woensdag 16 april 2008

JSpring (1)

Sitting in the train back from the Jspring is a good time to write some notes about the day. Let me start by saying that it was an interesting day and the level of talks matched that of QCon. If you make a “value for money” comparison Jspring is even more attractive as you only pay the NLJUG contibution (and students even less).

I skipped the keynote due to travel time. Colleague Boelens wasn’t really impressed with it: “some kind of demo show with a guy singing songs”. My first session was Grid computing with Gridgain by Jos Dirksen and Marcel Soute from Atos. A good concrete talk about how easy it is to set up a grid and compute some task with Gridgain. Grid computing was once considered academic, but I can see students doing this in 1 hour. They gave some examples and a demonstration of cracking a MD5 hash. Their preparation of demos could be improved.

After that Jeroen Benckhuijsen, Meinte Boersma from Atos did xText: DSL’s made easy. They explained the use of the tool xText from openArchitectureWare and like the first presenatation gave a good demonstration. They used the example of a contract with an electricity company with all sorts of special rules. At QCon I also followed some DSL-stuff, but couldn’t really understand a) how it worked, and b) what the big deal was. Now I think I got it, but that it’s not a really big deal. It’s useful for some specific purposes. (But do read on about the last session in the second part of this article.)

In the early days of the specializations at our institute I have had to explain to the management several times what the differences would be between the specializations Software Engineering and Web Application Development. Thus I am keen to follow any trend that desktop applications and webapplications are converging. This was the topic when Rob Schellhorn from Finalist talked about Rich Ajax Platform: Eclipse Rich Client Platform applicaties in een nieuw jasje. It turns out that converting an Eclipse RCP application to a rich Ajax webapplication is very simple, but Eclipse RCP client applications are of course a special class of client applications. They are built upon the Eclipse framework. There are also some differences in usage between desktop apps and webapps that you have to take into account. Still, the resulting webapp looked really neat with all kinds of widgets, drag and drop, etc.
(to be continued)

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