Jfokus 2010 Wrap-Up
It seems nowadays everyone wants to get rid off Java and relational databases, but there is nothing yet done to replace such profitable technologies. From the other side, Java counter attack with Java EE 6 and the JPA 2.0 makes OO-RDBMS easier than ever. I am not sure if or when the agile movment will be able to replace Java in the market, but I know their attempt is making our preferred technology everyday better - thank you for that.
My conference tourism report
Stockholm is a charming city forged with the Viking spirit, money and the best education I've ever observed in my life. People are friendly and the city offers a lot of interesting spots for the tourists - everyone speaks English and I didn't have any communication problems over there. I skipped half of the tutorial day to walk in the small streets of the old town and it was worthy every step. The Vasa museum is a remarkable spot and the small streets full of shops, bistros and historical references brought me joyful moments - I sent some SMS to my wife planning our vacation trip to Sweden asap (perhaps matching the next year's Jfokus). For a traveler and old surfer like me, definitely a place I will recommend for friends and family.
Hotel and venue
I were hosted in the Rica Hotel, just 100 meters from the Filmstaden Sergel, the conference venue. Everything worked as planned both in the hotel and in the venue, and the proximity of the conference and the free wireless Internet in the hotel made my three days in Stockholm very comfortable, and the breakfast buffet was another remarkable feature of the hotel :). In the second day of the conference the film city proved to be too small for supporting almost a thousand people and the Wi-Fi stopped to work - but nevertheless the rooms were quite comfortable and everyone had a great time. The conference food and beverage were excellent as well. The Jfokus team was outstanding in offering a great experience for the conference attendees - more impressive when you realize they are developers and JUG members and not professional conference organizers.
The conference tutorials
The first day was dedicated to three hours tutorials, and I've chosen the speech of Kevlin Henney about GOOD: Good Object-Oriented Development. It was excellent, the speaker is an English native speaker and he used his language skills to entertain us during a guided tour through the Object Orientation concepts. Even for an experienced developer it was really worthy to recall all important aspects on how to treat software design with care and quality. I recommend that presentation if you have the privilege to meet Mr. Henney in a next conference. I was also surprised to know that the British gentleman has Brazilian roots as well - and much more surprised to see a slide in Brazilian Portuguese during his presentation ("povo" - plain old value object).
After the excellent presentation I had a short talk with Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine from Sun Microsystems. Our lunch was all about Glassfish and I also demonstrated to him my Arena project and we talked about the java EE future, Oracle acquisition and other topics. I know Alexis for a long time, it was nice to have some minutes to talk freely about Java and software trends in general. At the end we agreed the new money injection from Oracle can bring a wonderful future to Glassfish - a lot of opportunities for the developers. After the lunch I decided to skip the afternoon of tutorials to visit Stockholm, my very first visit to Sweden. I walked for three hours throughout the amazing downtown, and then I got back to the hotel very satisfied, freezing by the scandinavian wind with some gifts to my family. In the evening the Jfokus invited me to the speakers' dinner.
The speakers' dinner: Mattias Karlson and his team treated us as VIPs during all the conference and the speakers' dinner deserves a bold remark. The moments at the Fredsgatan 12 were splendid, great food, great conversations and everyone treated like a king. Mattias himself was the image of a happy man, going from table to table to celebrate the Java moment with all speakers - enhanced with the biggest smile of the Sweden after the SMS from Joshua Bloch :). Jfokus gave us the best hospitality we could imagine and I am sure that atmosphere motivated great speeches in the next day. It was the first time I tasted duck, for the surprise of my French colleagues saying "yes, it is duck and it is very good, why?". I just explained that duck is not a common dish in Brazil and that superb first experience will certainly include duck in my preferred menu. The champagne, the wines (including the surprising cinnamon wine) and the friendship will remain in my memory forever.
