Today the ‘conference’ part of JavaPolis started. Based upon my estimates there were even more people than the past two days. I could even call this blog entry ‘reunion day’ as I met lots of people that I work with, or had worked with in the past.
Jeroen had another try at Call of Duty 2 and…yup you’ve guessed it right – got instantly killed again ;o) Honestly I have to add here that he made up for that as he finally got a grip on the XBOX 360 controller and kicked some German butts with a machine gun.
The clock was ticking and it was 9.30 before you knew it, so off to the conference keynote presentation by JavaPolis organizer and BeJUG chair Stephan Janssen. During his keynote opening Stephan mentioned some interesting facts about the conference and he officially anounced the alltime high for JavaPolis attendee numbers as the counter had passed 2100 attendees for this edition. About 48% of those people are from Belgium meaning that 52% of attendees came from other countries. In fact attendees attended from a lot of countries! Stephan mentioned that every country from the european continent was present except for Portugal. Apparently in Portugal everybody is doing .NET ;o)
Other announcements were that the PDF version of the JavaPolis slides will be available on the JavaPolis wiki next week. Multimedia versions of the content will be available in separate sets on different community forums, like JavaLobby, TheServerSide, and ofcourse the JavaPolis wiki. The DVD of this year’s conference can be expected in March 2006. It will contain 2 discs with all of the content, including the ‘Quickies’.
Next, Jeff Jackson took the stage. Jeff is Sun’s VP for Java Enterprise Platforms and Development Products. He had a funny talk and tossed a lot of t-shirts and dukies in the crowd. Kind of a JavaOne rip-off, but entertaining. In his talk Jeff pushed developers to join the JCP, which I’m currently taking into consideration. The second part of the talk was really embarrassing as there was a demo of Sun Java Studio Creator 2 which was a total disaster. “The demogods are not with us today”, is putting it mildly. VERY mildly! ;o)
Second keynote was by BEA. Bill Roth, also a VP, promised to tell about the recent Solarmetric and M7 acquisition. His talk must have been inspired by the disastrous Sun demo, because the story was totally nonsense. I spoke to people afterwards and almost everybody agreed that it was a very blurry story with way too many shameless sales plugs for BEA products in it. Which is too bad, because I am a BEA fan and heard and read far better than what Bill had to share with us. Anyway, from what I did manage to pick up, the first release of BEA Workshop – as their development product is rebranded – can be expected somewhere Q1 2006. It will have preliminary EJB 3 support, with both Kodo and Hibernate tooling. WebLogic Server 9.1 will be available this week. Another interesting thing Bill mentioned was something called ‘Project BareMetal’ which has something to do with a VM running directly on (Intel) hardware. No actual details were given, but is sounds rather interesting. Probably something that they will use as a foundation for their telco and rfid server products, which require massive scalability.
After this keynote the break-out sessions started. For some slots, I had a hard time choosing, because there were simply too many interesting sessions. The ones I picked for today:
Java Business Integration – rather boring session. In my opinion the wrong parts of the spec were highlighted. The buzzword ‘Enterprise Service Bus’ wasn’t even mentioned once. Although Ron ten-Hove seems to know a lot about the subject he simply spent too much time on Message Exchange Patterns and too little on explaining the JBI architecture and the consequences for application development.
Apache Derby (a quickie) – A 15 minute update on the Apache Derby f.k.a. DB/2j f.k.a. Cloudscape. It seems that Apache Derby (or Java DB as Sun tends to call it) is now well- backed by both the Apache Open Source community and major companies like Sun and IBM. Check it out and pick up the latest version from the Apache Derby website.
Service Data Objects – simply put “SDO is Data Transfer Objects on steroids”. An BEA and IBM initiative to manage data in a Service Oriented world. Looks a lot like ADO.NET to me.
Pragmatic SOA – A great session by an excellent speaker! John Crupi from Sun talked us through some pragmatic approaches to SOA. Picked up some nice thoughts and it also gave me the impression that I’m doing things right in my personal approach to SOA that I use in my day-to-day work at customers.
What’s new in JavaServer Faces 1.2 – Roger Kitain (co-spec lead for JSF) spoke about the most important new stuff in JSF. Major improvements and new stuff includes: a unified expression language (JSP EL, JSTL, and JSF EL combined). The ability to have multiple renderkits at work in a single application. A Postback handler for AJAX. Check out the Blueprints catalog for some nifty tutorials on how to do AJAX with JSF too.
Shale, the next Struts – the final session I attended by David Geary. David is a great speaker as well, with lots of humor that makes you bear the late hour. In fact Shale has nothing to do with Struts. It just uses the ‘Struts’ brand name, and has the same commiter. Actually Shale is a framework on top of JSF. It copied design patterns from Tapestry (Views) and Spring Web Flow. Another framework…argh! Where do I ever get the time to get to work with all this stuff?!
All in all, another great day at JavaPolis!