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05 May 2008 . tech . Comments #javaone #jruby

The week of intensive conferencing started today with the CommunityOne conference. CommunityOne is a free pre JavaOne conference organized by Sun. The conference includes several open source topics such as Linux, programming languages, NetBeans and others.

When I was going to the general session, I bumped into Tor Norbye and Dick Wall from the JavaPosse, and finally got to meet them. While we were talking, Ola Bini from the JRuby core team came by, and so I got to meet him too. This was a great start of the day.

The general session was dominated by talk about open source communities and their importance, and finally Sun launched the new OpenSolaris version with the new logo. Also the demonstration of OpenSolaris included a cool demo of the raid capabilities of ZFS (included with OpenSolaris). They had a raid with seven disks running live, and there on the stage put a sledgehammer to one of the disk, literally turning it into a cup holder. For good measure they also killed a second disk by putting a drill bit through it. Of course the disks died, but ZFS were able to keep running and when new disks were plugged in, it also rebuilt the content. Very impressive.

After the general session I went to the NetBeans session to check out what were the new stuff in NetBeans 6.1. I have been using NetBeans 6.0 for my Ruby development, but since my experience before this has mostly been with Eclipse, it has seemed a little awkward to me. Now, this new version really seems to be a lot more polished, and I really like the fact that there is much more support for different dynamic languages like Ruby, Scala, Python and JavaScript in NetBeans. I’m definitely going to have a closer look at the new version over the next couple of days.

At lunchtime there was a quick performance by the JavaPosse, where they recorded a live podcast. It was fun to be there for the first time at a podcast that I listen to regularly these days. I really think this is a good group of guys, and they are able to gather all or at least the most important news and then discuss it in a meaningful fashion. I strongly recommend that you have a listen if you haven’t already.

After lunch I wandered around a bit and got some coffee, and then it was time to listen to a panel about Ruby. What ruby is doing in a Java related conference, you say? Well, Sun hired the JRuby guys about a year and a half ago, and are now committed to getting Ruby on the Java VM, and I think there is a growing interest in dynamic languages in general and Ruby in particular in the Java community. I’m certainly one of the followers, and I believe that the JVM is a great way to run Ruby in the enterprise, getting improved performance and deployability. I will certainly be talking more about the benefits of JRuby later.