Spent most of the day at events in London yesterday. I've not been into town for a while and it's good to see that our capital's transport system is still broken down and decrepit. That can't be said for Sun's Customer Briefing Centre though, it's a great venue for events with all the mod-cons and a screen that allows you to do NetBeans demos and not have it look like a poor YouTube video.
The JavaUK roadshow event was pretty slick and most of that was down to the organisational skills of Michael Lonnon and his team. It never ceases to amaze me what this guy can achieve with what one must assume is a relatively limited budget. The audience at the event were great and there were a few familiar faces, so a big shout out to everyone I met yesterday. My session was on JRuby on Rails and I think that a few of the audience were thinking, "why is she prattling on about Ruby?". It's a difficult talk to pitch, I didn't want to overplay the 'J' in JRuby, but at the same time had to present the case for why JRuby would be interesting to Java developers. Rebelliousness creeps in too as I'm not a big fan of classifying developers as "Java Developers" or "Ruby Developers". Developers work with the tools and languages that are available to them within the context of their working environment. Even if you can't use Ruby on Rails to develop the next rev of your companies Web Presence, or if Eclipse has been selected as the corporate standard IDE de jour, there's still a lot to be gained by looking at what's going on in the rest of the world, what other languages are doing, how other tools are solving the same kind of problems that you might be facing every day. The other talks were cool, Simon Cook demo'd Bean Bindings and Matisse in NetBeans, and talked about RIAs and the likes of JavaFX. Steve Elliot presented on SOA and JBI, stuff that I was working on at the start of last year. I missed the talks in the morning as it was going to be a long day, but Matt Hosanee was introducing NetBeans 6.0 and I'm sure he had a lot of useful stuff to pass down.
We had the requisite drinks afterwards in "The Fine Line" across the road from the venue, we were joined by Iain and Brian from Glasgow Caledonian Uni who were flying out from City Airport and were worried that they might not make the flight. Let us know if you made it guys.
At about 6.30 we headed back to the CBC for the London Open Solaris User Group meeting. Jim Hughes, CTO of the Solaris Group, who we acquired with StorageTek and who looks and talks like he's worked for Sun for 20 years, gave a demo of installing the "OpenSolaris Developer Preview" ne "Indiana" on to the bare metal of a Mac Book Pro. While running the installer from the "Live" boot of the Indiana CD, he ran his slides in OpenOffice from a pen drive on the Same System. Afterwards there was wine and pasta (which was actually really nice).
In the next couple of days I'll post the walkthrough of my alternative of the "How to create a weblog in 10 minutes" demo, adapted for Rails 2.0 and culminating in deployment and execution on Glassfish