GeeCON 2010 – Review

Posted by Konrad 'ktoso' Malawski on 17/05/2010 – 17:54;

geecon 2010 in Poznań

So the long awaited GeeCON 2010 has come to an end yesterday. Of course I was there, and had quite an amazing time there yet again. Here’s, as usually, a small review/roundup of al the three days GeeCON lasted. It’s been really fun, as I was not only attending all the sessions but hanging around with some of the speakers – that was the most fun and interesting part I think.

Day 0 – VeryBerry

After an long 8hour trip by train, we (I was with two friends this time) finally arrived in Poznań. We stayed at the VeryBerry hostel and I’d really like to recomend it to anyone who’d like to stay in Poznań, the prices are low but the service is top notch and the rooms really new and neat :-) After some minor coding, we went to sleep and got read for…

Day 1 – GeeCON University: Gradle Training & JUGs @ Poznań

Gradle Training with Hans Dockter

I was quite interested in Gradle since I’ve seen it in action at SFI (JavaCamp #3 had the same presentation) so I was really happy to be “trained” on it by Gradle inc CEO – Hans Dockter. Apparently they are using it a little (main stuff is still in maven) at SoftwareMind. The training sadly didn’t include as much coding as I’d wish it would, but as Hans said, there’s too much of us (it was the most popular training) and we had 1 day instead of 2 which usually this training would last. The topics where well distrubuted and now all trainees have a really good basic knowlage to start out with gradle. I’m hoping to do this in my soon projects, some ant task usage from within Gradle will be required to build GWT/Vaadin stuff, but hey – the integration is really awesome.

Another fun part was getting home from the University (it’s really awesome by the way) as we took one cab with Hans Dockter and Oliver Gierke (who talked about his Hades project on the 2nd day). We chatted a little in German and dropped them of at their Hotel. Next stop… JUGs meeting~!

JUGs @ Poznań (more info)

This was an short (2h) meeting of the PolishJUG and PoznańJUG. Here we met the rest of my PolishJUG pals, such as Marcin Gadamer and Miroslav Kopecky. And also Geertjan from NetBeans as he was presenting NBPlatform to the JUGs. It was a quite fun session as there was both Chris Aniszyk from Eclipse (and also an OSGi expert) and Geertjan Wielenga with NetBeans Platform – both of which are nice platforms to develop on. The final talk was by Ed Burns in which he presented how the UI enviroment was evolving during the last years and how desktop vs web is now batteling for the users attention. All three would eventually present their talks at the first day of GeeCON – Geertjan dropped in as Ikai Lan replacement as he got really sick and couldn’t do his speech (in case you’re wondering why he’s not listed in the speakers section).

Later we went to a nice Pub called Fuego where we had some interesting conversations with all the speakers and members the Polish and Poznań JUGs… Let’s move on to day 1, shall we..?

Day 2 – GeeCON & Geeky Pool Party

Thorbiörn Fritzon
The Future of Java

The first (and also sponsored ;-)) presentation was done really professional and was mostly about assuring all present programmers that oracle does care about the java community and will continue (even more than sun) to evolve java. Well, this might me be true, but the presentation, while really amazing from the visual side, didn’t really involve more facts than the statement about Java Oracle has released a while ago.

Holly Cummins
Apache Aries: Enterprise OSGi in Action

I hoped to really grasp the whole OSGi concept after this presentation and partially I did. Holly did kind of introduce OSGi to us and tried to show it in action – which sadly didn’t go to well (loosing the war you need to deploy can be quite an problem… ;-)). One thing that Oliver didn’t agree on is that she said that Class loading is the best thing about OSGi, yet as Oliver and some others tweetedit’s just an enabeler for Services to exist.

Craig L Russell
Easy to Use Highly Available Java Database Access

This was a presentation about the MySQL’s Cluster storage engine. It was interesting to see how such technologies are in fact used from the code – it’s quite easy actually – almost like using an normal MySQL instance. There are some limitations of course – as the lack of relations etc. but if you’d need HA and Fault Tolerance it’s definitely one way you could go.

Some of the talk was about ClusterJ which is an slightly more advanced way to interact with your Cluster from Java… More about it can be read here

Christian Tzolov
Rapid Server Side Java Development Using Spring Roo

Though I didn’t attend this one, I included it in this review in order to say this: Roo ownz (any command line tool that really helps at dev time ownz) :-) I’ve seen some of it in action some time ago, and it’s really helping while developing what you’d call “plain java apps”, without the goodness of Grails generate stuff… If you still haven’t seen it in action: take a look, its definitely worth it. (It’s an development time only tool that like the grails command line app, can really speed up your development time with setting up basic Domain Objects, Persistence etc…)

Eugene Ciurana
The High Availability Non-Stop, Fault-Tolerant Services Tutorial

A very good talk about scalability and availability. Eugene explained to us what the typical bottlenecks could be and how we can cope with them, by scaling up or out – (at last someone clearly defined those two to me). Some of his real live examples where really interesting as one company that switched to an cluster to store their data and not OracleDB what would cost them A LOT… All in all, it was quite educational but sadly – it’s something I won’t be seeing in my upcoming years as “novice developer”.

