JavaOne offers advancements, mind benders, and disappointments
At JavaSoft's main event, which took place in San Francisco in early April, Java came off as a great success. Here's a look at the JavaOne technology triumphs -- and, a disappointment or two
By Eric Armstrong
This year's JavaOne Worldwide Developer Conference was a triumphant festival for the Java faithful. Sun took great pride in announcing that, in a little more than 18 months, Java has grown from a minor curiosity to the Number 2 development language in the world -- and it is still growing.
Perhaps more important, Sun continued to occupy the moral high ground in the quest for a platform-neutral and vendor-neutral language system by acknowledging contributions by IBM, Netscape, Novell, and others to the Java language and APIs. In other words, Java does not represent a single-vendor solution to common industry problems; it is the result of a collaboration among some of the best minds in the business.
By maintaining control of its development, so far Sun has managed to keep Java from being the product of politics, compromise, vote-gathering, and committee decision. Instead, Sun's open specification and feedback process, combined with a willingness to incorporate good ideas, has produced a language that is powerful enough to tackle enterprise projects, but that remains true to its original design goal to keep the simple things simple.
For details on JavaOne announcements and sessions, see JavaWorld's JavaOne coverage in this month's issue, as well as JavaWorld's JavaOne Today show daily. With this article, I hit on the show's highs and lows: "Java Advancements," "Best of Show," and "Biggest Mind Bender" highlights, and the "Biggest Disappointment" lowlight.
Best of show but badly publicized: Objectsoft's
For example, once you select a method, you can view all methods by that name in other classes; this is wonderful for ensuring compatible behavior and for "borrowing" code. You can also find every caller of that method, so if an API is going to change, you can see who will be affected and make the changes.
At the class level, you can see all classes that contain a given class and all methods that return it. You also can get a list of all inherited methods so you can easily determine all the behaviors a given class is capable of. As a small bonus, you get automatic syntax checks on your code without even having to click a button!
Needless to say, these features are highly desirable when developing a production system. About the only thing lacking is a visual designer and a program profiler. An "ultimate development system" you could put together today would look something like Sun's Java Workshop for the code profiling, Symantec's Visual Cafe or Sun's Java Studio for the visual designer, and Objectsoft's BrewMaster for version control and class/method references.
To download a trial version of BrewMaster, visit Objectsoft's Web site (see Products). It's worth a look.
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Taken From: http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-05-1997/jw-05-javaone-armstrong.html