/javaone2002c.cfm).
It was also nice to see a few familiar faces at the SYS-CON Radio booth, including Ralf Dossmann from Borland, the first person I ever interviewed; that first interview was two years ago at the IBM Java Conference in Austria. Further evidence that the Java community not only exists, but is also persistent!
In addition to talking with exhibitors and attendees at the conference, there's also a lot of socializing, a little gossip, and a bit of eavesdropping - it can't be helped.
One interesting discussion I overheard was about Swing's JTree component. The basic gist of the debate - that I might, slightly tongue in cheek, agree with - was that JTree should have a certification program all its own. Perhaps a Sun Certified JTree Developer badge will be my next goal. Anyone who has wrestled with the JTree and come out alive will know that it's not a particularly easy task to produce the tree you want. I was glad to hear others had the same experience. You're not alone!
Keith Brown has been involved with Java for many years. When he's not coding up client solutions for a European Java company, he can be found lurking in the corridors of conferences all around the world.