Java talks at EclipseCon 2014

I’m looking forward to EclipseCon 2014, a mere two weeks away.  As usual, there is some great pure Java content.  And also as usual, you don’t have to be an Eclipse IDE users or be involved in projects, there’s more than enough pure-play tech talks to be had.

Some highlights from my POV:

Lots more content to be found here, and looking forward to catching up with folks there!

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My day at the IIHS Test Track with Perrone Robots! #javaone preview

I’ve been lucky to see and do some fun things as a Product Manager over the years, but this past weekend raised the bar pretty high.  As part of capturing some video for the JavaOne Community Keynote, I got to spend the day with Perrone Robotics at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety test track in gorgeous Ruckersville, VA.

The Perrone team has done many amazing things with Java over the years, but I think their work on this project takes the cake.

Normally the IIHS tests safety of vehicles during collisions – and in order to do that, you need to actually collide cars.  Head on, side impact, you name it – they’ve crashed it.

With the emergence of collision avoidance systems over the past few years, they need a standard way to test the systems.  And since they’re testing avoidance, not the safety during collisions themselves, the goal was to design a repeatable test framework that doesn’t ruin the vehicles if they fail.

There’s two main parts to the test framework.  First, automating the test vehicles to ensure they are all being driven in a standard and repeatable manner.  Second, automating the the targets that must be “avoided” by the cars.

The goal is that the robotic driver of the cars be adaptable to any car claiming to have a collision avoidance system, so it’s designed to be a drop-in kit.  Here you can see the steering chassis:

The backseat hosts the nav system – which tracks where the car is based on a Locata system so it can also work indoors and in inclement weather.

And again, this will ultimately be a drop-in kit that fits into any car.  Unfortunately on my day at the track it wasn’t a Cadillac Escalade, but a Subaru Legacy:

Next up is the target robot platform (literally, and figuratively it’s a platform).  The idea of the platform is to be able to host a variety of foam moving targets that should be avoided — and yet if they’re not, the worst case is some broken foam.  The car will simply roll over the platform.

Pictures are deceiving – this platform weighs over 600lbs when fully assembled, only 4″ high and can move at over 50mph.  All that and a car can run over it at high speeds without damaging either.  It’s still a prototype version, so a bit messy with the wiring, but this picture should give a better sense of how it all fits:

Once assembled and the foam target is in place, they are able to fine-motor position and orient it to the test starting point using a joystick assembly that they had just wired in that morning.

At the end of the day, I was able to take a spin in the Java-driven Subaru.  They didn’t quite trust me with the “kill switch”, but the view from the pax seat was better anyways as I could get a good view of the steering and location systems at work.

So that was the exciting parts of my day.  Programming car-driving robots is pretty damn exciting work.  But it’s also very grueling.  A lot of the day looked like this:

And this:

And this:

Ultimately – lots of programming a hacking going on.

I’m looking forward to JavaOne and the Community Keynote, where we’ll talk more about this project with Paul, and show some video of this all in action!


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JavaOne Community Keynote 2013

The community keynote in 2011 was about the launch of Java 7, and reboot of the Java ecosystem.  We focused on the resurgence of interest in JUGS, highlighted new participants and updates in the JCP and OpenJDK communities, etc.  Last year (2012) was about innovation and execution – we highlighted Java’s importance in many hot technology segments like Cloud, Big Data, Embedded and highlighted it’s role in innovation in many Open Source communities.  For the most part, we highlighted ISVs, the people who work for ISVs, and all the cool things ISVs are doing.

This year we will take a step beyond that, and look at the role of Java beyond the ISV, while continuing to pay homage to its diversity.  We asked some of last years participants — “who is your coolest customer, and can they talk to us about how Java benefits them?”  For example, last year Cloudera helped praise the role of Java in “Big Data”, this year we will ask Opower how Java is saving energy grids Terrawatts through deep analysis of user habits.  Last year Perrone Robotics showed us some coolness around Java in embedded, this year we want to see hands-on how their work is helping IIHS build safer cars. 

