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Thursday, March 23, 2006

2006 Java ServerSide Symposium - Day 1 (arrival and opening keynote)

I'm hangin out at TSSS here in Las Vegas the rest of this week. This is a very developer centric conference that feels more like a subset of what JavaOne used to be before it turned into JavaYawn. I arrived last night, grabbed some dinner, lost some money and went to bed "early" (for Las Vegas) at midnight.

Fully rested and ready to go after some morning yoga stretches I actually made it early enough to partake in the pre-conference refreshments (Only coffee was served, leaving us tea drinkers to fend for ourselves. TechTarget is really taking this Java only thing very seriously.). The opening keynote was Geir Magnusson who invited Cedric (former BEA-er), Hani, Cameron, and Patrick (Current BEA-er)to join him on stage for what was sort of a keynote BOF with heavy audience interaction. Early in the talk Geir asked a show of hands who doesn't use J2EE. There were a few hands and Geir walked into the audience to ask one of those why they're not using J2EE and what they are using. The nameless gentleman, obviously confused about what J2EE is, responded to the question by saying that they were using servlets as well as EJB.

When asked for predictions for 2006 the answers were mostly predictable with the mention of AJAX and POJOs but the biggest surprise was Patrick's assertion that BEA is going to have an application framework that allows authoring if applications via a giant XML file. :-) So I guess we should all look for that this year sometime ;-)

Towards the end there was a question posed to the audience about ruby on rails. How many folks have heard of it? Several hands were raised.... How many folks have taken a look at it? Less hands... How many folks have used it for a production site? I think I saw maybe 2 other hands besides myself. How many folks looked seriously at rails and decided not to use it for their project... There were a few hands here as well but nobody would come forward with the reasons why they made their choice, so I decided to come forward with some of the reasons I would not to use the framework that were based on some of the problems that I've highlighted in this blog. I did say that despite some of these shortcomings that the framework generally accomplishes what it sets out to do.

I thought it was kind of lame that his followup asked for people who haven't deployed Rails apps to get up and talk about what's bad about Rails instead of asking for feedback from those few in the room who had actually used it.

An account of one day's worth of Rails experience and frustration is useless compared to the very real analysis of someone who's spent 3-6 months implementing something in it.

Imagine having a keynote at a Microsoft conference where they ask .NET folks to talk about what they think is bad about Java instead of asking the 3 Java folks in the room to talk about their experiences.

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