No Fluff Just Stuff – Dallas Day 1 Eve…

… i.e. I’m going to No Fluff Just Stuff Dallas tomorrow.  :)  I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again…  The No Fluff conference is one of the best training buys you can spend your money on.  This will be my 5th No Fluff, and I’ve also attended 3 Spring Experience shows, and a Rich Web Experience.  They’re all run by the guys who bring you NFJS and each one has been great.  I honestly don’t have a single complaint.

The only problem I’ve got is picking out which sessions I’m going to attend.

What I know I’m going to attend:

I know I’ll catch a Scott Davis talk, and I plan on hearing Neal Ford talk.  Hopefully, I can also fit in a Venkat Subramaniam talk.  The problem is making the talks I want to see work with the schedule.

If you’re in Dallas and gonna attend let me know.  Also, if you’ve recently attended a NFJS show, let me know what you liked.

java personal

Keith Donald Delivers Great Spring Web Products Talk…

Last night the Spring Dallas User Group was lucky enough to convince Keith Donald to fly up and talk to us about the Spring Web products (Spring MVC, Spring Web Flow, Spring JavaScript, and Spring Faces). A large chunk of Keith’s talk was on annotation-based Spring MVC along with the Spring JavaScript product. Both looked great! Between Keith’s talk last night and Craig Walls’ talk last month, I think I’m ready start doing all my Spring MVC development via annotations.

Of course, I’ll need to spend some time getting up-to-speed on all the convention over configuration rules that are available. Thank God, that the SpringFramework has top-notch documentation, or I wouldn’t be able to figure out all the convention rules/options. (That was one of my main mental roadblocks that kept me away until now)

Keith also spent some time last night showing off Spring Web Flow, which is a great DSL for defining stateful web flows inside a Spring MVC webapp. Keith wrapped up with a very quick demo of Spring Faces. I’m sure JSF people will find value in that product, but I’ll stay with Spring MVC.

Keith’s talk was based on the samples that go with the new Spring Web Flow 2 release.


The smartest thing DHH has ever said…

I wanted to title this “The only smart thing DHH has ever said”, but that wouldn’t be fair. I just normally tune out when I see/read his rants about the greatness about Ruby/Rails. However, a recent post of his caught my eyes and sucked me in. DHH makes the claim that it’s better to hire family people over people that don’t have a life. I agree 100%. I find the most successful teams I’ve worked on are groups of people that have a life outside of work, and keep things balanced.


SpringFramework’s JavaConfig…

I have to admit, I was very impressed with Ryan Breidenbach’s Spring JavaConfig talk tonight at the Spring Dallas User Group.  I don’t hide the fact that I’m a big fan of xml configuration, and very much against annotation-driven config.  However, I don’t think I have a problem with doing my bean wiring in Java.  I’ll have to sleep on it, and then look at some code and blogs tomorrow before I yeah or neah it, but I kind of liked what I saw tonight.

One of the keys behind xml config, is having a central location to see how your app is wired, and you still have that with JavaConfig.  You get stronger type safety, there is no need to cast your bean from Object, and you get built-in IDE refactoring.  Ryan did a nice job showing off a lot of advanced bean-wiring methods in JavaConfig.

If you want to learn more about Spring JavaConfig go to the source and read more at the projects homepage.


I’m giving a Java FX talk…

I have volunteered to give a talk on Java FX. Why? Hmm… Let me explain…

There is this great new Java user group that started here in Dallas back in January 2008. You can read the background on the group via these email announcements


Derek, if you’re listening, it sure would be nice if I could just link to a website for the group…. websites are created with this cool new technology called html… html has given us another way to communicate meetings, groups, etc…. websites sometimes work better then email lists. 😉

… sorry about that sidenote… back to my post. So this great new user group is focusing on what you can do with JVM other then run standard Java code. Another cool thing about the group is that it’s members are kind of “learning as we go” and we are “teaching others what we learn.” The concept is that somebody volunteers for a meeting, even better if the topic they volunteer for is new to them, and then try to get the group up to speed on their specific topic.