It’s about how your work in the Java ecosystem is leading to amazing applications and end user benefits.

There’s still some opportunities to include content — if you have amazing end uses of Java technology, please drop me a line ASAP!

 – Don

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JavaOne Opening Day starts early – take note!

If I learned anything as conference Chair of a few EclipseCon conferences, it’s that “things to do” expand to fill all available space and time.  And as an organizer, you move things around, get more space – and that fills up just as quickly.

Ergo – it’s important to note that JavaOne has pretty much taken over the entirety of Sunday this year with various activities, meetings and events.  You may recall that last year the Strategy and Technical keynote was moved to Sunday, which freed up a lot of space to add additional sessions to the program starting Monday AM.

Please note that this year not only is JavaOne a week earlier in the calendar than usual, but also the Sunday Strategy and Technical keynote starts at noon.


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ICYMI – Maven 2.x Javadoc Plugin

ICYMI over early summer holidays, it looks like @olamy, @theatph1, sebb@asf and others built a Maven 2.x Plugin that repairs relevant Javadoc as described here at CERT.  Thanks for that!

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Another Quick update to Code Signing Article on OTN

The recent release of Oracle Java SE 7u25 changed some behavior with respect to code signing, and so the OTN Code Signing Article has been updated.  Specifically, starting with 7u25 all contents within a signed JAR must be signed.  Previously it was possible for some meta data to be added later to a signed JAR, but that is no longer the case.

 – Don

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Quick note on Oracle Java SE Time Zone Updates #tzupdater

As noted on a recent /. and TSS thread, some have noticed that a tool known as the Java SE Time Zone Updater (aka “TZUpdater”) is no longer publicly available.  There seems to be some misunderstanding about the purpose of the tool and the impact it’s non-public availability will have.

You do not require the TZUpdater in order to have correct timezone information in your Oracle Java SE applications – it comes automatically with every version and gratis update of Oracle Java SE.

Oracle Java SE 6 is now well past end of public updates.  Users are always encouraged to update to the latest gratis public releases available.  Users who choose to run older and not publicly supported versions, wanting updates and tools such as the tzupdater for these old, not publicly supported versions, can consider commercial long term support options.

– Don

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Update to Code Signing Note on OTN

I’d like to thank everyone who helped spread the word on the new Code Signing requirements and guidelines starting with 7u21.  In particular, Markus Eisele did a fantastic job with his blog, and also an article in Heise Developer (in German) – thanks @myfear!

We’ve just added two new FAQ questions to the OTN article on Code Signing in response to a two particularly frequent questions.  The first is in response to questions around applet signing, and in particular the fact that prior to 7u21 signed apps were assumed to want full permissions, and unsigned were assumed to want to be sand-boxed.  See the FAQ “How has this changed the underlying security model of Java applications in the browser?” for more information.

The second question relates to warnings when running applets in mixed (signed and unsigned) environments (particularly as it relates to JavaScript).  7u21 expanded the scope of when these warning would be presented, and we have addressed how developer can manage these situations in the FAQ “Does the code signing requirement impact “mixed code” environments?“.

Both questions contain links to the product documentation with additional information for developers and admins.

– Don

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Sign your Java Applets and Web Start Applications

The April 16th, 2013 Critical Patch Update for Java SE (7u21) will change the launch behavior related to running Java Applets and Web Start Applications.  Users will be presented with a dialog(s) that will provide additional information to the user who can choose to continue or terminate execution.

In order to have the best possible user experience, your Applets and Web Start Applications must be signed.  More information related to this can be found at the link above.

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End of Public Updates for Oracle Java SE 6

The Oracle Java SE 6u41 release, made available on February 19th, 2013, is the last public update in the Java 6 stream.  The following links may be helpful for people looking for more information about this process:

Note that the phrase ‘End Of Life’ (EOL) is historical, and is now more commonly and accurately referred to as “End of Public Updates”.  Also, the above information is specific to the Oracle JDK.  If you get your JDK or JRE from another vendor or distribution, please check with them for their EOL or End of Public Updates plans and policies.

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