May 8, 2007

Sun general session

Just to give you a feel for the atmosphere a few minutes before the keynote started:

Most of the session was presented by Rich Green, Executive VP for Software at Sun, and consisted in a series of announcements. Here are the main ones.

- Martin Harriman (VP Marketing Multimedia, Ericsson) explained that Ericsson is open-sourcing some of its code to speed up the development next-generation multimedia services (IMS). This should lead to the Sun Java System Communications Application Server, based on the existing Glassfish JEE Application Server.

- The Real-Time Java Specification 2.0 is ready and (finally ?) promises easy integration of real-time features into vanilla Java applications. Anna Ewing, CIO of Nasdaq, came on stage to explain that Sun and Nasdaq are using the RTS to design the next-generation Nasdaq software infrastructure. As a sidenote, she mentioned that the existing infrastructure can handle over 150.000 transactions per second...

- Tom Hallman, VP Production Operations at the Sony Digital Authoring Center gave a quick demo on BD-J (Blu-ray Disc Java) features. Using the menus of the "Open Season" DVD, he showed some dynamic animations which can be developed using BD-J (instead of just using video). He said that increased interactivity and online connectivity were the two main areas where BDJ would help develop richer applications for Blu-ray users.

- Netbeans 6.0 will soon be here. The main new thing is support for Ruby, in the form of Jruby 1.0.

- Java is now fully open source. The Open JDK is complete and released under GPL v2. An interim government, which has just been announced, will be in charge of managing the future of Open JDK. This government is now in charge of writing a constitution and holding elections (!).

- A new initiative on making Java faster has also been announced. Rich Green promised several performance releases before the end of the year. Not a lot of detail on this.

- Technology wise, the big new thing is JavaFX, a J2SE-based set of technologies targeted at consumer devices in general, and mobile devices in particular. Rich Green really emphasized the fact that most new Internet users in emerging countries will be mobile users, not PC users.
  • JavaFX Mobile, a J2SE-based software system for mobile devices, which Rich demoed on a Nokia N800. Pure eye-candy, but not a lot of info on the technology itself, which should be available to "everyone" (OEM, etc). Is this Sun's answer to Apple's iPhone ? It seems to be, as Scott McNealy later described Rich's presentation as "the short sleeve version of Steve Jobs' announcement".
- Last but not least, Scott McNealy mentioned the project, an online education initiative for kids, which he also called "EduTube". Check it out.