The Coad Letter: Modeling and Design Edition, Issue 69, Impressions from JavaOne 2000

By: Coad Letter Modeling Editor

Abstract: This issue presents a trip report from JavaOne.

Dear Friend

Only a couple of weeks have passed since I wrote the last Coad Letter but in that time the JavaOne 2000 conference has come and gone. Peter Coad and a number of TogetherSoft's Coad Certified Mentor's (CCM's) were there. After week of recovery and reflection, I thought you might be interested to hear what had impressed them at the conference and on the exhibition floor - so a quick bonus issue of the Coad Letter. I hope you enjoy it.

Impressions from JavaOne 2000

In no particular order...

Java on the Server, Java at the Forefront

"... There just wasn't enough time to see everything!, especially working on the exhibit floor. ... It is also gratifying to see Java's "coming of age". A lot of time and energy is being focused in the industry as Java is maturing, particularly in the server and application process side. There is still a long way to go and a lot of lessons can be learned from those who have done it before! (i.e. monitoring run-time environments for server apps across the network (EJB's, etc.)). It was also exciting to see the amount of energy and resources that companies are expending in the Java environment. That will help to assure that Java will not only be around for a long, long time to come, but will be at the forefront of technology developments and innovation! What a fun position to be in! ..."

[Mac Felsing]

Linux and Java Devices

This years JavaOne revealed several things to me. First Linux is now a completely viable platform for Java support. Most vendors are targeting Linux as a stable environment for running everything from app servers to IDEs. The second thing that is clear is that Java chips are coming of age. I saw three different chip manufacturers booths and saw how Java hardware is the next big thing. This is possible because JINI has made networking of JVM/KVM much easier and chip technology has progressed to the point of being able to place a chip on a credit card.

[Nathaniel A. Johnson]

Linux, Java Devices. Patterns and Quake III

"... This was my first JavaOne, and it was great. One thing that really stood out was the fact that Java is being used all over the map. Two of the big things in the sessions and on the floor really point this out: Java in the device space, and in the enterprise.

There were several booths showing hardware level support for Java, and several way cool development tools ... Two areas of interest that I was curious about, and made an effort to get a handle on were the use of design patterns in Java, and the use of Java on Linux. I was please with what I found. Design patterns are becoming very popular... the session I was in on them was standing room only... in a big room. Most people I talked to in our booth used design patterns in their work and most of the rest were familiar with them.

Linux is growing as a platform for doing Java development.. IBM's support has helped that with technologies like Jikes, XML4J, and their popular JDK1.1.8... and now JDK1.3. Now that Sun has made Linux (on Intel... Blackdown continues their efforts on other architectures) an official platform (JDK 1.2.2 has been out for a while, and JDK 1.3 is now in beta and seems stable) it should increase the validity of Linux as a platform.

Anyway, the entire experience was amazing... the level of energy, interest, excitement, and ability that was packed into Moscone was unbelievable... and I even got in a few games of Quake III."

[Dave Astels]

J2EE, Components, Patterns and the Apple Mac

"For the Java community, I'll retain:
1. Steve Jobs announcement that Macintosh will be soon the best Java platform
2. the fact that J2EE and EJB's are now mature technologies
Best practices in using them are emerging, as well as techniques and frameworks to develop by component and by pattern. It therefore appears that Java and its related technologies constitute now the best infrastructure to develop mission-critical systems."

[Eric Lefebvre]

Mission Critical Apps, EJB, XML and the Apple Lisa(?)

"Having attended many, many conference/trade shows over the years, there have only been a few really memorable ones - for example, the Natl Computer Conference in the early '80s in Chicago where Apple's Lisa computer was unveiled (oops, that certainly dates myself!). JavaOne ranks right up there in my mind - not so much because of the many, many new product/partnership/alliance announcements - but because of the energy and enthusiasm of the 20,000+ attendees and the hundreds of Pavilion exhibitors. This year's show seemed to validate and solidify Java as a worldwide development platform for distributed/embedded heterogeneous computing environments. After just 5 years in the marketplace - Wow!

Just about every major player in software development, platforms, app servers, gaming, etc. had a presence at the event with the one exception that we all expect. I had the opportunity to talk with well over 400 attendees (2%), and I was blown away by the volume of mission-critical business applications that are being developed using Java, servlets, EJB's and XML. These are serious application development efforts - hundreds (even thousands) of classes, thousands of methods! These developers and their enterprises have given a "green light" to java and are taking it very seriously. This is very exciting! ..."

[Ron Norman]

Quality, User Interfaces, EJB's and Jini

"The thing that impressed me the most while wandering the exhibition floor was the quality of the products on offer. Last time I was at JavaOne in 1998 products were small, one task tools or applications with user interfaces still predominantly built using the clunky looking AWT. This year, the Swing toolkit has finally made it to the mainstream and the user interfaces look great (though they like large amounts of RAM) Many of the products were in their second or third revision and are stable, mature tools and applications.

The two main topics of interest for me at the conference were EJB's and Jini. Better strategies are emerging (from multiple sources) for using EJB's in non-trivial applications. Jini and related technologies were pushed hard this year and there does seem to be growing interest and better understanding of the capabilities that they offers."

[Stephen Palmer]

T-Shirts and Java everywhere

" ... Java has come of age, on a grand scale, for sure! ...

The "zero-to-2.5 million in 5 years" t-shirt slogan is spot-on.
If we are 2.5 million, JavaOne participation was close to 1% of the community. ...

Five years ago ... I suggested ... Java as the way to build future Int[er|ra]net client apps as a self-scaling way to burn CPU cycles on users' desks. Now I see that I *underestimated* the impact of Java on all the other parts of the network of servers, devices, even hard-core business data processing applications. "

[Ken Ritchie]

Java development: aim to remove the tedium

"I was thankful that I had such tremendous help this year in staffing the booth <g>! Even so, it was amazing just how packed we were from start to finish. I continue to be amazed at how well Java can span from micro devices to Enterprise. Lets make it easy to support all flavors (J2ME,J2SE,J2EE).

I learned that we need to do more to go after the broader target of the development community. We definitely need the ability to configure the UI[User Interface] for folks like business analysts. We need to add more experts [wizards] into our product[s]. We need to continue down the road to help folks automate as much of the tedium as possible (the EJB deployment being a perfect example). ..."

[Jon Kern, Director of Mentoring]

Java Projects and Process

"Java is indeed growing up! One Java leader shared with me that he now has 120+ Java projects running in his company right now. That same day, we saw 600+ senior managers and team leaders--most of whom were in the 40-55 year old age group--actively participate in my one-hour presentation on 'Feature-Driven Development for Java: Producing Frequent, Tangible, Working Results'. Java is now a powerful force in software development worldwide, something that all of us can be quite proud of."

[Peter Coad, CEO Togethersoft]
(The ppt slides from Pete's presentation can be downloaded from

Reading through the reports, the two topics that appear repeatedly are the continuing maturing of Java, especially J2EE and EJB's, into a viable mission-critical enterprise application platform plus the spread of Java into smaller-than-PC devices. OK, that's it for now - back to more in-depth stuff next issue. If you want to know more about a particular topic, please feel free, to e-mail the relevant CCM or myself.

Take care and have fun

Stephen Palmer

ps. I've edited out references to specific commercial products including Together where possible - if you want it, you can find more info about Together at

©2001 Giraffe Productions

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