So, the day started out quite late (since I was way tired after last night...). First session was a very accomplished, though slightly shallow, comparison between doing an application with Java EE 5, Ruby on Rails and Grails. I didn't really learn anything new in this presentation except that Java EE 5 is even slicker with NetBeans, and that Grails is maddeningly, sickeningly, seriously slow when doing simple stuff like creating scaffolds. I can't understand why this is so, since it isn't much do it. Basically just create a file with a few rows of customization.
After that I paired up with Jon to look at Mingle again. Oh boy, the ones who is coming to RailsConf will get a treat, that's for sure.
The Jython session by Otmar Humbel was really good, and had a great example. Basically the whole demo sessions were done in one single application which he started at the beginning and never stopped. He just hotswapped the Jython code dynamically. Very nice. I think the most interesting part of that talk was in the Q&A when someone asked why you should use Jython instead of Groovy or JRuby. I'm sad to say that I had to literally run at that point, so I didn't hear the answer... But still, if someone was there and heard, please tell me. For me personally, it's very impressive that Jython got started in 97, and actually is still alive (due to a recent revival of course, but even so. I'm glad Charles gave up one of his talks to let the Jython guys in). It was also interesting to see the differences in philosophy between JRuby and Jython in terms of Java integration and things like that. Very good stuff.
The bytecode manipulation talk was interesting; it was nice to see what (and how) Terracotta does with ASM. The TopLink parts were nice, but really way to basic to be interesting. Charles stuff was good, of course. We know Charlie always does good things, don't we? =)
I had great fun at the Java Puzzlers this year. I'm happy about there not being many puzzles incorporating generics, because those are usually boring. The main problem that these guys always exploits, seems to be mostly in the boundary between Java Objects and primitives, and interactions between primitives. That's what you get when you try to create a language meant for both system development and application development. It just shows in all the seams. A good language should not have seams, unless they're necessary for the specific domain of that language.
Finally, Rob Harrops talk about exploiting JRuby to create DSL's was really good. It was great, and Rob is a very accomplished presenter. I had great fun. That said, I think that some of the stuff still went over the head of most Java developers in the audience.
And that seems to be the theme. Most things I enjoy, I think most other people didn't enjoy. Interesting, that.
So, now it's off for dinner at the Stinking Rose with the JRuby guys, Dion, Barry Burd and Jon.