Friday, July 20, 2012

Meeting with James Gosling (father of Java)

(Myself with James Gosling)

(Having a beer at the event)

(James presenting his talk)

Yesterday (07/19/2012) i went to attend the “Bay area all JUG event at Oracle with James Gosling” where all the JUGs (Java User Groups) in the bay area had gathered for an evening of socializing and to hear to James Gosling speak at the Oracle campus in Santa Clara.

The evening started with a casual social gathering in the 4030 George Sellon Cir, Santa Clara, CA campus of Oracle (erstwhile Sun campus) where dinner was served and Java developers from all over bay area (around 200+) interacted with each other, talked about Java in general, heard James talking about his work in Liquid Robotics or posed for a Java Music Video which was in the making on site. The camper chairs with Java logo on them were souvenirs which people were asked to take with them if they wanted to – so almost everyone promptly got up from their chairs and folded them and put them in their cars :) – this was funny but i too picked mine – it was souvenir after all.

Then we went into the hall where the presentations were held. There were 2 presentations:

This presentation was on running Java SE embedded on Raspberry Pi (a small form factor computer, which can run Linux off of a SD card, has 126MB/256MB RAM, ARM7 processor and HDMI, USB, RJ45 slots). A demo was show of a small Java web server running on the RPi device which was serving the system information.

  • "Robots and Oceans and Whales, Oh My!" by James Gosling

This presentation by James Gosling was about the Wave Glider robot of Liquid Robotics company which is an unmanned maritime vehicle (UMV) that uses the up and down wave motion in the ocean to move forward. It is designed to support variety of sensors on-board. It can either be stationed at one place for say weather measurement or be mobile. It transmits data to shore stations via Iridium satellite communications. The satellite communication is very expensive ($1/1Kb of data) so the focus of James’ work is in optimizing the data communication between these nodes in the ocean and the shore stations. James showed the work he was doing using the NASA World Wind Java SDK to plot the path of these robotic nodes on the world globe (NASA world wind is a nice example of an advanced Java Swing application for displaying geographic data). He has built a JMS-ish style publish-subscribe asynchronous communication channel between the nodes which is also authenticated (using Open AM and Open DS directory service) so that only interested nodes which have subscribed for say data from the weather sensor and have successfully authenticated to the robot will be provided access to the data. The business model is less about selling the robots themselves and more about selling the data from the robots to the various interested parties (Commercial ships, Oil Rig etc).

In short, both the presentations were quite interesting to me and i ended up buying the Raspberry Pi kit to get my feet wet in Java SE embedded programming.

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