On December 18, 2008, a joint meeting of the Belarus Java User Group and the Adobe Flash Platform User Group was held with the support of the Minsk Institute of Management and Altoros. Cornel Creanga, Java Technical Lead at Adobe, for the first time presented Adobe Flex in Belarus and spoke on its integration with Java back-ends, while Alexander Zuev, Technology Evangelist at SUN Microsystems, delivered the first review of the new JavaFX development platform for Belarusian developers. More than 120 IT specialists from Minsk, Homel, and Vitebsk attended the conference, a dozen more followed the live broadcast online.
“I was impressed by the enthusiasm and friendliness of the people in Belarus,” said Cornel Creanga, the speaker from Adobe. “I believe that it is one of the things that distinguish the Eastern Europeans from the other Europe inhabitants. I received a lot of questions regarding Adobe technologies and how they apply to the Java environment and had a good conversation about technology and outsourcing with Alexander Zuev, SUN’s new JavaFX Evangelist. I really enjoyed the time I spent in Belarus and I hope to be back again, not necessarily on behalf of Adobe, but also as a tourist, to enjoy the views of the country.”
Short review of the conference
During the 15-minute coffee break, the conference attendees would not let Cornel relax as they bombarded him with questions on the differences between Flash, Flex, and other popular RIA-technologies. Meanwhile, other Java- and Flash-/Flex-developers chatted over a cup of tea or coffee.
At 20.20, Alexander Zuev, the Technical Evangelist at the Russian branch of SUN Microsystems, started his detailed review of the JavaFX platform, which was released on December 4, 2008. He explained the differences between JavaFX and Adobe Flex, demonstrated the capabilities of the new language, JavaFX Script, and spoke on the ways it interacts with existing Java programs. Alexander also covered the JavaFX development tools offered by SUN Microsystems, touched upon the company’s future plans, and answered all of the audience’s challenging and tricky questions. The most active participants were rewarded by Alexander with presents featuring SUN’s logo.
“The format of the conference—speaking together with a representative from Adobe—turned out to be quite exciting,” noted Alexander Zuev, Java Technical Evangelist at SUN Microsystems. “I liked Minsk a lot and was really amazed by the Belarusian students that took part in the conference together with experienced specialists. The level of their general knowledge and education also impressed me. For instance, almost everyone knows that Java is not just the programming language, but also an island in the Indian Ocean. I would love to visit Minsk again; considering the number of trees in the city, it must be charming in spring!”
After the conference finished at 22.00, Alexander and Cornel along with a dozen other participants continued the discussion in a more casual setting in one of Minsk’s restaurants. The afterparty that started with discussing products and technologies quickly grew into banter on cultural differences, secret sides of the speakers’ biographies, Russian winters reaching -50 C, and vampires from Transylvania.
“The recent conference that brought together two user groups was unique, because it encompassed two, in a sense, competing technologies,” added Dr. Nikolay Susha, Rector of the Minsk Institute of Management. “We are glad that our institute could contribute to the constructive discussion of such technically complex and controversial issues.”
Presentation and audio links
1. “Adobe Flex and AIR Platform: Integration with Java Back-ends”
Speaker: Corneliu Vasile Creanga, Java Technical Lead, Adobe (Romania, Bucharest)
Presentation #1 (2.2 Mb): http://belarusjug.org/files/Cornel_Flex3_Intro.ppt
Presentation #2 (0.9 Mb): http://belarusjug.org/files/Cornel_Data_Intensive.ppt
Audio (50 Mb): http://belarusjug.org/files/Cornel_Flex3.wav
2. “JavaFX Platform and JavaFX Script: New Development Tools from SUN Microsystems”
Speaker: Alexander Zuev, Java Technology Evangelist, SUN Microsystems (Russia, St. Petersburg)
Presentation (1.4 Mb): http://belarusjug.org/files/Zuev_JavaFX.pdf
Audio (75 Mb): http://belarusjug.org/files/Alexander_Zuev_JavaFX.wav