The WidgetFX+++ JavaOne Recap

13 06 2009

I had the unique opportunity to present 3 different sessions, plus assist with a University Session at JavaOne this year, and had a blast doing all of it.

I put this blog post together as a reference for anyone who is interested in JavaFX, WidgetFX, and/or Piccolo2D and wants to learn more. Hopefully you will find it valuable!

The JavaFX University Session

Jim Weaver invited the entire Pro JavaFX author team to help out with presenting content for his Monday morning JavaFX University Session. Presenting at a University Session was an entirely new experience for me, because I have never attended one myself. I have to say that the format really lends itself to digging in much deeper on a technology than normal technical sessions can accommodate. Even after 3.5 hours, we still had not covered all our material, but the JavaOne University slides are a great reference!

As an example of mobile technology, we passed around an XPERIA X1 running the DrawJFX example from our book to give everyone a chance to try it out. Here is a photo of the collage the class drew as a collective:

JavaFX University Session DrawJFXtras Picture

JavaFX University Session DrawJavaFX Collage

Pro JavaFX Platform

The first technical session was with Jim Weaver, who is a seasoned presenter. Before we even got started with the session he already had the audience enthralled with his intro music! Rather than getting in the details, I encourage you to read Ed Ort’s excellent article on the Pro JavaFX session.

JavaOne Author Team

Pro JavaFX Book Signing (left-to-right: Weiqi, Dean, Steve, and Jim)

The highlight of the week came right after this session when Neal Gafter dropped in on our book plate signing. To my relief he was not there to sue me for defacing his book cover in the Pro JavaFX Platform slides, but instead dropped by for a chat with the Pro JavaFX authors.

Piccolo2D BOF

I helped get the Piccolo2D project off the ground over a year ago with the support of Ben Bederson from UMD and the help of Michael Heuer, Sam Reid, Marcus Rohrmoser, and Willis Morse. While most of the project members couldn’t make it out for JavaOne this year, Michael Heuer made the trip, and both of us co-presented an evening BOF on Zooming User Interfaces.

If you are interested to learn more about Zooming User Interfaces, the Piccolo2D Presentation Slides are a great reference (and testament to all of Michael’s hard fought research).  This was also a great chance to show off the MangaDesu Manga Viewer application that I wrote a little over a year ago (you may see this in the Java Store sometime soon):

Java Manga Viewer with a Zooming User Interface

Java Manga Viewer with a Zooming User Interface

Getting Started With WidgetFX

The WidgetFX session was probably the most fun of the entire week.

The session had a great turnout, especially for the last day of JavaOne.

WidgetFX Session in Progress

WidgetFX Session in Progress

As promised, we demonstrated Henry Zhang’s Pacman widget to the audience, which he put together in response to Jim’s challenge. We tried to have a little fun at the expense of the audience, but it quickly backfired when our random volunteer from the audience, Dan, easily bested us at our own game.

However, we struck back with a vengeance by having our Nabaztag rabbit (who was conspicuously sitting on the stage the entire time) trash-talk Carl of the Java Posse about his new Tesla.

Josh Interviewing Carl from the Java Posse

Josh Interviewing Carl from the Java Posse

Carl took it in good humor, and we unveiled the Nabaztag widget that we were using to control the wifi-enabled rabbit. Besides being a great ambient notifier, Josh also choreographed a dance sequence to the music of the Bee Gees:

Nabaztag Bunny Dancing to the Bee Gees

Nabaztag Bunny Dancing to the Bee Gees

We ended the session with the announcement of a Widget Development Contest with a grand prize of a year of books!

You can browse the full photostream from the event on Flickr, and download the slide deck here.

This was definitely a new JavaOne experience, because rather than being in the audience and heckling the presenter’s mistakes, I was the one on stage being scrutinized…  Fortunately, I had great co-presenters (Jim, Josh, and Michael) and was so busy preparing that I didn’t have time to panic.

I hope you enjoyed this journey through my presentations, and maybe I will see you in the presenter’s lounge at a future JavaOne conference!




5 responses

13 06 2009

Nice article, and thanks for the refcard- that was a great help for transitioning javafx 1.1-1.2 quickly, Is there any effort by your side , or maybe Sun to make available these session , in parleys or in Sun’s own website?

13 06 2009

Glad you like the article! Unfortunately, none of the presentations were recorded on video (except for the University Session, although I am not sure about the details on that). However, I have been talking with the Devoxx guys, so there may be an opportunity in the future for some online goodness (more on this later). 🙂

14 06 2009
Henry Zhang

Congrats on your Pro JavaFX book and successful delivery of so many sessions on J1. Glad to know that my Pac-Man widget was on stage too. 🙂 Looking forward to the widgetfx contest.

21 07 2009
JFXtras Community Site Launched! « Steve on Java

[…] The site is completely self-service, and provides free hosting of open-source JavaFX samples, so create an account and start contributing your own samples to grow the community! 1. Yes, it is official, Joshua Marinacci is a JavaOne Rockstar!  Josh and I received the JavaOne Rockstar award for having a top ranked JavaOne session this year (thanks to everyone who attended our WidgetFX Session!) […]

26 07 2009
2009 JavaOne Rock Stars Announced! « Steve on Java

[…] “Getting Started with WidgetFX” session.  If you haven’t already, check out my post-session blog with pictures and the full presentation.  Thanks everyone who came to the session and made it a […]

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