Last month Sun put on a sumptuous mini developer conference in London, called JavaUK06. I went along with the usual crowd and although it wasn’t exactly a cut-down JavaOne, it was a worthwhile day.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. The initial keynote was out of place for a Java-based show. One wag explained it to me: sitting through it was the cost of admission. Fair enough. Then Craig McClanahan put on a high-density cover-all-bases web framework presentation. He lost the crowd when switching to an IDE to show us code that was too tiny to read and then refused to adjust the font.

The highlight was Lee Chuk Munn’s whirlwind Java EE roadmap presentation (PDF). Pretty much spot on in terms of content for me, and refreshingly honest (“EJB3 – third time lucky”), but of course we expect nothing less. On the basis of this I also hit Chuck’s Project Glassfish talk (PDF). So now I know something about this app server, but I’m probably more interested in Grizzly, which is a high-performance scalable NIO HTTP server designed to drop into Tomcat. Finally on the Chuck-love-in was Web Tier Programming with JSF (PDF). Disappointing, as it felt like I was being told the same thing over and over again.

I thought Amanda Waite’s presentation on EJB3 persistence was OK (PDF), but it didn’t match the description in the programme. Also Chuck had covered enough of the material earlier that there was nothing much more to be said. However, bonus points for Amanda as a presenter: if there’s some clipping on the projector most presenters shrug and live with it, but not her. She dropped down to the shell and typed in some X11 voodoo to adjust the screen, causing an audible yelp from the A/V guy when the screen flip-flopped to a new size.

The last talk I caught was Yves Houssin on RFID (PDF) which an excellent crash course on the technology.

Summary: that was a useful and interesting day, and I hope there will be a JavaUK07.