JavaPolis – Observations From a Distance
JavaPolis, the major Java conference currently going on in Antwerp, Belgium, has multiple parallel tracks most of the time. Four or more sessions to choose from. So you cannot see them all. And if you do not have the time to visit all five days, you can see even less. By April 2006, all presentations will be available on JavaLobby and TSS and on DVD. But until then, it is already quite instructive to just glance through the conference schedule. You see very quickly which topics are considered important. And what subjects some of the major players are pushing. Like Oracle’s ADF Faces goes Apache MyFaces story and JBoss’s plug for jBPM (a workflow engine that can be used both inside the JBoss container (or any other J2EE container) as well as in a standalone Java Application).
Checking the schedule is also quite useful for verifying the current state of affairs with certain technology and concepts. Is it real, is it presented, demonstrated etc. Or is a subject that seemed very real and promising suddenly disappearing beyond the horizon? Of course here you also depend on the good judgement of the conference’s steering committee, so the program does not tell you all, but it can be revealing nonetheless.
I am surprised by the loud absence of IBM.
The Eclipse Foundation is here, but they are very independent from IBM these days. But IBM is doing nothing to promote WSAD tools or WebSphere application server. No noise about IBM’s Rational toolset. No IBM implementation of JSF or EJB 3.0. They are simply not be seen. What can be the reason – when Sun and Oracle and JBoss and to a lesser extend BEA and Borland are very much here?
The program also prompts me to further investigate projects and frameworks that may be promising. They made it to the conference, so perhaps there is something to it. Some of these are Wicket, JBoss SEAM, Mule (open source ESB), Drools (Business Rules Engine), Dali (the Eclipse plugin for EJB 3.0 Persistency), @AspectJ (merger of AspectJ and AspectWerkz) and Selenium (a test tool for Web Applications). And there is more: RIFE, JiBX Data Binding, BIRT (Eclispe and Business Intelligence and Reporting), XOM, etc.
Certainly interesting is GlassFish: "The GlassFish community is building a free, open source
application server which implements
the newest features in the Java EE 5 platform (the next version of the
J2EE platform). The Java EE 5 platform includes the latest versions of
technologies such as Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) 3.0, JavaServer Faces
(JSF) 1.2, Servlet 2.5, JavaServer Pages (JSP) 2.1, Java API for Web
Services (JAX-WS) 2.0, Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) 2.0,
Java Persistence 1.0, Common Annotations 1.0, Streaming API for XML
(StAX) 1.0, and many other new technologies. "
I would have expected more focus on databases. The only focus presentations I saw are on Apache Derby (previously CloudScape), the in-memory database, and on CachÃ©, the object database. No MySQL 5.0, no specifics on Oracle XE – the free low-end Oracle database or PostgreSQL. There is a talk on the JDBC driver developed by Microsoft for SQL Server 2005. But that hardly counts…