The Ajax Experience 2008 Begins


The Ajax Experience 2008 is about to begin here in Boston. Developers from all over the world have gathered to hear about the latest and greatest from the land of client-side development. I'm attending the jQuery Developer Day session this morning where topics will include "Progressively Enhancing the User Experience Using jQuery" and "An In-Depth Look at jQuery UI". Conference presentations are available for download here.

Upcoming Ajax Conferences


Here are a couple upcoming Ajax conferences for your consideration:

The Ajax Experience 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Dates: September 29th-October 1st, 2008
Cost: $1495
Conference Agenda

AJAX World 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Dates: October 20-22, 2008
Cost: $1,595 before August 29th [early bird]
$1,695 before September 12th [discounted]
$1,895 onsite price [full price]
Conference Agenda

Leave a comment if you've been to either of these conferences before, letting us know what you thought. Also leave a comment if you plan on attending one or both conferences this year.

Live From JavaOne: Second Half


After CommunityOne and the initial rush to JavaOne on Tuesday, Wednesday for me was a bit less eventful. The highlights of the day included Neal Gafter's talk on Closures and Gavin King's introduction to Web Beans. For those who have already been following the Closures proposals (and debates) for the Java language, Neal's talk didn't really contain much that was new other than concrete examples for how closures would be used in the real world (hence the title "Closures Cookbook"). Gavin's presentation was a little more interesting for me, primarily because I had not really spent that much time looking at Web Beans. Web Beans, for those who don't know, is a component model for objects in the web tier. It borrows ideas from Seam and Guice and, well, standardizes them. This has been an increasing trend in Java, and a good one: take the best of the ideas from Open Source, and move them into the standards space. But with all the new specifications being aimed at developers in this space (EJB 3.0, JSF 2.0, Servlet 3.0, etc.), I wondered a bit if there wasn't just a little specification overload happening here.

By Thursday, most attendees are starting to feel what is commonly referred to (in professional circles) as "PowerPoint fatigue". I was no exception. One session that really alleviated some of the fatigue was Martin Odersky's "Programming with Functional Objects in Scala". For those who don't know, Scala is a new programming language created by Odersky himself. Though it targets the JVM, it is a very different language than Java: functions/methods are objects which can be sub-classed (!); the language uses mixins ("traits") instead of interfaces; it is statically type-inferred; and the list goes on. The slide where Odersky showed Erlang-like actors in Scala really floored me; clearly, this was a sophisticated language.

The other fatigue reliever, "The Future of Guice", contained almost no information but was the perfect counterpoint to the rest of the conference. Bob Lee and fellow cohorts from Google (including Joshua Bloch himself, who showed up for the presentation) provided free beer, free books, off-the-cuff jokes, and generally a good time. I still have very little idea of what Guice 2.0 will be like but--what the heck--I'll read the documentation when it comes out.

As in past years, Friday is the winding-down period of the conference. The show floor is already empty, and a lot of people are thinking about other things. Nevertheless, the intrepid contention-goer can still squeeze some last nuggets of wisdom before the end, and this year I was able to do exactly that. My most practical session of the entire conference was on this day, "Automated Heap Dump Analysis" by Andreas Buchen and Krum Tsvetkov from SAP. I've spent some time doing profiling with one of the best (JProbe), but I must admit this was a pretty slick tool. For those who are interested, the SAP Memory Analyzer is open source and freely downloadable.

I ended the conference with Rod Johnson's "Spring Framework 2.5: New and Notable". Rod spent a fair amount of time on both the new @AutoWire dependency injection annotation as well as the OSGi-enablement of Spring itself. For those who have been following Guice, the first was nice but no big deal. The second (the integration of OSGi into Spring) was much more interesting given the move of many big application server vendors--WebLogic, WebSphere, Glassfish, etc.--to OSGi as the modularization and versioning platform of choice.

And, just like that, JavaOne was over. I rode up the escalator in the Moscone Center with a slight tear in my eye and a fistful of receipts for my expense report. Well, here's to next year...

Live From JavaOne


I'm here at JavaOne this week in San Francisco sitting through the usual spiel of vendor pitches and technology presentations. As always, the conference is a bit of a zoo...long lines for popular presentations, lots of things going on.

Building User Interfaces Using Google Web Toolkit (GWT) : Video


Today I found an interesting video about building user interfaces using the Google Web Toolkit (GWT). This was taken from a presentation at the Conference on Java Technology held in Pune, India (I found the video over at

Below is an excerpt from the post:

Chris Schalk's session on 'Building User interfaces using GWT' presented at the Conference On Java Technology 2007 held in Oct 2007 in Pune, India.

This session serves as an up to date review of the latest technologies and methodologies for "Building User interfaces using GWT". Specifically covered is - What is Google Web Toolkit (GWT), the potential of Ajax, what GWT brings to Ajax, what GWT focuses on, the Ajax Architectural Shift, building Ajax apps with Java(TM) technology and important GWT applets.

The GWT Mission is to radically improve the web experience for users. This is achieved by allowing developers to use existing Java tools to build no-compromise Ajax for modern browser users.

Speaker- Chris Schalk is a Developer Advocate for Google and helps promote Google Ajax technologies around the world. He is also one of the original members of the OpenAjax Alliance. Prior to Google, Schalk was a Principal Product Manager and Java Evangelist for Oracle's application server and development tools division. While at Oracle, he worked to define the overall Web development experience for Oracle JDeveloper and ADF Faces (Trinidad). He is also the co-author of JavaServer Faces: The Complete Reference published through McGraw-Hill Osborne

To read the full post click here and you can watch the video below.

It is always nice to see more information on the GWT as it is a great tool for Java developers that would like to make Ajax applications.

[Save The Date] Ajax Experience 2008 has been announced


"Yes Virginia, there is an Ajax Experience planned for 2008"

Announced today, Ajaxian will be holding its Ajax Experience conference this year. The dates have been set as September 29 - October 1, 2008 and the venue will be the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA. They have opened the Call for Papers until January 31, 2008.

If you're thinking about submitting a paper:

Approved speakers get a free pass to show and a stipend towards airfare and hotel. See our Call for Papers page for more details on how to submit a talk.

Read the full announcement over at Ajaxian

Voices That Matter: GWT - Conversation with Josh Bloch

Video of the "Conversation with Josh Bloch" from Pearson Education's Voices That Matter: Google Web Toolkit 2007 conference.

Josh Bloch is the Chief Java Architect at Google. Previously he was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems and a Senior Systems Designer at Transarc. He led the design and implementation of numerous Java platform features, including the JDK 5.0 language enhancements and the Java Collections Framework. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie-Mellon University and a B.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University.

Check out more session videos and presentation slides from the conference.

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