It was fun meeting Wendy Devolder (now CEO of SkillsMatter) formerly from Valtech (I worked with her at Valtech London back in 2001-2002) and Michael Isvy (with SpringSource) also ex-former. Also had nice chats with Guillaume Laforge, Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine, Antonio Goncalvez and many others, including 2 more Valtech alumni.
Aside from the presenters, most of the participants seemed to be tech guys working for blue chips.
Overview of the presentations
Michael Isvy from SpringSource did a valuable demonstration of DM Server. I find it surprising that it bets on OSGi (I cannot get myself to like it). But it seems mostly to become a good server, further strengthened by the recent addition of Groovy to their portfolio (post in French).
Spring DM Server seems to be mainly Tomcat + Spring Framework + OSGi. Supposed to be 100% OSS, but it is not easy to guess when looking at their website…
Tugdual Grall did an entertaining presentation of eXo Platform. The WebOS part is impressive (but run from the local machine, so presumably much slower when used over the net). But I can’t imagine it winning most hearts. My money is currently on using separate apps such as Google Docs.
Oh yes, one thing: he hopes that Groovy will be used to script deployment under Spring DM Server. I totally agree.
Antonio Goncalvez presented JEE6, due for release in 2009 Q2. My feeling is that it is just getting too complex, in the sense that it is getting impossible to know about all its various standards and API (reminding me of the whole SOAP fiasco). The JEE6 team knows about this and has a plan where only subsets would be used. As for me, I think most developers will just stick with Spring or some other simpler options (though I guess Spring is getting less and less simple…).
Another thing: it seems EclipseLink is used as the reference implementation for JPA by GlassFish. EclipseLink is in fact TopLink, only Open Source. Interesting comeback, for a tool considered as dead after the Hibernate landslide.
Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine talked about GlassFish as a full-fledged JEE Server, open source, much faster and still as powerful than Weblogic and WebSphere. Strangely, few references to JBoss, except to mention that it (GlassFish) seems to have more downloads.
Christophe Laprun from JBoss had a session on JBoss Portal. I didn’t follow all of it (did work for Valtech instead). Portals and portlets are not that interesting to me. I’m glad other people work on them.
Hughes le Bars & Oktay Istanbullu from Yahoo! presented Hadoop, a solution to do grid computing for storage of very large data sets (in the order of PetaBytes). I couldn’t quite understand all the presentation, but the whole thing seems terribly interesting. It is used for web search and ads matching by Yahoo!
Oh, Hughes also mentioned PIG, apparently an equivalent of SQL, just better (!).
Drinks were paid after the conference, and a good time was had by all.
Check out my pictures of the conference on flickr.