Jazoon 2009, Day One

It’s late, so only a very short summary of today.

James Gosling gave a broad overview what is currently happening at Sun. Nice video but little meat. I asked about what happened to closures but I’m not sure whether I can repeat his answer here. My feeling is that, behind the scenes, there’s a lot of emotions and that’s bad. Oh well, maybe some will simply implement something reasonable in the OpenJDK. Otherwise, Closures are probably dead in Java which is a bit of a pity.

Dirk König showed a the most common use cases for Groovy in a Java project. Nothing really new for anyone who had been in contact with Groovy for nicely packaged and showed some cool stuff you can do with this mature language.

After that, Neal Ford explained how Design Patterns started to disappear. We didn’t really notice but things like Iterators or Adapters have become features of the language itself. In Java, you still have to query a container for an iterator, in Groovy, you just container.each { … do something with each item … }. Really nice talk, as usual.

Missed most of the next talk because I talked to Dirk König but if you’re using Maven or Ant as a build system, you should have a look at Gradle. It fixes most of the issues with Ant and some of the ones with Maven. Later that day, Hans Dockter (a Gradle developer) and I tossed a couple of ideas back and forth how the build could be improved. If any of these could be implemented, we’ll see a new way to build software.

At 15:00, Jason van Zyl told us what is happening in and around Maven. His talk was so full of information, it was impossible to follow the slides and him. Maven 3.0 is due early 2010 and it will solve a lot of the issues in M2. One of the most important features: You get hooks to run stuff before and after a lifecycle phase. Ever wanted to calculate a build number? Now you can.

M3 is based on SAT4J, just like Eclipse p2. Now, if you followed my blog, you know that I hate p2. p2 is a piece of banana software, delivered green, ripes at the customer. Which is a pity. p2 solved a lot of the issues with the old installer and it could solve all the other issues but apparently, there are forced behind the scenes which make this almost impossible. So when you meet Pascal Rapicault next time, don’t blame him for all the misery he has caused you. He has to solve a mission impossible and that only works in movies.

Later that evening, Thomas Mueller talked about Testing Zen. Nothing really new but I’ll probably have a look at H2 next week or so. It could replace my favorite in-memory Java database HSQLDB.

The closing session was by Neal Ford again. I wish I could create slides that were only a fraction as great as his. *sigh* Anyway, he drew a large arc from how technologies can become obsolete within a few years (as we all know), how good intentions pave the road to hell, about our responsibilities as software developers which go beyond what’s in our contract and predicting the future. Well, Terminator is probably not a good example but everyone knows it. Still, I find it troubling that the military is deploying thousands of automated drones for surveillance. You don’t? How would you feel about a robot equiped with a working machine gun that is programmed to automatically fire on any human that isn’t wearing an RFID tag? Samsung installed a couple of them along the northern border of South Korea two years ago. Skynet, here we come!

What they don’t teach you about software at school: Be Smart!, the last talk of the day, was disappointing. I’ll give Ivar that he had to compete against Neal but … The topic was okay and what he said was correct and all but the presentation could use some improvement. ‘Nuff said.

One Response to Jazoon 2009, Day One

  1. Mr. Hericus says:

    I’ve seen Gradle and I agree. It’s a step in the right direction to overcome some of the more painful aspects of Ant and Maven.

    Thanks for the update!

    Mr. Hericus

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