Saturday, February 6, 2010

Take Away Points from Javagruppens Annual Conference

Having just come back from Javagruppens annual conference, the main things on my mind from the conference are:

I Must Learn Scala!
Scale is so terse, so flexible, and oh so cool. I must sit down and learn it properly soon. In fact I sort of cant wait :-).
I dont expect to be using Scala for anything serious any time soon (although you never know, do you), but I hope to challenge my way of thinking about code and design.

Eclipse RCP
I'm starting to realize how much ground the Eclipse RCP (Rich Client Platform) actually covers . -Its really cool and really solid. The framework is mature and includes all sorts of enterpisy stuff. E.g. there was a Eclipse BIRT (Business Intelligence Reporting Tools) presentation at the conference, which showed a "from naught to reports and a nice report designer integrated in your app in 2 hours" demo. Quite convincing. Seeing that I've done much more .NET than anything else over last few years, this is foreign ground, but for LOB desktop apps it's differently very serious competition to WinForms. Must keep this in mind for coming projects.

Is Flex for Me? -Still on the Fence
Another cool demo showed how to code up Flex clients to Grails backends, which may seem sort of odd at first, but the argument is that Flex is easy to use, well tooled, Flash is ubiquitous, and Flex apps also run on Air, so they run cross OSs, cross browsers and out of browsers. Is that enough to take the leap? I don't know. It still seems aimed at very thin clients, so why not stick with html+css+javascript? For desktop apps (i.e. Air apps in this case) I find they tend to need complicated functionality in which case I'm not convinced the Flex+actionscript ecosystem is rich enough compared to say, .NET or Ecplise RCP.

And, BTW it was really fun to be out of my element for a few days!