As usual, the best, most mind-blowing talk today was a Groovy talk with Danno Ferrin and Andres Almiray on SwingBuilder and GraphicsBuilder. An impressive demo was a functional Twitter client written in about 700 lines of SwingBuilder & Groovy. The MVC layers were very neatly divided and the level of sophisticated interface behaviors (such as changing the cursor and graying elements with one simple declartion) was amazing given the terseness.
Some of the most interesting features are in Groovy 1.6, including a @Bindable annotation which you can apply to your properties and it dynamically generates full bean change support on anything which implements Observable. All of a sudden a *lot* of horrible tedious crap goes out the window. I think that provoked some gasps.
Also awesome was a talk by Mark Hansen on "Web Services with JAXB, JAX-WS, JAX-RS, and Ajax". Web services have really repelled me many times. It's just so bloody...complicated and horrible. This is SOAP I'm talking about, of course. He had a good slide showing the 5 stages of web services (i.e. Kubler-Ross, Denial, Involvement, Anger, Grief, Acceptance).
He did an excellent job walking through using annotations to bind the beans and create web services. He showed three approaches: code first, contract (ie, wsdl) first, and meet in the middle. He showed an impressive demo which used an ajax front end to hit a servic which aggregates searches against 3 shopping services with a mix of SOAP and REST.
Now I'm in a talk about Project Grizzly and Java NIO.