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JAOO Day 2 - summary

25 Sep 2007 . tech . Comments #jaoo #javascript

So another intersting day here at JAOO is over. Today I spent most of my time in the Enterprise frameworks track, which at JAOO is not about J2EE or .Net, but rather things like Castle ActiveRecord for Mono (.Net on Linux), Rails ActiveRecord and Grails (Rails imitator written in Groovy).

The morning keynote was held by Erik Meijer. He is currently working for Microsoft, and has brought many influences from more academic languages like Haskell to Visal Basic. He was talking about how he would like the future progress not to require anything new on part of the user. I think he has a good point in that we really should try to make the user experience as hassle free as possible. He referred to a formula for success that says that the chance of success is the perceived problem to solve divided by the perceived hassle of adoption of the solution.

After that I listened to a couple of presentations on a few different options for persistence that try to break away from the “truth” that OR-mapping is the way and the light. I think it’s interesting to look at things like Rails ActiveRecord as an alternative to Hibernate. Granted, ActiveRecord does not nearly provide the same flexibility and power as Hibernate or TopLink and EJB 3, but if it fits your problem, you end up with a much simpler persistence layer due to the convention over configuration principle. Especially with the rise of JRuby, this will be interesting for us. I promise to come back to that in a later post.

I also got to see Eric Evans doing his talk on strategic design, and while I’ve seen this many times now, it is always good with a refresher. We always seem to forget the bigger picture when developing software. For some reason it is always more tempting to work with some technically challenging problem that with the domain of the users. Eric argues (and I very much agree with him) that our greatest efforts should be spent where it generates the most benefit, and that is the core domain, the main reason why we create the software in the first place.

The final talk that I got to go to (I had to skip the Sun keynote because of the IT run), was a real treat. Glenn Vanderburg talked about the overlooked power of JavaScript. I’m certainly guilty of of underestimating JavaScript as a programming language. Glenn made the argument that this is largely due to it’s misbegotten name that kind of leads you to think that it is related to Java. It’s not. That’s what we’ve always said, but then we made the mistake of dismissing it on those grounds. I’ll summarize Glenn’s talk in another post.

So. This day is over. Time is really moving fast here at JAOO. One of the major problems is that there are always at least two, sometimes three sessions you want to go to, then you also want to stay in the halls and hallways and talk to all the interesting people. There is just not enough time. I know I say this every year, but it is true. So frustrating…

Well. Tomorrow is another day.