Sunday, February 15, 2009

JHUG event 14/02 for true Java lovers! (review)

Well yes it was quite an obscure day to have such an event, but we love Java and we wanted to make our point.

We started at about 10.30am, with Roman Strobl well known to the JHUG audience from his Netbeans related talks. Roman is now on the Open Solaris front. Since I have listened to his talks a lot of times, I have to admit that he is getting better and better - his presentations flow like a charm. So what about OpenSolaris. I have to admit, I was one of the developers that found the original old Solaris, very boring, difficult to administer and a bit ugly like any other Unix like systems of his time (AIX, HPUX etc). Solaris for years now is open, with a growing community and it seems to differentiate from linux in various aspects. The fragmentation of the kernel in the few available distros is minimal, the community is smaller but more focused on the main kernel trunk, a big corporation is behind the scenes (for me this is not so bad- the same I believe for Java as well). I was impressed by the ZFS features and the various demo's, I am very happy that in my OS of choice (MacOSX) soon enough I might get to use ZFS or a version of it. Open Solaris seems to be an interesting environment for Java development as well, in other words all the Java stack is there.Mainstream apps for every day use were there, firefox thunderbird + a package manager to download and install lots of stuff. I got one of the live CD's and I am going to give it a try in a second hand laptop I just got from work. If the compatibility wizards shows no driver conflicts then it is going to be the main OS. For some reason OpenSolaris makes me feel a bit more secure in terms of evolution and features comparing to Linux, but then again its me..I was never a linux fan. Anyway we will see, I will soon give it a try.

Next on stage was a familiar face to the greek audience (as well).Alexis M Pouchkine from the GlassFish team was presenting a very interesting topic, J2EE applications migration and how that fits to various existing J2EE application servers. Alexis gave one of the most interesting talks I have heard or watched in the last months. J2EE is a spec and provides lots of security though migrating from one application server to the other may introduce complexities. He gave a lot of interesting points during his talk and the one I noted down (never used before) its the verifier tool, that checks your enterprise application in order to see how much it complies to the official J2eE check and how much portable it is (since it complies)in terms of moving to another container,deploying etc. Have a look here and try it to your ear, jar war.For those that already starting to think about migrating to GlassFish which continues to gain momentum in the J2EE application server front, don't forget to check the GlassFish migration tool.

Our third speaker was a JHUG member, it was his second talk in a JHUG gathering.Ioannis Doxaras gave a less J2EE related talk - but quite interesting for those that are getting bored with our J2EE oriented talks in JHUG (and yes I admit we have a lot). Design patterns, tips and tricks for those that wish to follow the trend and invest their time on building rich RIA applications with technologies like Adove Flex, Google Web Toolkit or the new kid on the block JavaFX. My experience with all these technologies are limited (I have to admit) so I dont have the experience to evaluate technically all these potential solutions. I know that lot's of people are now investing on them but most probably I am a very server side- back end guy - I am still wathching the developments, who knows one day I might try it. On the other hand in my current job possition i am still heavilly involed on beast-like backend technologies - so never had a chance to try the more client side stuff. Ioannis seems to be quite enthousiastic with this change and his experience on these recent 1-2 years makes him quite confident on all this RIA thing. Let's see.

We continued with Alexander Snaps and a very comprehensive talk about JPA. Alexander was kind enough to visit us, from Belgium that he works as a consultant.His talk was a difficult task, JPA is a huge topic to introduce but I think it was one of the most up to the point JPA talks I have ever listened to. Alexander is a very enjoyable presenter as well. JPA is one of the most important and interesting topics on the J2EE 5 area. I strongly believe that everyone should follow it , no matter the underlying supporting ORM. The upcoming versions seem to complete the picture for JPA and all these missing features that made lots of people to stick on the specific features of their ORM are being added. Anyway, Alexander seems to give talks on various Java conferences so - remember not to miss his JPA, EJB3 talks!

Our last session was about a technology- tool that blows my mind (up until now). No matter how many times I have tried to experiment with Maven - I ended up doing everything with Ant or Apache Ivy. Andreas Andreou (Apache commiter, Tapestry etc) on his second talk on a JHUG event - introduced to all us, the power or Maven2 . Andreas talk was, how can I say, realistic and enjoyable. He tried to explain how Maven was helpfull for him, explained some major parts of the Maven logic and what maven can do for our project management issues=.He had various questions from the audience, things like potential problems or his personal opinion regarding other competing tools. I really enjoyed this last session and I promise that when I have some time I am going to give Maven2 a try ..once again!!

And that is all folks. I want to thank all those brave Java lovers that spent their Saturday morning on this JHUG event. Our sponsor for this one was Sun Hellas, thanks for , the snack @ the end ;). In a few days I will post all the talk slides on our official site ( and our google group (join us if you still haven't).You may find all the photos of the event here.

I am planning the next JHUG event in 2-3 mont's time, and I will be waiting for your talk proposals or ideas regarding hosting. Email me.

Java...ALL THE WAY - respect

1 comment:

  1. We should have also taken a few photos with all the speakers at the end...