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JDJ International Advisory Panel

Welcome to the first-ever session of JDJ's International Advisory Panel. This is where we look into the crystal ball and turn to the industry gurus to determine where Java is heading.

We've been through the XML buzz, the EJB buzz, now it's Web Services. What is there in here for Java developers to be aware of?
I think the readers need concrete examples of Web Services, and fast. Otherwise the confusion will send them to MSFT. An example of a self-registering self-discovering service would be great.

Stevens: The things that Java developers should be aware of are the things that are not necessarily buzzwords. In other words, take a look at what the Jakarta developers are coming up with (http://jakarta.apache.org). Oftentimes the tools produced are better than the tools that Sun or other corporations are trying to shove down people's throats.

Wyman: At the risk of taking the auditory analogy past its breaking point, it's no accident that the "fundamental tone" underneath all these "buzzes" is the "pure tone" of Java itself. Using Java, developers can finally work in concert to create symphonies of functionality, without regard to logically irrelevant questions such as, "Who manufactured your flute?"

Is Microsoft's .NET something the Java community should be worried about? Is Microsoft really the big bad wolf?
That depends on which part of .NET you're talking about. The XML Protocols part of .NET is continuing to open up the various language and API stacks to each other, and can only be considered a good thing. The part of .NET that is worrisome is the combination of C# the language, CLR the runtime, and IL the intermediate language.

Roth: Yes, and Yes. Especially their JUMP initiative.

Stevens: What makes Microsoft bad is not the technology that they come up with. Some small parts of it are quite good. What makes Microsoft bad is the way in which they want to force their "platform" down your throat. Freedom of choice is a good thing.

Hunter: MS now understands the value of standards and is building .NET largely on standards. That makes its actions a threat to those outside MS who have used standards effectively in the battle against Microsoft. I don't trust MS has suddenly developed a belief in a level standards-based playing field, but no company does when they're in the position of power. It's just getting a bit better to interact with MS and compete within the MS ecosystem and a little harder to create your own ecosystem.

Prediction: What do you think this year's "toy" will/should be at JavaOne? Hunter: No time for toys. :-)

Wyman: A Java-based "magic 8-ball."

Stevens: Open Source Java

We've seen a lot of development take place in the J2EE space. Where do you see the next 12 months' development taking place?
The B2B space seems ripe to the point of bursting. While consumers can clearly benefit from using the Web, they're fickle and take a lot of wooing. Businesses, on the other hand, can realize an immediate, quantifiable benefit from using B2B to streamline their interactions with other businesses. To paraphrase Mr. Franklin, "A million dollars saved is a million dollars earned."

Davidson: J2ME. The embedded and wireless space is taking off like crazy lately.

Hunter: Into Web Services of course.

Does J2ME excite you? If not, why not? If so, why so?
Yes. It's the area where Java will go big for volume. Perhaps you need more small code samples for BlackBerry and phones.

Hunter: Until I can hack my Nokia phone to do proper timekeeping, I don't care. (The program I want to write is something to record my actual billable minutes used; the Nokia phone only records seconds on air, which treats six 10-second calls as one minute, not six minutes.)

Please note that the views expressed here are of the individuals and do not necessarily represent those of their respective companies.

Advisory Panel Bios

James Duncan Davidson
James Duncan Davidson is a lead engineer at Sun, working closely with some of the major APIs. He has headed up both the XML and ServletAPIs, and is now working closely on co-ordinating the Open Source projects for Sun.

Blair Wyman
Blair Wyman is a software engineer working for IBM in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the IBM iSeries.

Jason Hunter
Jason Hunter is a respected Java guru, having worked previously on the Java Servlet API. Jason is now involved with heading up the JSR for JDOM, a way to represent an XML document for easy reading, writing, and manipulation.

Bill Roth
Bill Roth is the group product manager for Sun and is involved with the Star Product Group. Before this, he was product manager for the Java API.

Jon Stevens
Jon Stevens is a recognized expert on integrating the Java language with Apache Web Server software, and is a founding member of the Open Source Java Apache and Jakarta Apache Projects.

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