JavaPolis trip report (well kinda)
By alexismp on déc. 26, 2004
So, JavaPolis lived up to what I was hoping for (expect for the Geronimo talk that I now realized was canceled by reading this).
Most packed sessions I attended: Hibernate, JMX (see Éamonn's blog). The following is basically a few notes I took during some of the sessions I attended (I don't believe I'll have to courage to write about all of them). Note that all JavaPolis slides are now online.
Tiger (JDK 5.0)
Joshua Bloch/Neal Gafter (now at Google)
Fun to see Josh and Neal presenting Tiger from a Mac... no demo obviously (so much for the "in action" part of the presentation).
I had attended very similar presentations (or seen slides) but found the frequency table to be a very nice example combining many different new language features. I also learned that the compiler generates different code for arrays and for collections in the new
forloop (not the case with C# where it is recommended to not use
While the new
forloop syntax seems to please everyone, it cannot be used for
- removing elements as you traverse a collection
- modifying the current slot in an array or list
New keywords break many things in IDEs (
assertin 1.4) and may require changing variable names.
Annotations do not really impact J2SE developers today, but DBC (Design By Contract), AOP, Testing and others are right around the corner.
...and obviously there's the upcoming J2EE 5.0 which will heavily leverage annotations (EJB 3.0, JDBC 4.0, etc...).
Juergen Hoeller / Rod Johnson (Interface 21)
Rod did the introduction and talked a lot about Struts being very nice but not covering all application needs (same with data frameworks).
"Spring does not compete with J2EE, only with EJB (and even more with in-house frameworks)". Cannot reuse code written for EJBs. EJB is described as an example to an "invasive" framework). "The Entity Bean part of the specification is very invasive, each new feature break to code" (that's Rod talking). "As usual, EJB does things in a clumsy, inflexible, way" (still Rod talking...). Rod never mentioned EJB 3.0 which reuse lost of good ideas (POJOs, IoC, etc...) that day. In his other (shorter) talk, his message was "EJB 3.0" will not be around before another two years.
The rest of the talk by Juergen was very factual with no marketing and no EJB bashing...
Linda DeMichiel (Spec Lead, Sun)
Before Linda started talking to a crowded room (although not as much as for Gavin's Hibernate talk), the facilitator asked how many people were using J2EE (everyone raised his hand) and how many were using EJB today (3/4 kept their hand raised). Interesting to see how common wisdom can be wrong... (note I'm not saying they all love EJBs)
So, if you haven't already read about EJB 3.0, it's all about simplification for the developer, big use of annotations, and a new persistence model for POJO (Plain Old Java Objects). Linda seems very happy with the way EJB 3.0 is moving forward and the expert group seems to get along very well.
To all the people I talked to after Linda's talk, it really felt like a slam dunk (finally!). The only withstanding question was availability of the spec and the technology. It's amazing to see how this third iteration changes the way people look at J2EE and EJB in particular. While Rod Johnson's first book was a master piece, I feel his attempt at ignoring EJB 3.0 is not the right strategy.
Gavin King (JBoss)
(probably more people than for the keynote): in a year the project has gone from part-time Gavin and the community to 4 full-time engineers and the community. Obviously Hibernate 3.0 will serve as the EJB 3.0 Entity Manager (Gavin is on the expert group) in the JBoss product. Eclipse tooling (done by Max Andersen), Gavin claims that this is a preferable solution to having a separate standalone workbench. Hibernate v3 may be the last version (sort of joke to explain J2EE integration I guess). Very interesting call for unification of Web and EJB containers/technologies. Gavin had several slides up on JSF & EJB needing to merge with the will to have EJB methods be event handlers for JSF components or provide the EJB container with access to the web context. Another interesting evolution would be making the domain model available to front-end technologies.
Cédric Beust (Google)
As always (other presentations, blogs or mailing lists), Cédric spends a fair amount of time explaining the problem he's trying to solve: building a better JUnit which has flaws which have an impact on the code you write (yes, not a good thing). TestNG uses annotations of javadoc comments to achieve a technically better unit framework. As Tim Bray points out, most people have worked around the JUnit limitations and tools support is already ubiquitous. So let me whish Cédric to be successful with this challenge as I'd like Sun to be successful with NetBeans!
Marc Fleury (JBoss)
Marc seemed upset to be scheduled in the Business track (I'm not saying this because he didn't dress as Zorro or Joker). He rushed through the business slides (which I though were an interesting example of Professional Open Source) to get down to why he loves JDK 5.0 annotations in EJB development. By the time he was done, I'm sure he had lost every manager in the room...
On the networking side...
Fun seeing Peter Zadrozdny, now a VP at Oracle pitching a nice "JSF community" story (in front of Craig MacClanahan). I met Peter when he was starting WebLogic France (just before BEA acquired them). Good luck on your new job Peter !
For a while, I though IBM's was not around. They had a little booth and almost no presence.Makes me think they really operate in their world with their customers.
Craig MacClanahan was brilliant as always in his 3-hour (which became 4-hour) session on Java Server Faces (in action!) with a great tour of the technology, demonstrations and a nice Q&A session. Since it was a technical session and not a sales pitch, Craig was almost afraid to show Java Studio Creator. He shouldn't. It's a great tool and something that I would recommend anyone willing to start with JSF as it is really THE technology Creator is built upon.
I had not seen Vincent Massol for years and did pretty good (JUnit, Maven, Offshoring) since that time!
I also finally met with Vincent Brabant, an active NetBeans community member.
And of course, I had all my Techno Celeb diners...