Sunday, June 29, 2003 Symposium Symposium

I had a blast at The Symposium. I spoke with Gavin King of hibernate fame, Erik Hatcher of Apache Jakarta fame, Howard Lewis Ship of tapestry fame , Mike Cannon-Brookes of OpenSymphony, and a few others to the wee hours of the morning. Being around all of these Java OpenSource leaders has inspired me to get more involved in open source development. Right now I am working on the Mastering Struts book, and then the Java Tools for Extreme Programming 2nd edition. Oh yeah.... I am going to be a father again so I don't know when, but I know I will.

I also want to get up to speed on Hibernate as soon as possible. It seems like something I would use. I currently use EJB CMP CMR 2.x. I am not that thrilled about JDO. This is the one open source project I would be most likely to get involved in.

I currently use Struts for my J2EE web component framework, but in the future I will look into WebWork (part of OpenSymphony) and/or Tapestry. It is interesting that both WebWork and Tapestry use Ognl as their expression language. Ognl was developed right here in Tucson by a guy that Erik Hatcher and I worked with.... Drew Davidson of Ognl and WebOgnl Fame .

I could only stay Friday. I had to leave Sat. It had been a while since I had seen my family. I was in Chicago on biz before I went to Boston. I did read through most of the slides. I kept hearing about Aspects, Aspects, and Aspects! I guess I have to bite the bullet and start messing around with Aspects too.

Some other points of note.... Erik Hatcher gave a really solid talk on Advanced Struts. I learned a few more tricks. Thanks Erik. Vincent Massol of Cactus fame gave a great talk on Unit testing, Cactus and Mock Objects. I did not see his Maven talk, but I did look throught the slides. Maven is defintely something I will use in the near future. Vincent is a genious.

I did not get to see Crazy Bob talk but I read through his slides on JMX and Aspects. Very cool stuff.

All in all, I had a blast at The ServerSide Symposium, The talent level of the speakers was truly stellar.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003


I was in Chicago, and could not get a cab. There was a big plastics convention, and I could not get a cab from the Holiday Inn to downtown Chicago. What a mess!

I tried for 1 hour to get cab.

I ended up sharing a limo with eight other guys. Limos are suppose to be spacious, but they have their limits. I had to practially cross my legs to fit.

When I did get there, I was dropped off at the wrong location. I had two walk a few blocks with a box full of books. What a day.

Monday, June 23, 2003

JavaOne, JavaSoftware Symposium MI WI, Foi Gras and Design Patterns

JavaOne 2003

The last couple of weeks have been hectic. I went to JavaOne in SF, then the Java Software Symposium in MI, and then went to Ohio on biz for a week. I really enjoyed JavaOne. I did not get to attend as many sessions as I would have liked, but it was really fun socializing with the different folks.

I got to meet James Goodwill. I will be contributing to his Mastering Struts book. I also spent some time with Erik Hatcher, Jason Hunter, Sue Speilman, James Duncan Davidson and much more. It was a fun trip. I even met up with my old room mate from my single days. We went to the best French restaurant I have ever been, which was about three blocks from my hotel. WOW! Melt in your mouth Foi Gras (sp?)! I need to figure out a reason to go back to SF so I can eat there again! His ex-wife was a chef for a while, so he knows where to go to find some great food in SF.

The Java Software Symposium was interesting in WI. We got into a very big discussion and on design patterns. My personal feelings on design patterns are that they generally a good thing (a really good thing). However, In the hands of the wrong people that can be disastrous (with a capital D). Yikes! Misapplied design patterns is more dangerous than slapping code together. You can easily design a system that no one can implement by misapplying design patterns. Keep it simple! Start simple.... add complexity as needed and only when needed. There will be enough complexity in the system without trying to use every design pattern in the book whether it makes sense or not. Opinions on this subject were all over the map, but generally it was thought that design patterns are good and get abused and misused. Except for Dave Thomas who thought Design Patterns were in their nature inherently evil or something to that effect. I have a lot of respect for Dave Thomas, but I am not sure I agree with his point of view nor can I repeat it and the depth and insight which he conveyed it. Robert Martin had a very interesting perspective, which I did agree with whole heartedly.

Bitter EJB, Text Processing in Python and BEA WebLogic Bible

Three new books.
I've just got three new books one entitled Text Processing in Python, BEA WebLogic Bible 2nd edition, and Bitter EJB. I've scanned through the WebLogic Bible and the new Python book reading several chapters from each. I think I will read the Bitter EJB book first (it just came in today).

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Just got done speaking at JavaOne.... What a blast

I just got done with my talk at JavaOne.
The room was packed. I got an applause.
People really like XDoclet. I think people will use it.
Using Enterprise JavaBeansTM (EJBTM) Technology on More Projects with CMP, CMR and XDoclet
Java One Presentation
I really enjoyed presenting at JavaOne. Everything ran so smooth. Sun really has this down to a science.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

JavaOne 2003 ---- GOOD

Random thoughts about JavaOne:

JavaOne seems more exciting this year. It seems more optimistic. Last year was kind of a drag. This year there is a positive buzzz....

I ate dinner with Sue Speilman, and the Complete Programmer Network clan. It was a blast.

The Java Fireside chat was nice. I asked a question about EJB CMP/CMR vs. JDO. The answer was unsatisfying to say the least.

The keynote was exciting. Last years keynote was depressing. This years was very upbeat.

I am meeting James Goodwill today to talk abou the next edition of Mastering Struts. I am going to write the chapters on Tiles and the Validator framework.

This year, I most interested in Java Server Faces and JSP 2.0.

They mentioned a JSR on scripting languages in the JVM. I hope this means I can use Python as a scripting langugae with JSP, but I doubt it.

The information on the metadata JSR looks really interesting.

In my spare time I am writing a tutorial on XDoclet, specifically how to write your own templates. I wrote a template last night that generates the deploy.wsdd for Apache Axis.

Questions that I want answered this week:
How will the metadata specification effect XDoclet?
How close is the Java Server Faces event model to (I like code-behind, and event model, but don't tell any of my Java friends).
(Liking it an using it are two different things. I still use JSP, and I can't wait to use Java Server Faces).

I really enjoyed the demo in the keynote by Oracle.

There was an interesting discussion about IDE, editors last night, Java language features, Java Server Faces, and mroe.
The luddites in the group (and no I don't know how to spell ludite) were of the opinion that the new language features, IDE wizards and Java Server Faces were bad things.
I am all for making Java easier. I really think the new language features are a blessing. I can't wait to use the new for loop, generics, aut o-boxing, and Enums. (Enums are my favorite.... I really miss them from my C++ programming days). I want the compiler to be smarter and smarter, if it can figure something out and save me from writing several lines of code per method then amen brother. I want my JSP development to be easier and easier as well. I want to be able to drop components on a page and add event wiring. I can develop without these features if needed, but anything that speeds development, I am all for. BTW I love Eclipse and all the plugins and wizards.

I look forward to the presentations on making Java easier, and yes I know Java well, and yes I can program in Java really well, but easier is easier and I am all for easy. I declare this a good JavaOne