By abuckley on Dec 22, 2008
Devoxx is always a pleasure to attend for the energy and enthusiasm that 3000+ Java developers bring from all over Europe. I made two presentations this year: one on modularity in Java that dove-tailed with Mark Reinhold's keynote, and one with Brian Goetz on the JVM's progress towards being a "universal" VM for all programming languages. Thanks to the many hundreds who attended and gave warm feedback.
Bear in mind that these presentations are targeted at a broad developer base, and that we cannot address every last detail of a topic in 45-50 minutes. Just because something is missing from the slides doesn't mean we don't care about it, or that it's not important, or that it didn't come up in Q&A or a BOF.
In other news, Stephen Colebourne continued his fine tradition of taking the pulse of the community regarding Java language changes. By asking people to rank features globally, we gained crucial information over a local yes/no vote on each feature. With yes/no voting, imagine if 86 people vote yes for properties and 53 vote no, while 51 people vote yes for multi-line strings and 9 vote no. All you really learn is that the properties "community" is more divided than the multi-line strings "community". This saps authority from the larger number of yes votes for properties. Plus, yes/no voting allows different communities to talk past each other forever, ignoring the fact that Java language designers can consider the needs of only one community: everybody. So while there is debate about which features to include in the rankings, overall I was very pleased with how informative and decisive the community's rankings were.