Interesting Technologies Demonstrated at Devoxx 2013

LogoDevoxxNeg300dpiDevoxx 2013 has come to an end, after a week of queuing for the toilets attending presentations on Java and other languages, tools and devices, I thought I’d give a short run down on some of the technologies on show that really piqued my interest.

Java

As expected from a Java community conference, Java featured heavily at Devoxx. Overall Java 8 is shaping up to be a major step forward for the 18 year old language, with the introduction of features such as lambdas, the Stream API, the Nashorn JavaScript runtime and JavaFX 8. We also got a peak of what’s in store for post-Java 8 with Mark Reinhold’s talk on Project Jigsaw.

Java is also increasing it’s pervasiveness in the Internet of Things, with Java being demonstrated on a variety of machines from embedded devices, to Lego Mindstorms.

Speaking of embedded computers…

Raspberry Pi

It’s safe to say that the Raspberry Pi is a very popular device, selling well over a million devices since it’s launch at the end of February 2012. The device featured prominently at Devoxx; Acting as displays which automatically displayed information on the talks happening in each of the halls (using JavaFX 8), as well as being used to give feedback on the talks by voting and favouriting talks using your devoxx wrist band. With the popularity it has amongst hobbyists, the Raspberry Pi and micro computing has a very bright future ahead of it.

The Nao Robot

My favourite thing on the show floor has to be Nao, the robot created by Alderbaran robotics. Standing over half a metre tall, Nao has a variety of features such as a whole range of sensors, facial and vocal recognition as well as the ability to walk and dance.

Nao has great potential in a variety of fields, especially in schools. Nao comes with a very feature rich visual editor which allows for drag and drop functions (stand up, wave, move, etc) with the control you would expect from any mondern programming language (Of course, you can also control Nao from traditional language such as Java, Python and C++) , which has potential to be an incredible tool to bring children into the world of programming. It’s most certainly a step up from the robots we had when I was in school.

Dart

The Google team attending Devoxx announced the launch of Dart 1.0 an Object-Orientated language aimed at replacing javascript for front-end web applications. Dart has a variety of features going for; Class based Object Oriented structure, closures and most importantly it runs on all modern browser using the dart2js compiler which converts Dart code into javascript (Even getting performance boosts in Chrome’s V8 engine compared similar hand-written javascript code) .

Dart looks to be a very interesting language, but only time will tell whether it will gain enough support by developers to truly succeed Javascript.

What technologies grabbed your attention at Devoxx? Leave a comment below.

If you missed my previous coverage about Devoxx 2013 you can read them below:

Devoxx 2013 – My Thoughts on JavaFX

Devoxx 2013 – Takeaways from The Java Keynote

You can also hear me being Interviewed in the Java PDF Podast about Devox.

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Simon Lissack is a developer at IDR Solutions, working on JavaFX, Android and the Cloud Conversion service.
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About Simon Lissack

Simon Lissack is a developer at IDR Solutions, working on JavaFX, Android and the Cloud Conversion service.

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