Java One Wrap Up

The purpose of this post is to wrap up my thoughts on this past Java One Conference. There are both positive and not so positive thoughts in my mind right now about the conference. Rather than merely stating this fact, let me describe the details to you.

I know it sounds like a dead horse at this point in time, but for the folks that were not present at the Conference,

Lets me begin by listing some of the the positive ones: (Not in any specific order)

  • The Java Posse BOF:This was by far the most fun session for me. Forget about the fact that Atlassian brought beer for us to this session. It was like a big Geek get together where we were all there for the same purpose. To chill and discuss the happenings in the Java world.
  • TextMate Rules the Mac:Every presenter showing any sort of code sample used TextMate.  I have started using it since, and I must say it is quite impressive.
  • Scala has great potential to be the next preferred language of the JVM:Scala is not only totally interesting to me, but it is quite powerful as well.  I especially like the concurrency and Exception handling model built in to Scala.  I had a chance to go to the Java One book store and thumb through the new Scala book that is being released some time in July.  It is definitely worth a look once it comes out.
  • Groovy is my new favorite scripting language: After attending numerous sessions on Groovy at Java One and local sessions at the NY JUG, I am convinced that Groovy is the way for me to “migrate” my thinking from one of Static to one of dynamic.  I have already started reading two really interesting books on Groovy. 
  • Grails is the best way to do RAD on the Java Stack:There is NO faster way to crank out CRUD leveraging Spring/Hibernate/AJax.
  • Lots of cool people in attendance:It is great to mingle and hang out with so many Java enthusiasts.  Whether on a line waiting to get in to a session, or having one of the pretty decent boxed lunches, there was always a good conversation to be had. 
  • The Groovy/Grails/NFJS meet up at the W Hotel on Monday night was great:Let me start off by saying Ted Neward rocks. Looking forward to the tour coming to NJ, will most definitely be in attendance.
  • The Script Bowl Session:Very cool and interesting session. It took the format of American Idol. There was representatives from all of the major scripting languages up on the podium along with a moderator, and three judges. The judges didn’t have have any say on the matter. It was up to us (the audience) to decide the winner by texting our ratings to a number they set up ahead of time for each of the three rounds. The language with the best ratings would be declared the winner.
  • OpenSolaris and ZFS are cool:The demo with the ZFS team smashing one of the hard drives with a huge hammer, and then demonstrating the RAID is still fine. But, they didn’t stop there, then they used a drill to kill another drive, and the RAID was still fine. Then they added two brand new drives to the RAID, and demonstrated how the RAID was rebuilding. The demo was quite impressive, and it left a lasting impression on me. I may have to migrate some of my Ubuntu boxes over to OpenSolaris. That is, if I have time, and it runs well on my x86 hardware.

And now some of the “not so positive” (disappointing) ones: (Again, no specific order)

  • Too Many People - Lines, lines, lines everywhere:The lines at Java One this year were a bit out of control, and I don’t know who we can blame. Was it the Moscone security staff? It is not clear to me right now. The lines heading in and out of the popular sessions felt more like a rush hour train pulling in to NY’s Penn Station. At some points during the show it was hard to even pass in some places. I.e., in space out side of the Pavilion area, where they had the movies playing along with some live simulcasts, there were so many people standing around watching the broadcast, there was NO room to even walk making it difficult getting from one session to the next
  • The materials presented in some of the sessions was more “marketing” then technical:It was always my understanding that you go to these type of conferences to get a “technical edge”. It felt like most of the presenters were not presenting very technical material during the session. It was more like, my framework is the best because… or this framework is better than that framework… To get to the real details, we need to go to their websites, their blogs, or read the books. Don’t get me wrong, all of the sessions were not like this, but it felt like quite a few of them were. See above for the sessions that were not like this.
  • Internet access was unreliable at best:You would expect a conference hosted by Sun Microsystems where there tag line is “The network is the computer”, to provide more stable internet access for the attendees.

Some thoughts after this years Java One

  • NFJS better for me:It is smaller, closer, and more technical.  Last one I attended in 03 in Philly was a total blast, and I look forward to the same experience when it comes to NJ.
  • Going to focus on three languages moving forward:Java, Groovy, and Scala.
  • Looks like multiple languages are the future of the Java Platform:Don’t know which one, but it is pretty clear that most people want an updated programming model for the Java Platform.
  • Next Task:Create a library of all of the idioms in Effective Java in all of the three languages. I.e., Implement code each idiom in each of the three languages. Then use JUnit to test each class. Proving that you can call each language construct from Java. Also going to put metrics around each method call to allow me to create a list of benchmarks on each of the languages.

That’s all for now.