JavaPolis report

Earlier today I attended the last sessions for this years JavaPolis. This was the first time I attended, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by it. The whole conference have been very good.

I arrived on Monday, sneaking in on Brian Leonard and Charlies JRuby tutorial. I didn’t see much of it though, and after that me and Charles had to prepare our session a bit, so no BOFs.

Tuesday I slept late (being sick and all), and then saw Jim Weavers JavaFX tutorial, which was very adept. I feel I have a fairly good grasp of the capabilities of Java FX Script now, at least. There were a few BOFs I wanted to go to that evening, but since the speaker dinner/open bar was that night, I obviously choose that. Cue getting to bed at 3am, after getting home to the hotel from… uhm. somewhere in or around Antwerpen.

On Wednesday, the real conference started. My first session was the Groovy Update. I always enjoy seeing presentations of other language implementations, partly because I’m a language geek, but also because everyone has a very different presentation style that I like to contrast with each other. One thing I noticed about the Groovy presentation was that much of it was spent comparing Groovy to “other” languages.

Right, after that I saw two quickies – the first one about IntelliJ’s new support for JRuby. And yes, this is support for JRuby, not just Ruby. You can use IntelliJ to navigate from Ruby code to Java code, where you have used that Java code in your Ruby. It looks really promising actually, and I spent some time showing the presenter a few things more that could be included. I don’t know of any IDE that supports JRuby specific things like that, actually.

After that I saw Dick Wall’s presentation on GWT. Since I have actually managed to avoid any knowledge about GWT, it was kinda interesting.

The next sessions didn’t seem too interesting, so I worked a bit more on my presentation, and walked around talking to people.

Charles and my presentation went quite well, even though I managed to tank all the demonstrations quite heavily. For some reason I actually locked JIRB in comment mode, and couldn’t get out of it, and then I fell upon the block coercion bug that happens when you call a Java method that is overloaded so that one takes no arguments and another overload takes the interface you want to coerce into. Charles didn’t stop me until afterwards… =)

But yes, it went well. Lots of people in the audience, and lots of interest.

The final session of the day was the future of computing panel, with Gosling, Bloch, Gafter and Odersky. To be honest, I found it boring – Quinn was moderator, but didn’t really manage to get the panel as enthused about anything.

After that, it was BOF time, I sat in on the Adobe one to pass the time, but didn’t learn anything spectacular. The Groovy BOF was nice – it’s always fun to see lots of code.

I started Thursday with the Scala presentation. Now, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t know here, but it was still a very good presentation. And oh, I found out that there is a Scala book on the way. (It’s actually available as a Rough Cut from Artima. Very nice.)

The next session was supposed to be Blochs Effective Java, but he used to spot to rant about the BGGA closures proposal instead. Of course, Joshua Bloch always rants in a very entertaining way, and he had chosen insidiously good examples for his point of view – but I’m still not convinced.

The Java Posse live show was good fun. After that I managed to see Bob Lee’s Web Beans presentation, and then the one on JAX-RS. Doesn’t really have much to say about those two. Except… am I the only one who starts getting bored by annotations all over the place?

The day was nearly over, and then it was time for BOF’s. The main difference being that it was time for the JRuby BOF. All went well, except that Charles didn’t show up, I didn’t have a projector the first half of the BOF, Tom introduced a bug on Wednesday that made all my examples fail, and so on. A huge thanks to Damian Steer who saved me by keeping the audience entertained while I fixed the bug in front of everyone.

I sat through Chet Haase’s talk about Update N, but didn’t pay that much attention since I was hacking on JRuby.

Finally, it was time for the BOF on other new language features in Java, with Gafter and Bloch. This was actually very interesting stuff. It ended up being almost 2 hours. But I think most people got their fill of new language syntax in it. The question is, which parts are good? I particularly didn’t like method extensions. All the proposals seems to lose the runtime component of it, and in that case it just stops being interesting. I would much rather see the language add real categories or something like that.

Friday was a lazy day. I sat in on the OGIi presentation and the TDD one, but nothing really exciting there either.

So that’s my JavaPolis week. It’s been a good time. And now I think it’s time to have some more beers with JRuby people before moving out from here.

2 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. johan andries

    Hi Ola,

    wasn’t there one other brilliant quickie you attented? (:-))

    Since you mention GWT, wouldn’t it be nice to have a JRuby DSL on top of GWT to reduce the tons of Java code it requires? Something like Cheri. A topic for another “<catchy name goes here> – Any Takers” post?

    Anyway, it was nice meeting you and Charlie in real life.


    December 14th, 2007

  2. Anonymous

    Hi Ola

    I saw your JRuby/Ruby on Rails presentation–very nice presentation! I like how well the whole thing (presentation and coding both) flowed. The integration and level of Ruby support in JRuby is really pretty amazing. I haven’t taken much time to look into either Ruby or Rails till now, but after the presentation was very excited about trying it out. I didn’t care about the problems with the demo, btw, you and Charles handled it with a sense of humor and I think that helped.

    Cheers, Patrick

    December 15th, 2007

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