Wednesday the 17th October, 2007.
Sydney had a surfeit of Java today. First, there was the all-day Sun Developer Day at the Wesley Theatre on Pitt Street. And then after that, the Sydney Java Users Group had a meeting at the same place where Mike Keith (of Oracle and the EJB3 spec committee) spoke about JPA.
Where do I begin? I guess my takeaways were that we shouldn't write off NetBeans or Glassfish yet. There was a time, I admit, when I was one of those who thought Sun should just give up on building its own IDE and app server. I may have been wrong. The upcoming NetBeans 6.0 seems quite cool, not least because they seem to have shamelessly stolen a lot of IntelliJ IDEA's cool features.
Glassfish doesn't seem bad either. It's no longer a toy. It's clusterable, for one. And Sun's Project Tango (interoperability with Microsoft's implementation of Web Services in .NET 3) is now part of Glassfish. That means the Java world gets an advanced Web Services platform absolutely free. That should count for something. And Glassfish v3 is supposed to start up in under a second, so it should really wow people when it debuts.
Angela Caicedo was another Sun evangelist who spoke very well about new features in Java 6 and 7, also about building mobile applications using Java, AJAX and SVG. I'm just a bit disappointed that a mechanism I thought of but didn't widely publicise is now being used for exposing Web Services. The Java 5 concepts of Responses and Futures as a way to turn nouns into verbs and get systems to turn what should be standalone "methods" into classes (which are naturally first-class objects) is at the heart of this.
Glassfish is built on top of the java.nio.* package, which makes it very fast, I believe.
In the evening, I attended Mike Keith's talk on JPA. I'm pleasantly surprised to see that I'm not the only one advocating a mapped-data binding approach. Mike told us about Eclipse MOXy, which provides a "meet-in-the-middle" approach. I wonder if they're aware of JiBX.