Geertjan's Blog

  • March 24, 2006

Random Observations on the Last Few Days in Madrid

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
I spent the last few days at the Java Expo '06 @ Sun Tech Days Madrid, which was followed (yesterday) by NetBeans Day. Here are some random observations:

  • Madrid airport is insane. Anyone who has ever been there can only agree. The place is massive. The only upside to the 45 minutes it took me to get to my luggage was the thought that at least, once I got there, the conveyor belt would have started spurting out its suitcases. And even that wasn't true. On the way back, I met a few other people who were also teetering on the edge of bemusement and despair. We were supposed to get to Gate S51. And, as the signs helpfully told us, the "S" zone was 22 minutes away (weirdly, much later, when we'd followed the signs, we ended up at another sign that said that the "S" zone was now 37 minutes away). We also had to take a metro at some point (yes, at the airport itself), which we thought was an indication that we were nearing the end of our journey. Man, we were so wrong. About four endless escalators later did we get anywhere near where we needed to be. (When I got to S51, I was really thirsty, but was afraid of looking for a drink for fear of losing S51.)

  • Sang Shin is awesome. Sang is a Sun technology evangelist who, on the side, works on http://www.javapassion.com. He also presents and teaches, such as, for example, at the Java Expo '06 @ Sun Tech Days Madrid. (I helped him in one session, in a Collab demo and then I demonstrated the Google Toolbar plug-in module for NetBeans.) I saw him teach flawlessly in about 5 different sessions. All of them were really technical and not once were his explanations fuzzy or incoherent in any way. He really does a good job explaining BPEL. I never knew what that was all about until I attended his hands-on session on this topic. He is a truly gifted teacher and so enthusiastic and gracious. (I interviewed him in yesterday's blog entry.)

  • NetBeans users are great. I've been writing to Ivan Rodriguez, who created the Execution Profile module, for about a year, and finally I met him yesterday:

    The evening before, together with Gregg, I met Francisco Morero, who has contributed a lot to NetBeans and got an award from Jeff Jackson on NetBeans Day. Here's Gregg, Francisco, and myself (with a random person in the background) at a great coffee house in the center of Madrid (the coffee, with a shot of something, was fantastic):

    Also, Sun's Antonio Vieiro and his colleague Yago Diaz were cool to chat to. (I interviewed them here.) And really enthusiastic about NetBeans! (Antonio took off his coat and offered to exchange it for the NetBeans t-shirt that Martin was wearing!) I hope you got a t-shirt Antonio, if you didn't, we'll send you one (and for Yago too)! Ivan was lucky enough to win a t-shirt signed by James Gosling, during my presentation, when he answered the question: "Does anyone know what the layer.xml file is used for?"

  • Things always go wrong in presentations. I think I had put down a pretty good argument in my presentation at NetBeans Day (on plug-in module development and rich-client application development). And then came my demo! I had specifically picked a demo which would require very little coding (to avoid coding errors). So, instead, something went very wrong with the Action wizard. I've never seen that error before (and I haven't been able to reproduce it since), but I think it had something to do with a naming conflict. (I also forgot to delete the MDR folder beforehand, which sometimes causes problems.) Then, the climax of my demo, was the playing of a piece of music from inside NetBeans. However, there was something wrong with the sound, despite my testing it successfully seconds before my presentation started, and so it took a while to work out what the problem was there. But, aside from those things, I feel pretty good about my presentation yesterday. Just got to be even more prepared when it comes to the demo.

  • Octavian + Martin + me + beer = a great time. One night I hung out in the center of Madrid somewhere with Octavian, from the Creator team, and Martin, the J2ME developer/presenter. It was a pretty good experience and we discussed a really wide range of cool topics.

  • I work for Sun Microsystems, Algeria. I'm possibly the only person in the world who can say that. (Or maybe Sun has an office there, although my 2 minute Google search didn't bring up any results.) I must have filled in the on-line registration form incorrectly, because on my speaker's badge is printed that I am from "Sun Microsystem, ALGERIA".

  • There's more to life than NetBeans. Finally in the plane, relieved that I'd made it, I sat back and opened the Prague Post... and guess what I found? John is famous! Read about it here: Late in the game, Prague finally gets a podcast.

For a lot of pics (by Gregg) from NetBeans Day in Madrid (i.e., all were taken yesterday), see the NetBeans WorldTour page.

Newsflash: Have a look at the brand new JPedal Plug-in for NetBeans! It provides "seamless, native Java support for viewing PDF files in the most common Java Development tools." I'm going to test it on the Keyboard Shortcut card...

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Comments ( 7 )
  • Iván Rivera Friday, March 24, 2006
    Wish I could have been there on Wednesday! Antonio and I were really worried you wouldn't make it to the airport, and when in the airport, to your plane! Madrid is becoming a crazier place by the minute, no less.
    Two more things: the T-shirt is cool, with Gosling's signature and all, but I'm afraid of wearing it, lest it become stained... I'm storing it in the fridge to preserve it for future generations. And my (correct) surname is Rivera, but that's not your fault, but mine: in most of spanish-speaking countries, people have (and use) two surnames--one from the father, another one from the mother, usually in that order. Whenever a full name gets shortened (because surnames can be very long, or even composites), one retains the first of them, not the last. Americans usually get this wrong because they are used to omit their middle names, and thus the error. "James Tiberius Kirk" = "James T. Kirk" = "Jim Kirk" (or simply "He's dead, Jim", most of the time). But for me, it's "Iván Rivera Rodríguez" = "Iván Rivera" (just Iván, for friends, and I won't mind too much omitting also that quirky diacritical mark and leave it as Ivan).
    Oh, the humanity! I came out as a grammar/spelling nitpicker \*and\* a trekkie! I feel so sorry...
  • Geertjan Friday, March 24, 2006
    Hi Iván Rivera! Sorry for getting your name wrong. And the quirky diacritical mark too (although, sometimes I've included the diacritical mark in my e-mails to you, depending on how enthusiastic I was -- if I was very enthusiastic, I didn't put that mark in because it was more important to get the e-mail to you than to cut and paste your name from another e-mail). :-) :-) And, yes, I was also a but worried I wouldn't make it to the airport on time (as luck would have it, there was some kind of strike going on yesterday and the personnel who check people in at the airport had a lot of problems and took about 10 minutes per person). But it all worked out in the end. By the way, you should take that t-shirt out of the fridge once in a while, ok. Like on special occasions: maybe birthdays, and Christmas, and so on... :-) Or, the most special occasion of all: the next NetBeans Day in Madrid!
  • Geertjan Friday, March 24, 2006
    PS: Iván Rivera, we briefly talked about local history yesterday. Well, check this out: Simple Local Hostory Module.
  • Iván Rivera Friday, March 24, 2006
    Isn't open source great? I'm off to test it! I guess this means NetBeans really "caught fire", when you talk about a project and it appears magically done overnight :-)
  • Geertjan Friday, March 24, 2006
    Sorry, the link was a bit screwy. This is it for the local history module:


  • Ramón Friday, March 24, 2006


    here is the comfortable Link to the Simple Local History Module

  • Francisco Morero Peyrona Wednesday, March 29, 2006
    Hi Geertjan,

    I'm glad that you liked the coffee. Its name is "carajillo".

    And thanks a lot for the picture.

    Looking forward to see you guys soon.

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