Ed Burns
JSF 2.0, Myth and Reality

As Ed is one of co-spec lead for the JSF 2.0 (and also “worked on a wide variety of client and server side web technologies since 1994, including NCSA Mosaic, Mozilla, the Sun Java Plugin, Jakarta Tomcat and, most recently JavaServer Faces.”) we were all really interested in his talk. He addmited what they did wrong with JSF 1.x and showed how most of the problems where adressed in the 2.0 release. Is was a quite nice talk, but sadly (and with some maven problems ;-))

Matthias Wessendorf
Practical Comet and JSF

I’ve been really interested in ServerSidePush for a long time, so this was an really fun presentation to watch. There were some implementations and Java Libraries shown. If interested, take a look at Atmosphere on or the Dojo implementation which I’ve been reading about lately. (another nice link) All in all, it’s not quite there yet, and will sometimes have to fall back to polling. Hopefully websockets from HTML5 could be a nice thing to use comet in all the future browsers.

Vaclav Pech
Get ‘em before they get you

Geertjan introduced me to Vaclav Pech sometime during GeeCON and also I’ve been following him on twiiter quite for a while, and I must say the stuff he coded is really impressive – and all his presentations were well prepared and fun :-) That said, let’s move on to this particular session.

A sponsored talk, but nonetheless quite interesting, as Vaclav showed us how to even better utilize all the features that IntelliJ IDEA has. Most of the tools where known to me, but some where new or interesting (it’s quite simple to write your own inspections btw!) The parallel session was Ed Burns with his “Rockstar Programmer” book-talk, Vaclav noticed that Ed’s talk probably has the people who need to become such programmers, while this one has people who already are… ;-) Following that idea, Vaclav went bughunting with us and all the various IDEA tools – it was a nice presentation, with a good link between the audience and him :-)

Geeky Pool Party

Ed Burns, Eugene Ciurana, Craig L Russell

In the evening all Geeks where invited to the Black Pool (Pool Club) where one had an occasion to talk with fellow developers and speakers. We had a nice talk with James Williams – not only (but mostly ;-)) about development but also how education works in Poland etc etc… Later I joined the GeeCON and Sun teams at the Pool and played a little with Łukasz (not sure of the name, sorry!?) who recognized me as the “guy from JavaCamps with Shadowman on the laptop” :-) //That said, Shadowman FTW! :-)

Day 3 – GeeCON & GeekTrain back to Cracow

Oliver Gierke
Easing JPA DAO development with Hades

Hades is an really nice way to speed up your DAO development, read more about it here: Synyx Hades. I’ve bee riding a cab with Oliver before and already heard how good of a programmer he seems to be, the presentation just confirmed this. Hades is really well thought out and intuitive to use. Most of the time, all you have to do is write an DAO Interface, that you then use to access your data… Yeah, just an interface – no implementation needed – all the implementing is done by hades. It looks at the interface and tries to guess what an method should be doing, most common prefixes as findBySomething or findAll or other get’s are supported and generic. When you need an custom implementation, you can easily do this as well, and it’s possible to reuse named queries… Really nice, and the upcomming version will be JPA2.0 compatible :-) Big kudos to the Hades team…

The sources used in the presentation can be found on github:

Vaclav Pech
Unleash your processor(s)

A really nice intro into paralelisation – NOT multi threading. Vaclav presented such abstractions as Actors, Agents, Fork/Join and Dataflows… Of course most of this was shown in Groovy as Vaclav is involved in the development of GPars. It’s been quite insightful and now I also know what this AKKA thing is that some people are so fascinated about. Also some Scala and Cloujure examples where really fun to investigate – scala in fact is in many ways so very much elegant and ideal for such sollutions – though Groovy GPars also has me convinced. The withPool 4 {…} is a nice feat for example, and thats just the tip of the iceberg.

Joonas Lehtinen
Vaadin – Rich Web Applications in Server-side Java without Plug-ins or JavaScript

I’ve been trying out vaadin lately and it’s quite nice. Above all, it’s “a GWT that looks good”. The presentation was lead quite profesionally but all in all didn’t really show any “meat” od the framework. One thing I’m concerned about is the (as Hans Dockter likes to call it) “Frameworkitis“, I’m kind of afraid that it might be hard to force Vaadin to do things that the projectant’s didn’t think about… I’m hoping to continue to code my simple rss reader with an vaadin front end – and also I’d like to add some simple JAX-RS powered REST access to it…

James Williams
Game Programming with Groovy

We’ve had a nice talk with James during day1′s pool party. He’s been using Grails lately and is working in the US. His talk was ment to be a more fun/geeky one, and showed simple groovy apps/games, one involving JavaLibrary usage to access the Wiimote sensors. Thus, the code was mostly “looking like java” and not much groovyish was in there.