The second day of the conference included my speech, but I planned to attend other sessions to relax and to restore my English accent. Cameron Purdy from Oracle had the privilege of the Keynote, talking to us about JRockit and some new trends of Java, specially the optimizations on the JRE class loader and the JDK byte code compiler. A good speech, interrupted five minutes before the end due to a technical issue. At that moment I got the impression that Jfokus team deserved a better support from the venue managers. J-man appeared in the middle of the crowd, proving that sometimes the picture is a bit different from the real character :), but he did a great job making people to talk about Java and about the conference. The venue was fulfilled of booths, including local companies and some traditional big vendors like Oracle, Microsoft and Google. There was some surprises like bwin, a popular beat site here in Europe. I asked the booth girl about a cassino-like company in a Java conference and she confessed their site is done with Java - good to know that my bets are being processed in the proper way. They also promoted a poker tournament after the event, but I am just too bad playing poker to risk that one.
Gertjan was there making another corridor film from a conference and my old friend Roman Strobl was there with the JetBrains team, nice to hear about them again. And I also had the privilege to talk with the Vaadin developers I met before through their mailing lists. We discussed aspect of security and I collected my second Book of Vaadin, a blue covered pocket book about the 6.2 edition of the Vaadin Framework. Still in the Vaadin topic, I attended the session of Joonas Lehtinen talking about RIA Security - Broken By Design. Nice hints, including some live demo of hacking RIA applications using firebug. I did some networking during a good lunch and my afternoon started with the Dan North speaking about Why Your Agile Roll-Out is Failing. Good speech, good humor and nice hints from an experienced Agile Methodologies consultant. After that it was my time to concentrate, I went back to the hotel for a last minute relaxation and presentation review. Four o'clock I was in the Salong 14 for my presentation but just before my schedule Mr. Ellnestam talked 15 minutes in Swedish about leadership. I couldn't understand a word of the Viking-Avatar language they use in Sweden, but during the speakers' dinner Ola Ellnestam explained briefly his topic and judging from the public reaction I would say he did a great job.
My presentation host was Mr. Staffan Nöteberg and this time everything worked, the notebook connected the beamer without any problem, the presentation finished just in time and my connection with the public was very friendly and natural. I have two polemic topics in the design I demonstrated on the stage: Anemic Domain Model and REST with JAX-RS. I am working around several issues raised from these technologies using the relational database as flexible structure, and it is sometimes controversial. Nevertheless, I presented all sections of my work and the public was quite receptive. I asked how many of them are familiar with some technologies:
I introduced the Arena Project and then I explained how to use the JPA and JAXB together to expose the database on the HTTP layer. I concluded the session explaining the HATEOAS concept and how I plan to solve the issue of having dynamic interfaces in Java. I finished three minutes before my deadline, time enough to collect some feedback.
Feedback: I received a friendly feedback just after the presentation, and more good vibes later on twitter. On the stage I also listened Rickard Öberg from Jayway explaining how they are solving HATEOAS with Java using annotations and DSL to produce a rules based framework. Later during the conference party, he talked with me and also commented he didn't like the idea of using an anemic domain model. Excellent feedback, but unfortunately the framework is proprietary and we cannot check its details online. I hope they publish at least their solution outline in a blog to allow us to think better about it. I loved to speak in Sweden for sure I will submit a paper next year as well.
After dark party and Oracle announcement
After the conference everyone went to a pub few blocks from the venue, and the beer did the job. I was officially waiting for the Indigo show and for the Oracle announcement. The band was really good, the conversation with a lot of smart people is always a joy, and then we had the Oracle moment. I joke with Henrik Kniberg (the kanban speaker) about geeks playing guitars in a java conference, but I should confess their cover band performed really well. The Oracle announcement brought us a good perspective for the future of Java, but this is a topic for another blog.
Thank you Jfokus
The conference was great, there are a lot of smart people I would quote here, but I prefer just to extend my best impressions for all people from Sweden. An amazing country you have out there, please keep it like that - and see you next year during the next year Jfokus.