Saturday, 15 December 2007

The Javapolis Experience 2007

So, Javapolis is over for another year! Big thanks and congratulations to the Javapolis team for making it such an excellent conference.

This year I, personally, had more of a focus on the networking aspect of the conference - trying to take time to chat to many of the delegates and speakers. This is often where you make the interesting and surprising connections that will come in useful in the future.

Whiteboards

The whiteboards again played a really interesting part in getting people talking. This year, I left half the whiteboards as freeform, available for any comments. The other half were carefully organised to get a snapshot of opinions on specific topics.

These fell in three areas. Firstly, boards for collecting ideas for changes in Spring, JSF, J2EE and Java 7. Next up, was a board gathering information on how many people are using each application server, and each web framework.

Finally, about 10 language change proposals were described. Each of these was then offered with a vote - "Do you support this change" - Yes/No/Maybe. In the region of 150 votes were received for each of these proposals, so hopefully the results should be pretty representative. I'll discuss the results in my next blog post.

Closures

The other big topic of the conference was again closures. The first talk on the topic was a well-attended BOF from Neal Gafter discussing the current status of BGGA.

The second was a last minute change - something you'd never see at JavaOne! Josh Bloch gave a talk on 'The Closures Controversy', where he showed some examples of complexity added to the language with BGGA closures. He also showed the syntax proposals of CICE and ARM. This talk went down well with the audience, however it should be born in mind that Neal had no opportunity to respond directly to the points made.

Finally, in another last minute change, I gave a 15 minute quick talk on FCM+JCA closures. Despite being at lunchtime on the Friday, there was still a reasonable group in the audience, and the feedback I received personally was good.

There was also a whiteboard discussing closures, with a vote - No closures vs CICE vs BGGA. The vote was about 2 to 1 in favour of BGGA before Josh's talk, while it was about 50/50 afterwards. This suggests to me that opinions on the topic are not fixed and can be swayed by the last good presentation people see.

Looking forwards, the hope is to have all three proposals (CICE, BGGA and FCM) discussed on JavaPosse.

Summary

Javapolis really is a great conference. It is extremely well run, and has a really good feel. Stefan has said that he intends to keep it at Metropolis, Antwerp next year, so since it sold out this year, I suggest you get your tickets early next year!

1 comment:

  1. Python is moving away from higher order functions (that use closures and method pointers, normally with yield inside eyech) to Generators (that evaluate lazily by default, probably with a hidden implicit yield. All that whoopla about the nature of return inside a closure is not more than a hidden yield (with the exceptions complications added). If you want to make custom for constructs i'd HIGHLY, HIGHLY advocate that we look at python generators.

    Do you know why they are moving away from higher order functions. Because they get hard to read... Now add Generics and types like in java. The result is not pretty for me.

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