Charles Nutter
Duby: a Fast, Ruby-like Language for the JVM

I just the last part of this talk, as James didn’t take all the time he had so I went over to look at “this Duby thing”. The best quote I’ve head from GeeCON comes from this talk, it went something like this:

Obviously I’ve been looking at the JVMs source a whole lot. [...] So what’s the neatest feature we all would like in Java…? MultiLineStrings, for christ’s sake!!! [...] And I’ve been looking thought the Java’s sources and there is one single damn if statement, that basically says: “If string, dont allow multiple lines”. And I was like “… You ****!!! For all those years…!! Argh!!!”

Vaclav Pech
Groovy actors and concurrent dataflow with GPars

It was basically the same (well, with more code examples) presentation as the one I’ve seen before, so I switched and went to see Adam Warski and the Checkers Framework.

I also had a small talk after this with Łukasz who recognized me from the JavaCamps and has been presenting on the 1st JC on his Swing/JNLP usage at his work. Sadly I wasn’t into Griffon since then so I couldn’t really give him more tips about it more than that it looks really promising from looking at the examples.

Adam Warski
Static analysis using JSR308 annotations

The checkers framework is a new thing to Java and it basically allows to annotate Types, in a current point in time. Your method can require an @Hashed String and would not compile if passing it an normal String it opens up quite some interesting interactions, some of which Adam has implemented in his TypeState checker which is checking the status of collections if it is safe to read from some place in the code or not – by setting the collections @annotation to certain States (like “you haven’t called isReady, do please dont read from me!”). It’s an interesting way to detect errors in your code before execution time.

Bruno Bossola
Object Oriented for nonbelievers

One of the most fun talks on GeeCON. It was about how we somehow strayed away from what OO used to be, ObjectOriented Design. Nowadays people start out not by building an ObjectModel of their Domain but look for frameworks to use… His talk was there to bring us back to the basics what OO should be about and showed some patterns in use (simple, yet effective). One particulary fun quote from this talk is the last sentence:

Why am I calling this talk “for nonbelievers”? Well… You all agree with me that OODesign is important, but tommorrow you’ll go back to choosing from all those fun frameworks anyways! ;-)

Mark Struberg
JSR-299 Context and Dependency Injection

An very important topic as DI gonna be standarized now… Sadly Mark’s voice was quite monotone and we were all powered out at the time… The presentation as such, was very well prepared and later there was some source shown – that’s how I like it.

End of GeeCON 2010

After some “bye bye” with crew members and speakers, we went to our hostel and back to Cracow – it was a fun event, hope to come back next year. What would I like to be different? Well, more awesome speakers – Scott Davis would be really cool, I’ve seen his talks on JDD09 and they really changed how I think and code. He opened my mind to “Java the Platform” and Groovy and all the other awesome languages. Such speakers would be more than welcome anytime! Oh, and more “hands on”!

GeekTrain back to Cracow, and an surprise meeting :-)

In the train we met some fellow programmer who recognized our GeeCON stuff and most of the trip we where talking about the conference and our studies/work… It was a fun ending for a fun conference… ;-) See you next year!

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This post is under “coding, english, fun, review” and has 5 respond so far.

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  1. 1. WooKasZ Said:

    Łukasz was me, but I don’t really remember nothing about Shadowman:P Or maybe that wasn’t me :)

    Anyway it was pleasure to meet you ;-)
    Thanks for review!

  2. 2. Ktoso Said:

    I believe I’ve been talking with Łukaszs, so the other one probably remembered me by the shadowman logo on my laptop :-) Thanks for your comment, and talk during G. Keep blogging btw, some nice posts up there!

    PS: Shadowman is the guy in the RedHat logo :-)

  3. 3. Seban Said:

    Hahaha! I was this fellow from train! Trip from Poznań to Wrocław was really great. Not so boring as usually. I hope you have such a good time in Wroclaw-Kraków train. I next weekend 29-30 may I will be in Kraków at EuRuKo. Now I am seeking a nice hostel …

  4. 4. Ktoso Said:

    Hi Sebastian! Cool that you found my blog – thanks again for the comment, and very nice talk during the train ride!

    Have fun during EuRuKo – too bad that Manggha got flooded though… I won’t be attending as I’m not really an rails guy (…yet ;-)) and have to polish up my GWT skillz before my upcoming internship… :-) Cheers!

    PS: Guess I’ll better start writing down the names of everyone I meet and would like to remember their names… :-)

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