JFall 2006 review

Today I attended JFall 2006, the conference of the Dutch Java user group NLJug. Besides speaking to a lot of old colleagues there was a lot of interesting material and thoughts presented.

The morning started of with a key note from Sun. One key bit I took away is that Sun sees the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) move away from Java and be a machine for different languages including Java and Ruby. Most of the presentation was about SPOT. A technology I had not heard of or seen before. SPOT is a small device with some sensors built in and the option to connect more. On it you can load small Java programs so that it can react and control outputs on its own. It has radio connection with a base that can be connected to a computer via USB. That way you can also remotely control one or more SPOTs.

After that I attended a talk on in memory databases. The presenter used the in memory database for handling traffic from set-top boxes on TV’s. High peak volume combined with a low write to read ratio make it an excellent candidate for an in memory database as compared to a relational database. He mentioned to use a toolkit called prevayler. Small and simple to use.

Two chaps from Java black belt community site were next to present their tutorial on Hibernate. The Hibernate contents was good (I learned some new stuff). In addition I was impressed in the way they used visuals to present some complex stuff in a condensed way. Java black belt is definitely a website to look for learning things on Java.

After lunch the second keynote was by Adrian Colyer from Interface21 and called The Vocabulary of Enterprise Applications. In turned out to be a rather shameless plug for Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP) a feature that has seen increased attention in the latest 2.0 release of the spring framework. His argument was that AOP allows you to map requirements of the application in a one 2 one and recognizable way to implementation.

The next parallel session I attended was by Michael Franken from Xebia and called Are you really Agile?. For me the highlight of the day. Michael talked about the widely adopted use of waterfall and why it always leads to problems. The alternative way is to use iterative, evolutionary or agile methods. He also presented 4 agile methods, XP, Scrum, Evo (by Tom Gilb) and RUP. It was a pity that Michael ran out of time and could no go into depth in each one of them. Overall this presentation offered for me the most relevant and best content.

Last parallel talk was How to improve the Architecture of your Java-based system – in less than a day!. A plug for a code analysis tool by Lattix. Based on a methodology called Dependency Structure Matrix it analysis which component or module calls who and is called by who. If this is a mesh rather than a tree like structure you end up with problems.

The pavilion in the main area was just a strip of companies looking to recruit one of the attendees. So apart from talking to some people and eating not much to get wiser from there. All in all a nice day to get some insight into what is happening in the Java world. Also good to see that there was a record amount of attendees. The Java community is alive more than ever.


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  1. In memory databases « Arnoud on Software Development Says:

    […] I wrote earlier in my post about JFall 2006 about a talk I attended about in memory databases. For many web sites in memory databases are an important part of the software infrastructure. They are essential in making large sets of information accessible. […]

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