It's that time of year again. The 2009 JavaOne conference takes place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from June 2-5 and is being sponsored by Intel (a Platinum sponsor), JBoss, and Sony Ericsson.

This year's technical and Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) sessions are organized around four topics: Rich Media Applications and Interactive Content; Mobility; Services; and Core Technologies. You can view information on all the sessions now and get a $200 discount on early bird registration until April 22.

Those of us who have attended past JavaOne conferences are particularly jazzed this year as the JavaFX platform takes off and Sun aspires to appear from behind every cloud computer — to say nothing of Ajax, concurrency, eco-responsibility, and more.

When asked about this year's Conference, Robert Eckstein, staff writer and author of the Daily Prompt, a daily journal that covers the JavaOne proceedings, remarked, "This year's JavaOne has a strong focus on community. With sessions on everything from JavaFX to cloud computing to game development, you can connect with some of the best and brightest minds from Sun and other companies this June."

JavaOne Rock Star Amy Fowler

JavaOne Rock Stars — developers who in previous JavaOne conferences have given the highest-rated sessions — are returning in abundance this year. Rock Star Amy Fowler, celebrated for her top-rated 2008 JavaOne session (copresented with Sun's Shannon Hickey), Using JavaFX Script to Build Swing Applications, will offer two sessions with Sun's Jasper Potts, both offering insight into Sun's JavaFX platform.

  • Extreme GUI Makeover (Hybrid Swing and JavaFX Technology) (TS-5575) shows developers how to take Swing business applications and give them a makeover: a new look with a JavaFX twist. As Fowler's session summary puts it: "Start by modernizing its look and feel with Nimbus LAF. Then customize Nimbus to add some company branding. Then add a whizzy animated graph/chart written in the JavaFX programming language. The presentation will appeal to Swing developers as well as people interested in JavaFX technology. It shows what cool things people can do with existing Swing applications without having to throw away all the code they have been working on for years."
  • The New World: JavaFX Technology-Based UI Controls (TS-5578) covers the new JavaFX platform UI controls, ranging from basic usage and layout to more advanced topics such as theming, skinning, and creating custom controls and layouts. According to Fowler, "From talking to people at three conferences and getting feedback from blogs, this is the Java technology developer's most asked-about feature."
Rock Star Dion Almaer — Ready for the JavaOne Conference

Dion Almaer, of Ajaxian, Inc., who has been a JavaOne Rock Star for three years running, is getting excited about the 2009 JavaOne conference.

"I'm curious to see what the big buzz will be at JavaOne this year," he said recently. "Enterprise, mobile, and JavaFX, yes, but what's new this year? I have a feeling we are going to see something exciting with regard to OpenJDK 7!"

What are the sessions that excite him?

"Classics such as Josh Bloch and Romain Guy are always fantastic. I'm also interested in practical talks from the community about how to be productive creating applications on the Java platform. How does Java make you build these apps? That is what I want answered this year."

Dion Almaer will be giving two sessions with fellow Rock Star Ben Galbraith. One is titled Ajax Versus JavaFX Technology (TS-5587). The other is Creating Compelling User Experiences (TS-5588).

Almaer said of his two sessions: "In the Ajax/JavaFX talk, I want to give people an honest look at the technology and the landscape. In the usability talk, I want us to step back from the plumbing and focus on what's good for users. I plan to offer some practical advice on this. Let's all talk and have a good time."

A Toast From the Host: Chris Melissinos

Sun's Chief Gaming Officer Chris Melissinos, a self-proclaimed video game addict who will host this year's general sessions, has his own favorite picks this year.

  • Alice 3: Introducing Java Technology-Based Programming With 3-D Graphics (BOF-4982) includes the creators of Alice 3, the innovative tool that introduces students to programming, explaining how to help students make the transition to Java technology-based programming.
  • JavaFX Technology for TV: That Other Screen in Your Life (BOF-4548) reminds us that the JavaFX platform is a family of products for creating rich Internet applications (RIAs) across all the screens of our lives. After the launch of the JavaFX Mobile and the JavaFX desktop platforms last year, it's time for TV. The session will demonstrate how Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME platform) developers with a little knowledge of JavaFX can easily create compelling JavaFX applications for TV. It presents the basic APIs required to develop cool and portable JavaFX "common" applications suitable for execution on mobile devices and TV, and focuses on unique TV-related issues.

Speaking of matters visual, you can watch Melissinos in two JavaOne conference update videos: Part 1 and Part 2.

Seeding the Cloud at the JavaOne Conference

There are so many sessions exploring the intricacies and promises of cloud computing that it's hard to pick just one, but you can get a good overview at Cloud Computing: Show Me the Money (PAN-5366), which separates myth from reality. What do "infrastructure as a service," "database as a service," "platform as a service," and "software as a service" really mean? What about the technologies and the monetization from a Java technology developer perspective? A panel of experts from Sun, Amazon, Google, Microsoft,, and Intuit are scheduled to demystify the terminology, address the challenges, and provide new and cool demos.

Going Green With Java Technology

Of particular interest is a session offered by Sentilla's Joe Polastre, titled Save the Planet! Go Green by Using Java Technology in Unexpected Places (TS-5201). This session asks, "Do you know where your energy is being used?" Polastre invites us to imagine a Java technology-powered device connected to all our appliances, TVs, servers, and heating systems. As the session summary notes, "With configurable logic, Java technology programmers can control equipment to analyze and reduce energy consumption. With Java technologies, from the Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME platform) at the source to the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE platform) for the Web, energy profiles are visible globally with high granularity and managed by Java technology-based programs."

The session takes a look at Java technology-enabled products that measure, monitor, analyze, and control real-world equipment, and highlights an example of embedded Java technology that non-intrusively automates server energy profiling in a data center: Server load, disk usage, CPU usage, and efficiency are based only on energy consumption data. The session covers multitier collaboration between embedded devices and GlassFish application server services — complete with code samples and a live view of its energy footprint.

Join the Posse

No JavaOne conference preview would be complete without mentioning the famed Java Posse, four developers who host a popular weekly podcast full of updates on the latest happenings in the world of Java technology. The Meet the Java Posse (BOF-4418) session promises to be both informative and fun. Attendees will meet hosts Tor Norbye (Sun Microsystems), Carl Quinn (Google), Joe Nuxoll (Navigenics), and **** Wall (Navigenics) as they record a situation report from the Conference. You can't go wrong there.

See you in San Francisco!