OSCONJ 2011 Trip Report



Rockstar speakers, solid content, spacious venue, several opportunities for networking, great wifi, a fancy bag for attendees, good food, warm breakfast for speakers, and several other items together is how I'd remember the inaugural OSCONJ. Its never easy to launch a new conference and be this successful. Yes, there were some gotchas (nothing major) but I'm totally impressed with how O'Reilly's multi-year experience showed up inaugurating this yet another Java conference.

OSCON which started as a Perl conference in 1997 has expanded its scope to include all open-source technologies in the early years and now talk about anything and pretty much everything open source. Perl,  Python, PHP, Java, MySQL, JavaScript, NoSQL, HTML5, Community Management, Open Data/Hardware, and polyglot JVM is a slight taste of the topics presented this time. About 3500 attendees were present for the main and sub-conferences, biggest so far.

OSCONJ was organized as a sub-conference of OSCON in its 13th running year. In 2005, the conference had a separate Ruby track where DHH talked about Extracting Rails from Basecamp and then RailsConf was promoted to be a full conference next year. Lets see how the OSCONJ shapes up in the years to come. I don't know the formal registration/attendee numbers for OSCONJ but personal observation through the keynote attendance and attendees in different Java tracks at different times suggests about 150-200.

I presented a session on "GlassFish Server 3.1: Deploying your Java EE 6 Applications" and the slides are available:

I also delivered a hands-on lab building a complete end-to-end Java EE 6 application using GlassFish and NetBeans. The instructions for the lab are also available at bit.ly/javaee6-oscon11. There were about 40 participants in the lab and most of them were actively engaged and could complete the lab successfully.

Watch some of the Oracle sessions in the following playlist:


I'll keep updating the playlist as more session recordings are made available.

Some other recordings worth watching are Java: The Good, Bad, and Ugly Parts by Joshua Bloch, Twitter: From Ruby on Rails to the JVM by Raffi Krikorian, Working Hard to Keep it Simple by Martin Odersky, The Future of Community by Jono Bacon, and several more at OSCON 2011 @ youtube.

Some of the highlights from "Twitter: From Ruby on Rails to the JVM" are:
  • Huge number of oncurrent connections: 200k/seconds
  • Lots of IO, Very few persistent objects
  • Patched Ruby, build a whole new Ruby GC, but looking for opportunities to join a bigger developer community and go in the direction where world is going on.
  • Biggest reason to move to Java is because of "real concurrency model".
  • Ops team give no grief because eventually we give them a JAR file, similar way to GC, monitor, analyse etc.
  • JVM gives something that Ruby does not: scatter-gather algorithm
  • Big part of the app is still in Ruby and working on migrating that to Java.
  • Will add lot more instrumentation in OpenJDK GC
  • Storage/Retrieval is all Java.
The London Java Community leaders also hosted a panel on "The Java Standards Annoyances". Patrick Curran, Jeff Genender, Dan Allen, David Blevins, Bruno Souza, Bob Lee and others participated in a healthy discussion. The key recommendations from the panel were:
  • Participate in JSR 348
  • For the EG leads, make your pages easy to use, issue tracker, downloads etc
  • Make a lot of noise, speak up and don't be afraid. Explain your usecase.

Here are some pictures from the event:









And the complete album:


Unfortunately, my camera's battery exhausted in on the third day so I could not take more pictures. But I can see myself going to this conference again next year, provided they accept my papers, because of the great efforts and meticulous details by Stephen Chin, Laurel Ruma, and O'Reilly :-)

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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