Austin (as in Texas) Java Users Group meeting
The evening began with a presentation by Gregg Sporar on the Matisse layout tools that will appear in future releases of Netbeans. Funny how this topic came on the heels of recent blogs warning us to "Beware the GUI Builder"... I did not come away from Gregg's talk afraid. Matisse looks very promising (but we still need tools for creating custom components).
Gregg's talk was followed by Norman Richards' experiences with EJB3 persistence, annotations, generics and JSF. A lot to cram into a one hour talk, but he wanted to give us an overall feel of how the newest Java changes work together to make Java EE application development easier. Some of the features, like generics, are not fully baked but they are still useful. JSF could be less verbose, and Norman would like to see a lot less XML involved. But the conclusion is that these features really are useful... Java has not "Jumped the Shark" yet (I had no idea what that phrase meant before Norman explained it).
Eitan took the podium after Norman, and shared with us his impressions of Java One. It's pretty easy to sum up Eitan's impressions... the people are what makes Java One special.
I first met Eitan at a NoFluffJustStuff conference here in Austin. If you ever start to lose your enthusiasm for programming... just go listen to Eitan. If he can't cheer you up, then it really is time for you to retire from programming.
During Eitan's talk, he graciously introduced me as "java.net's most prolific bloggerTM". Surely that's not accurate, but it is true that I am famous.
Unfortunatley, I had to bail right after Eitan's talk, so I missed Michael Yuan's impressions of Java One. I wanted to stay, but it was past my bed-time - 9:01 pm. Actually, I was nursing a massive headache brought on by Austin's summer heat and humidity (or my head must have swelled when Eitan complemented me).
JUG meetings are just plain fun. You get to learn a bit more about something-or-other, you get to meet a few more people, and you get to reaffirm the fact that there are lots of people out there who care about the same things that you do. If you haven't attended your local JUG recently, you probably should.