Geertjan's Blog

  • April 17, 2009

Interesting Time In & Around Amsterdam

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
I was in Bussum, in the Netherlands [a.k.a. Holland] two days ago at the J-Spring conference, one of the two big annual conferences organized by the Dutch JUG (the other is called J-Fall). I'd been there before, twice, both times to do presentations around NetBeans IDE.

This time my presentation was on the VisualVM tool, which is in your JDK's bin folder if you are using JDK 6 Update 7 or later. Its executable is called "jvisualvm". Just click it and it starts and whatever Java app you run (as well as whatever app was running when VisualVM started) is automatically registered in VisualVM, where you can then monitor its threads, dumps, and so on. (I would still like to write an article called "How to Take a Dump in VisualVM", just for laughs. Anyway, until then, that title is trademarked by me personally.)

The presentation went pretty well (nice report on it here) and was a warm up for the JavaOne technical session I'll be doing on the same topic. It's only partly about using VisualVM (which is pretty intuitive), but mostly about extending it, which is more interesting to talk about in some detail. The JavaOne technical session on this topic is on Friday, 5 June, sometime in the afternoon. That's quite wonderful, meaning that I will be nervous the entire time at JavaOne. When, oh when, will the gods smile upon me and put my session on the first day so that I can enjoy the rest of JavaOne, rather than wake up in the middle of the night nervous about the upcoming talk that is never as good as I want it to be?

I met several people who I knew from other conferences, notably Wilfred Springer, who is doing some very unique and interesting things with Spring: he's got a Spring solution for mobile phones, as well as GWT, among other things, all of which I want to find out more about. His Preon project is also worth watching. (On both his Spring ME and Preon projects I hope to write articles/interviews sometime soon.) I also had a very good conversation with Karsten Lentzsch about JSR-296 and then I attended his presentation on that topic, which was very illuminating. I learned a lot about it that I hadn't known before and I am planning an article where each of the JSR-296 features are compared with their equivalents in the NetBeans Platform. (Not for a "which one is better" analysis, but a "for your information" story.) I also met Jaap Vriend for the first time, and attended his presentation on LWUIT, which I knew about but hadn't seen demoed before. He used NetBeans IDE throughout and said some very nice things about it. His presentation was really very good.

Then the next two days, Thursday and today, I was with Toni Epple at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam where we delivered the next edition of the NetBeans Platform Certified Training. Apart from the training, we had a great time with a subset of the group, in a boat in the canals of Amsterdam, great to see it from that perspective. Also great was that at least a third of the group (of about 30) are instructors, so potentially our material could be interesting in some way in their future courses. A couple of the students had already done some work with the NetBeans APIs, notably in the area of refactoring, in which their main instructor (Richard de Koning) is such an enthusiastic expert that I felt the need to go right back to the hotel to randomly start refactoring some code. That's how inspiring he is. He also gave some really useful teaching tips. (That's what you get when your students are teachers!) Would be great to have their refactorings (for inlining) in the NetBeans sources, but let's see how that goes.

All in all a very cool time and Amsterdam is great with this nice warm weather.

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