Day one, my first cup.
Always a lot of great information at the keynote. Lot's of talk about Sun's many new and (in some cases) improved tools. I must admit, I was drooling over the Sun Ultra 20 Workstation for only 29.95 a month (nobody said when the payments would end). Didn't manage to get a piece of the Java's birthday cake but it looked good.
The march of the computer languages never stops. It appears that there will never be one language to rule them all. There is a never ending need to create new languages whose characteristics serve to improve their expressiveness in solving various type of specialized problems.
Today I discovered Groovy (I thought that word went out with the 70's?). Groovy (JSR 241) is a language for the Java platform. In my opinion it looks like it has a great application in the scripting area.
I used to write a lot of shell scripts but recently switched to Python as my scripting needs became more complex. In some cases, it seems Groovy may be able to allow me to do some things with even fewer lines of code. The presenter indicated that it is at the not quite ready for prime-time stage and should be used primarily for scripting and non-mission critical types of applications.
On another note:
Jini is alive and well and living in a racing car
Every year Jini technology is being applied to new and exotic applications around the world. This time in Italy. A team of Sun engineers has applied service oriented architecture to help facilitate the collection of telemetry data from Formula 1 racing cars.
Various types of data are collected as the cars race around the track. This data is analyzed and presented to the mechanics in the pit and helps them to make the proper adjustments to the vehicle to improve it's performance on the next go around.
I attended a technical session entitled "Web Services in the Real World". I was expecting a fairly technical presentation, on SOAP, WSSDL, JAX-WS, or some such. Instead I was surprised to find that the session was all about eBay's affliate and developer programs (next time I'll read the session summaries).
It is really a quite interesting business model. There is a great potential for software engineers to tap into the eBay gravy train by writing specialized web applications that use eBay's web services. Typically these applications provide some value added functionality tailored specifically to the buyer or seller's needs. eBay pays 20 dollars for each new user signed up. If you can attract more than 500 new users to sign up in one month, then each one is worth 45 dollars. In addition you can get a commission for each item they purchase. So don't delay, check 'em out at http://developer.ebay.com today.
Looking forward to my next cup tomorrow.