So Derek came up with the 12 month schedule. We started with Groovy, then GORM, GSP, Grails, then into some months related to JRuby. All these meetings were quickly spoken for. Cool stuff that people wanted to learn. The meeting that people were ignoring, like the plague, was Java FX. I had been thinking about taking it, but kept saying to myself… why, I’ll never need to use this. Finally, yesterday, I couldn’t take it and just volunteered for it. I’m still not sure why.

What do I know about Java FX today? Not much. I know Sun tried to get people all excited about it last year at JavaONE. I know there was very little interest, and I still haven’t seen much interest. Still, Sun is pushing it, and there might just be something in there that is interesting. So come October, I’ll be doing a talk on Java FX.

Does anybody want to give me a heads-up before I head to Google and start digging? I know there will be info on Sun’s page, but I normally want to start with an unbiased opinion of a technology. I’ll let you know what I find.


Who Likes Spring MVC?

Who likes Spring MVC out there? Are you using annotation-driven Spring MVC with the 2.5 features? To me all the @RequestMapping annotations just make controller code harder to read. Call me crazy, but I’m out on annotations for doing my Spring configuration. I greatly prefer configuring my beans in common xml files that are easy to view/edit without digging through a bunch of packages / classes.

What drove me to write this post? I saw Craig Walls give a great talk on Spring MVC and Spring Security tonight at the Spring Dallas User Group. He did a good job selling the 2.5 features, but I think he did a better job selling the 2.0 mvc features. I like the idea of using ControllerClassNameHandlerMapping and InternalResourceViewResolver and getting a nice case of convention over configuration. So I guess some good conventions are better then having to go digging through source code for what my annotations are.

If you want more info, check out Craig’s presentation, which you can download from his site.


Favorite Notepad Replacements…

I’m looking for a notepad replacement for my new Vista laptop. I’ve used them all. I’m wondering what others like and why. Please provide feedback. 🙂

The notepad replacements I’ve used are:

I’m normally very opinionated about things. The fact that I haven’t picked one simple text editor and “claimed” it bothers me. Help me get a strong opinion for a good notepad replacement.

Just in case you’re wondering how I feel about other tools.

  • Vim over emacs
  • Eclipse over IntelliJ
  • Groovy over Ruby
  • Bud Light over Miller
  • and the list goes on and on….

I pretty much pick a stance or favorite with everything.


How much does free cost???

ONE BILLION DOLLARS (obviously, that must be read in a Dr. Evil voice)…. Sun just paid $1,000,000,000 for MySQL. WTF!?!? Did Sun not realize that MySQL is a free friggin’ product???? The top-level execs at Sun should be fired immediately! Paying one Billion Dollars for something you will give away for free! Good luck making a profit off this one.

NUTS! There is no way Sun gets $1,000,000,000 value out of MySQL. NO WAY!


Ant vs Maven Argument…

Nope, you aren’t getting one here. I’ve argued Ant over Maven dozens of times in my life. Most recently, last night. 🙂 But, I’m not gonna start the argument again.

That said, my friend Pete has a post on his blog trying to pull me offsides again. He was the cause, last night over a few beers after our monthly Java user group meeting, of my most recent, and last, argument over Ant or Maven.

It’s just not worth the fight. I personally love Ant. It’s crazy-flexible. It can do anything. It can do anything, the way I want it done. It doesn’t force me to do things the way I don’t want to. Ant is easy to use. There is no learning curve.

Maven makes my head hurt. To get a team of developers up to speed on Maven is miserable. Ask Pete on his blog about the time he tried to push Maven on a team last year at MMA. It was ugly. Maven is a technology that makes you change everything you do. Nothing about it feels natural. It actually hurts to use Maven.

That said, I wish I was using Maven today. 😉 Kill me for saying that. It’s a love – hate with Maven. I’m at a new company and our standard tool is Ant. I just left Countrywide where they use Maven. I was forced to learn it and use it. I hated it…. Now, I miss it. 🙁

Pete, I hate you. 🙂


iPhone Users…

I’m considering buying an iPhone.  To those of you out there that have one….  are you happy with it?  What do you like about it?  What do you dislike?  Do you use a case with your iPhone or do you just stick it in your pocket (supposedly the thing can’t be scratched)?

Most importantly, is there a reason to wait on buying one?