Friday, September 15, 2006

JavaZone report, rest of day 1 and day 2

Updated with hyperlinks

Day 1

Well, I didn't go to Bjørn's presentation anyway for some reason. Some chaos at the stand, and I dropped into the presentation on Matisse. Long story short, this stuff is Visual Studio five years ago, the live demo botched terribly, and I did a walk-out after about 20 minutes. Geertjan explained why in his blog, and it looked like a dependancy management problem. Snap out of it, guys. Ditch Ant and start using Maven. Still, looking at the state of Swing, I'm glad I'm doing web-apps.

Then I took some time off to handle stand-chaos, and eat with Erling (old student buddy) who I haven't met in a while. I was also in the Meet-The-Gurus: MVC framework smackdown with Arjen Poutsma (Interface 21/Spring MVC), Rickard Öberg (creator of WW) and Kaare Nilsen (JSF). Was interesting to see how the MVC frameworks (or web frameworks as I prefer to call them) could be divided into several channels of motivation, and thus is the reason we have so many frameworks:

Performance/customer-friendliness (anti-JSF)
Developer-friendliness (JSF actually)
Container dependent (Struts)
Testability and container independence (WebWork)
Request/response model (Spring MVC)
AJAX compatibility (every framework, although it appears some are more equal than others)
Some others.

I started off being the WW-pusher, but eventually I got bored with that (it's just too easy, isn't it), so I advocated the devil (JSF) instead.

Attended Mads Nissen's SOA-fishbowl/shootout, which was also good fun, and very interesting. My SOA conclusion is that we're spending 90% of our time worrying about something that concern 10% of us. Let the architects worry about SOA, and tell us which service-protocols to use based on their wise decision (as long as they don't decide on anything silly). Give me Mule and JavaSpaces, stay clear of XML-transport and I'll be happy. Was very cool to see my old database professor Naci Akkøk so active in the discussion.

Then it was party zone! Sat around talking to Kjell and Mark about recruitment, JavaZone, life and everything.. Then discussed some scrum with Johannes, and I think I agreed to do a lighting-talk on the next XP-meetup... And then there was a quick beer up in the 21st floor before heading home.

Day 2

Early up the next morning to get the stand ready, then off to some awesome presentations!

I finally got to see Romain Guy's Filthy Rich Clients. Aerith still looks cool, but he also had some demo-troubles without letting that effect the presentation too much. Will have to sub to his blog as soon as Java 6/Mustang is out. Shine up on my old Swing skills, but still I think Java is a horrible language for doing graphic-design. Why not use more of a markup language? Something like JSF, only make it generate pretty glassy swing instead of HTML...

Struck a thought that when we do encounter errors in apps, remember to display user friendly error messages. Make them believe sometbody is actually doing something about the problem. Non-obtrusive, but still informative and helpful. Expect that things will go wrong.

Then I saw Kaare Nilsen's AspectJ presentation. I think I stole his eclipse/aspectJ book when packing up later on. Nuff said, but I really firmly believe that aspects will become as natural a paradigm as OO in the future.

Then I saw Alex Popescu's InfoQ presentation! As an old Magnolia-fan, lots of interesting and impressive stuff going on there! You hang in there, guys. Take-off will come soon, I'm sure!

After that I had to start correcting the JavaQuiz. I have to say people really suck at Java. On the total score of 18, the best guy got 9 points (120 contestants). Shape up guys :)

Then it was Johannes' agile presentation. Very inspiring! It's good to see that someone so high up in the system see the same problems in software engineering as us guys on the floor.

Joshua Block was the most skilled presenter I've seen this 'Zone, with Bruce Tate not far behind. Very entertaining, and some nice pointers on what I have to notice in Java 5.

And that was my last one! Had to mess around with the stand the rest of the day.

Also came up with the title of my presentation next year: How to put the fun back in programming!