After the GIDS 2008 last year, me and one of my colleague at Xebia expressed our interest in attending Developer Summit this year. Great Indian Developer Summit(GIDS) took place from 23-25 April 2009 at Bangalore , India.
Our journey started with witnessing a huge chaos at the airport. Their systems had gone down so everything was haywire. We joked of representing Xebia here as well to present them a better software solution 🙂
@Bangalore , India
The first day saw a huge number of people. A lot of buzz and enthusiasm among the delegates. Big sponsors like Microsoft, Adobe , Red hat , JBoss , IBM , Yahoo , Sony Ericsson were associated with this event. Everyday there were five parallel tracks going on at five different halls.
In this blog I would briefly cover the highlights.
DAY 1: 23rd April - Rich Web
"If HTTP did not restrict your creativity , what kind of web application would you build?"
This was the question thrown to us by Jonas Jacobi (Kaazing) in his session on Re-architecting the Web with HTML 5 Communication. The coherent thought in this and his subsequent sessions was:
"The HTML 5 specification is set to forever change the way in which we build applications for the Web. One innovation- WebSocket- in particular will enable full-duplex HTTP communication, and finally bring an end to the tired "click and wait" paradigm traditionally associated with the Web. The emerging standards outlined in the HTML 5 specification will give developers the advantage of a full-duplex communications channel that operates over a single socket. More specifically, WebSockets enable browsers to open a socket connection to any TCP-based back-end service (for example, JMS, JMX, IMAP, Jabber, and so on) allowing developers to easily create applications such as Web-based chat, and online trading, betting, and collaboration." This was a complete paradigm shift and thus aroused a lot of thinking amongst all of us.
The next session was "Agile development with Grails- Venkat Subramanium".
I was personally looking forward to this session. With some knowledge through the XTR (Xebia Tech Rally- A full day hands-on on any technology within Xebia ) on Grails I thought of gaining some additional knowledge through this session. There was a little disappointment here as what was covered technically was equivalent to our XTR. On Agile front , the purpose of his presentation was to pass on this idea:
"Agile development is all about developing code and seeking feedback from your users to make sure you're developing what's relevant. When they suggest changes, those must be affordable and reliable. Grails, along with its facility to develop test driven, is a killer combination for rapidly developing web applications."
They started the talk with Web Beans - an elegant new component model for Java that draws upon ideas from JBoss Seam and Google Guice. Further they took us through some cool features of Seam. The remaining session was a demo of the JBoss Tools.
Leveraging Cloud To Enable Software Development as a Service
The cloud is definitely getting bigger. Business model of 8KMiles ecosystem is completly built on cloud (Amazon EC2) . They make available the infrastructure (Software and Hardware) required for software development on-demand effectively enabling “software development-as-a-service”. To develop, test and collaborate on the cloud was definately something interesting for us to know.
DAY 2: 24 April - JAVA
After my initial work with Amazon Cloud I was interested in the presentation by Craig McClanahan(Sun MicroSystems) on Computing in the cloud.
His session was focused on strategic overview of the cloud computing model, with references to Sun's approach to provide supporting services. Sun would be coming up with its cloud model in Q2 this year. It would be a public compute and storage cloud. Future would be to build service layer over the current model. To all the queries about Oracle acquiring Sun he had this to say: "No Comments. We are still working on what we were before the deal". The other session by him was on What's RESTful and what it means for application architectures to be RESTful.
Introduction to REST- The Starbucks Example by Dr. Jim Webber(ThoughtWorks)
According to him REST is an overhyped and under-used architectural style. While many have climbed aboard the 'lightweight and simple' bandwagon, in truth very little is understood about this architectural style beyond the fact that it often uses XML over HTTP, URI templates, and some things called resources. Using a simple problem domain - ordering a coffee from Starbucks - he explored concepts like uniform interfaces, URIs, idempotent actions, representation formats, caching and the all-important hypermedia constraint and showed how Web-centric solutions can be designed to be scalable, dependable, and secure without all the fuss or middleware of competing approaches.
OSGI in the Enterprise by Mike Kieth(Oracle).
OSGi started life some years ago as an embedded technology but is now making a leap into the enterprise domain. Some people are asking why we need another technology when Java EE has been so successful in providing enterprise solutions. Others are wondering if OSGi is going to unseat Java EE as the enterprise development platform of choice. Amidst all these thoughts what was summarized was OSGi would definitely be an additional power to Java EE and both should co exist and work together.
DAY3: 25 April - Workshop.
After listening to Ola Bini(ThoughtWorks) on Introduction to jRuby we were keen on attending his workshop. A point that he made was quite interesting -" Java is a powerful platform and there are millions of lines of Java code being written each month, that the world will have to live with for a long time from now. By leveraging Java the platform with the power of the Ruby programming language, programmers get the best from both worlds." He also suggested that the best way for Java dominant organizations to move towards adapting Ruby should be testing. Frameworks like Expectations , Rspec , JtestR enable testing of Java code with Ruby.
Apart from the technical sessions we had Keynotes from the sponsors. They were less on the technical side and more towards showing their product suite. Adobe talked about flex 4 and interactive documents(mixing of application and document) . Sony Ericsson talked about how their developer world(Sony Erricson Developer World) can help the community in India to maximize their consumer reach. One of the interesting things showcased was Sony Ericsson's Capuchin. As a combination of Java ME and flashlite, it utilizes the strengths of these technologies . At the same time empowers two distinct developer communities to leverage their respective expertise to quickly and securely create highly engaging mobile content.
A few more keynotes from MicroFocus , SAP Business Objects were part of the schedule.
My personal take aways after three days of conference were:
1. Computing in the cloud will only get bigger. It will continue to gain acceptance and would become more prevalent.
2. Its time we de-alineate ourselves from Java as a language and Java as a platform. The platform is pervasive while the language lacks in certain aspects. Dynamic languages like Groovy and Ruby not only cater to those bottlenecks but also provide faster development with a lot more power.
3. A lot has been done in the RIA world.. but what we see is just the start.. A lot more is yet to come!!