Gilad - The Saint
Gilad Bracha has a unique way of presenting things. He does not have the aggression of Josh Bloch, rather a very saintly way of taking the hall through the journey. His session entitled "Dynamic Languages on the Java Platform" had a full house. Though there was nothing very new from the content point of view apart from what he has already blogged on this subject, it was a fairly informative session. Typical responses expected as Q&A like tail call support in the JVM were dealt with in a saintly way (of course in the negative) by Gilad. Later after the talk, he has blogged his disappointment at the crowd not asking for Continuations support in the JVM - he had the response ready though. Support of continuations in the JVM has been discussed in many forums and Gilad has categorically turned all of them down citing reasons like cost of implementation and incompatibility with the current Java SE security model. Hence, I guess, people have given up all hope of finding continuation support in a JVM in the near future. This is what Gilad has to say in his blog on this issue
... continuation based web servers are very nice. Seaside is the nicest one I've seen. But ultimately they are just a phase, and we can already see how we will outgrow that phase. Since continuation-based servers won't be all that significant in the long term, and given the huge lead times and costs of adding continuations to the JVM, it makes little sense to support them.
Web servers aside, continuations, though admittedly difficult to implement, has many other uses. The comments section of Gilad's blog entry has ample testimony towards that.
In day 3, also there were lots of sessions on Ajax, RIA, Dojo and Web 2.0. Not all of them were of high quality, but, while the lights are on, go follow the bandwagon. The new kid on the Ajax and SOA combo, JackBe, had Deepak Alur and Dan Malks (both of J2EE patterns fame) moderate a session on "Java Technology, Ajax, Web 2.0 and SOA", which had Craig McClanahan and Rod Johnson (among others) on the panel. I attended the session, which I felt was quite crappy, since none of Craig or Rod ever found the space to get going. And when Ajax is there in the panel discussion topic and u have a full house, nothing, but chaos can only reign!
In another session titled "Using the DOJO Toolkit to Develop AJAX enabled Java EE Web Applications", the speakers did a fairly good job of taking the (once again) full house through the process of using frameworks in an Ajax application. And DOJO seems like a leader in this space.
Apart from the above, I attended some of the other sessions where the main themes were once again GlassFish, NetBeans and how a combination can give us an easier programming model. Motorola, in their general session once again emphasized how they are transforming the mobile world with Java technology. The evening sessions on Day 3 saw a remarkable fall in attendance, since the sessions had to compete with free beer available in the After Dark Bash - no wonder we had some more crappy stuff scheduled during these hours.
Tomorrow I plan to attend a couple of sessions on EJB 3.0, which has been released after it passed the community process. If u consider the pre-Spring era, EJB 3.0 looks to be a solid progress from its demon predecessor towards a scalable component model. But hey, we have been through Spring and the best practices sermons of Rod Johnson - compared to that EJB 3.0 falls far below expectations. However, that's for another day, folks .. for now it is DG signing off from Moscone Center, San Francisco.