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What went down at JAX London 2017: Report [Update]

JAX Editorial Team
JAX London
Sebastian Meyen presenting the opening keynote at JAX London 2017

JAX London 2017 started with a bang yesterday. But if you couldn’t come to the conference, we’ve got you covered on what happened! Here’s our wrap-up report from JAX London 2017. We’ve got the details on keynotes, sessions, and more!

Another October, another JAX London. The 2017 edition of our favorite tech conference is in full swing and there’s lots of exciting things coming out from the venue. Not to worry if you couldn’t make it there, though! We’ve got the scoop on what’s going on at this year’s JAX London. So, let’s take a look and see what we can see.

Keynote from Kevlin Henney

Yesterday’s morning keynote speech from Kevlin Henney was focused on software failures and errors. “The Error of Our Ways” focused on what happened when things fail and what responsibility we as software engineers have to our code and our users.

According to Henney, “You need to rethink your dead code. If it’s dead, bury it. Do not leave it in the code base – it will become zombie code.”

When errors happen, system details leak. Simple testing can prevent most critical failures, but incorrect handling of non-fatal errors can lead to catastrophic failures in the software.

What’s more, when it comes to the great debate between developers and programmers, he is critical of developers. Many developers cannot program, leading to these kinds of issues.

Word of the day: mechanocracy. We shape our algorithms and our algorithms shape us.

– Kevlin Henney

In his conclusion, Henney was fairly critical of tech’s underlying ethos of disruption. Facebook’s move fast and break things may have helped it become the juggernaut it is today, but one of the things they may have broken was our very democracy. In particular, he points at their emotional contagion experiment as A/B testing and likely unethical.

Lambdas with Simon Ritter

Recently, the big news has been the release of Java 9 and all that entails. Since we’re moving on to the next version, it’s important to take a moment and look back at everything Java 8 brought to us. In his session, Simon Ritter reviewed the standout feature of Java 8, lambdas.

According to Ritter, lambda expressions are extremely useful and powerful tools in Java 8. Lambdas behave like a method. But it’s important to remember that they’re not actually because a Lambda isn’t associated with a particular clause. They can be used in all sorts of “weird and wonderful” ways. (Although that’s not necessarily recommended.)

MicroProfile with Emily Jiang

In this session, Emily Jiang went over the basics of MicroProfile and how it relates to Enterprise Java. Also, she talked a lot about how to optimize microservices for Enterprise Java with Eclipse MicroProfile.

According to Jiang, MicroProfile is to innovate and bring reliable and tested concepts to the Java Community Process.

Steve Wallin: “Containers are a way of life”

In this keynote, Steve Wallin, Program Director of the IBM Runtime Technologies, talked about IBM’s view on the future of Java and what’s coming after Java 9. “It’s not the module itself that’s going to be the challenge with Java 9,” Wallin said.

He acknowledged that open source is key to fast innovation and adoption and insisted that even though microservices are great for certain use cases, monoliths also serve a great purpose so you can have both.

It got even better — Wallin talked about quantum computing and concluded that where code goes, where data flows, cognition will follow.  

“Consider the individual capabilities of Java EE”

When asked what framework to use when creating Java microservices, people don’t necessarily suggest Java EE first, but many people are seeing the benefits Java EE brings to a microservices architecture.

IBM’s Graham Charters and Katherine Stanley explained why Docker is useful for microservices and demonstrated how to configure Docker to leverage the power of existing lightweight Java runtimes and make use of the OpenAPI spec in your application.

They revealed why we should consider the individual capabilities of Java EE and advised the audience to choose the runtime to fit their capability needs. They also talked about Eclipse MicroProfile and its benefits.

The current status of Java SE 9: Keynote and panel

In the last keynote of the JAX London conference, Donald Smith, Sr. Director of Product Management for Java SE at Oracle gave a quick overview of how OpenJDK plays a key role in the Java SE ecosystem. He also talked about the old JDK release model and pointed out that going forward, Oracle wants to break the thinking of “major releases.”

The keynote was followed by a panel with Daniel Bryant, Stephen Colebourne, Peter Lawrey and Martijn Verburg.

(from left to right: Donald Smith, Peter Lawrey, Martijn Verburg, Stephen Colebourne, Daniel Bryant)

The panelists talked about the six-month cadence, Java 9, the need to use modules (spoiler alert: no one will be forced to use modules) and more.

Java 9 really hurt Groovy, for example.

Martijn Verburg 

The six-month cadence will impact more than just Oracle’s plans. “[The 6-month cadence] is going to split quite clearly the type of company you are,” Stephen Colebourne remarked. The change shows that Oracle acknowledges the fact that there’s a shift happening right now, Donald responded.

There are a lot of questions that have not been answered but the conversation is ongoing.  “It’s interesting to see how this [the six-month cadence] will play out,” Stephen concluded.

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