Day One, JavaZone 2006, in Oslo, Norway

Meeting Geert Bevin (RIFE) and Romain Guy must have been two of the highlights of my time at the JavaZone conference in Oslo so far. I had a passionate argument with Geert, which came back to me in a flash when my presentation today was temporarily halted by a semi-expected bug, about whether it is 'morally acceptable' (my interpretation of the issue in question) to use Flash or something similar during demonstrations (Gregg made a picture of us in the midst of our discussion here). To me, prerecording your demonstration and then showing it during your presentation is a bit like prerecording yourself running the 100m and then sending the video to the Olympic Games commitee, asking them to consider you for selection in the next national team. Basically—if it isn't live, it isn't real. (Of course, I am willing to admit that situations where the actual coding isn't at issue, such as in Geert's presentations, where the concepts are paramount, it does make sense to not do the actual coding during the presentation, because that slows things down and isn't the point anyway). So, something went wrong during my presentation this afternoon (when I added a JAR containing a JavaBean to a NetBeans Platform application—for no other reason to demonstrate dragging and dropping of the JavaBeans onto my TopComponent, which was a bit of a trivial motivation in the first place—I later removed the JavaBean and then the dependency, set in the module project, kind of screwed up). However, this allowed me the opportunity to show how quickly one can recreate an application from scratch—but it was really unfortunate that I had to do so in the first place. But not doing so would have meant a messy debugging session while standing on stage and listening to the rustle of uncomfortable people in the audience, which isn't a good sign in general...

But, aside from that glitch, things went okay. I think I recovered acceptably and demonstrated the use of Matisse in the context of NetBeans Platform applications. Afterwards, talked to one or two people who seemed to be very long time users of NetBeans. (If someone asks you: "How do I import NetBeans IDE 3.5 forms into NetBeans IDE 5.0," you know you're dealing with some hardcore users.) Also there was someone who is an instructor at an Irish technical college who uses NetBeans in the context of masters students (by the way, I sent you an e-mail, hope to meet you tomorrow and give you some free NetBeans IDE Field Guides).

Meeting the world famous Romain Guy was also a very nice experience. He is a very nice guy, apart from being an excellent programmer (look on for continuing evidence). I'm hoping to be in a fit state to go to his presentation first thing tomorrow morning.

I'm also hoping to be able to 'set up shop' with my laptop at the Sun booth tomorrow. It would be good if someone was there to give some NetBeans demos, live to any passerby. However, there are a lot of REALLY interesting presentations happening tomorrow. Apart from Romain Guy, Brian Leonard will be doing a story on J2ME ("Carrying the Enterprise in your Pocket"), Kirk Pepperdine will be presenting, and so will Java Champion (from South Africa!) Heinz Kabutz, as well as Simon Ritter and Geert Bevin himself (on RIFE). So, it will be a very full day. Speaking of presentations, I thoroughly enjoyed one by Matt Thompson, Angela Caicedo, and Simon Ritter, at the end of the day today. They basically showed some experimental stuff (hurray for presentations focusing on experimental stuff!) happening in the Sun Labs—in relation to Sun SPOTs. But I especially enjoyed Matt's comments during their (which was totally packed out, standing room only, just like at leak guru Gregg Sporar's, by the way) presentation—Sun is all about enabling members of the community to develop cool and interesting cutting edge stuff. There's such a strong desire to give developers the tools they need so that they (i.e., members of the community) can drive the forward movement of Java development. It is a very nice approach which made me feel really good about working at Sun.

A lot is left out here—for example, I haven't even mentioned Jevgeni Kabanov's very detailed and thorough (and enthusiastic!) presentation on Aranea, an object oriented web framework, comparable to Wicket. In fact, in general, the level and quality of the people and presentations I've encountered here so far has been of a very high standard. And tomorrow should be even better, from the looks of the program!


Thanks for the nice feedback :) I'm very sorry that I missed your talk -- guys said it was a nice one. Hopefully I can catch it some other time! And I join you in saying that the conference was great and the level of talks was mostly very high. The only annoying thing was the Sun bang machine, and I really hope that next time we'll learn to do without it :)

Posted by Jevgeni Kabanov on September 14, 2006 at 10:31 AM PDT #

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Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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