JavaOne 2015 Diary – Day 3 (a.k.a Day 4)


When I woke up this morning, I feared I had overslept an entire day. In my inbox there was an email from Oracle with the subject line “Welcome to JavaOne – Day 4″. And here I was thinking it was Day 3 of the conference! Ok, I may have had a few drinks with friends yesterday– but surely it wasn’t so wild that I missed an entire day? Apparently, Oracle counts the Sunday session ofworkshops and University events as the first day of the conference. Well then, welcome to Day 4 of JavaOne.

RIA Panel: UI technologies under the microscope

When I look at my diary entries overthe last few days, I have to admit that I’ve neglectedthe theme “UI technologies” a little. It’s not because it isn’t interesting, either. But somehow there wereparallel sessions more exciting than UI discussions –no wonder, with 15+ parallel events. Luckily today there was an RIA panel with a number of renowned representatives of the UI community, so I can easily give a good update on the status quo of the UI world in my own words.

The session started with a survey of the audience about who uses which UI technology or what UI framework. Both Java-based and JavaScript frameworks were addressed. Of course, the result isn’t truly representative, considering that we’re ata Java conference sponsored by Oracle. But it was quite interesting to see that HTML5 and co. plusJavaFX dominated the pollwhile Swing, SWT or GWTwere hardly mentioned.

SEE ALSO: JavaOne 2015 Diary – Day 2

On the question of who (still) uses Dart – you know, the revolutionary programming language fromGoogle– andthere was only laughter in the room. A “deep dive” into the depths of JavaScript frameworks showed that Angularstill seems to be the most popular framework – at least among these participants. It remains to be seen whether this holds out after the forthcoming launch of the non-backwards-compatible Angular2, or whether there’ll be a migration to thecurrently popular React framework. Even Oracle has chimed in with their own JavaScript frameworkwith Oracle JET . Thanks to the good integration of other Oracle products, this would certainly be interesting for customers who already rely on the Oracle stack. But this addition is otherwise just one of many, many frameworks in the JavaScript jungle.

At this point we were already alluding toAndres Almiray’s quote: “It’s one thing to choose the latest and greatest but it’s another thing to find a durable solution”. It’s not a trivial subject whenselecting the rightJavaScript framework, but it’s unfortunately not a new struggle.

“HTML5 has its place – but not on my Smartphone”

When asked about “HTML5 vs. Native” for mobile, all panel speakers agreed on its place. When it comes to a company’s internal application where the UI and UX don’treally matter, then options can pretty much revolve aroundcurrent web technologies.And if you can’t bring yourself to work without Java (or if you want to steer clear of the space between HTML5/JavaScript and Java), it’s worth looking at DukeScript (Winner of the Duke Choice Award 2014) and Gluon’s tools , two cross-platform application development solutions based on Java.

Assuming, however, that the app is public , then the unanimous decision highlightedNative as the only true solution:

You really want the app to look and feel like the native platform and like other apps on the device.

That was but one of the comments on the subject. Something more extreme, yet somewhataptly put byKevin Nielsen of Google:

HTML5 has its place – but not on my phone!

Mission-critical and Rich Client Apps

Just likethe smartphone or tablet solutions out there, HTML5 and Friends want to contribute to apossible solution for mission-critical, or rich client applications. “Mission-critical things, believe me, they do not run on the web,” commented Andres Almiray, who gave anexample of a project at CERN. This all fits in with a quote from James Gosling, who was at his best during the presentation of an RIA interface for controlling water-robots:

You do not want to do this in HTML5!

The reason why HTML5 is an alternative at all for the apps ofmany companies lies in itsextremely simple deployment scenario. Enter stage-left Johan Vos , co-founder at Gluon, who bundled hisown Java application usingjavafxpackagerwith the appropriate JDK to bypass the problem of incorrect or non-existent JDKs on the target computer. If the normal JDK for this purpose is too large, you can resortto the much smaller Compact2 profiles.

Whatabout JavaFX?

Funnily enough, the topic of JavaFX washardly discussed by the panel. However, this was probably due to the fact that this‘new’ Java UI technology is pretty much regarded as set. Considering how much the panel discussed Swing, SWT and GWT, no comment on JavaFX is also a comment – namely a positive.

SEE ALSO: JavaOne Diary 2015 – Day 1

JavaFX has now officially arrived in the Java community, as shown bythe many, many sessions involving JavaFX at JavaOne that were consistently well attended.

Following on from my“Eat your own dogfood” shoutout about JavaFX inyesterday’s post, you were able to find JavaFX-based voting machines scattered throughout the conference venue. A very cool idea, the machines were well received by participants and shows how much fun JavaFX can be.

Hendrik Ebbers and Michael Heinreichs amuse themselves with the ‘JavaOne Voting Machine “

Tomorrow is unfortunately the last day of JavaOne. For me, I’ll be delving deeper intomicroservices and Java.I look forward to it!