Upcoming events 2009-12-02

Many consultants who are give speeches claim they are a “preeminent speaker.” I am not giving any speeches these days, but I plan on attending a few in the next few weeks. So I guess I could call myself a “preeminent attendee.” Here are some meetings I will be going to:

I know I said before that I did not like what little I saw of Scala at No Fluff Just Stuff. I did not like the lack of dots and parentheses. It seemed a bit hard to follow, and Groovy looked more like Java. Maybe after some study and talking about it with Scala people it will make more sense. (Like you’ve never made a snap judgement.) Plus I read a post at Cafe au Lait Java News and Resources that said: “Groovy got a little play for a couple of years, but the smart money is now betting on Scala. Name aside, Groovy just never caught a groove.”

I have been thinking about working with Swing, and both languages can do so. We shall see.

Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.

No Fluff, Just Great Stuff

About seven months ago I won free tickets to No Fluff Just Stuff at a raffle at CJUG. NFJS is like a Java One that comes to you. They have also provided speakers for Java User Groups, including CJUG. I went, and it was great.

I did not mingle as much as I wanted to or talk to as many people as I should have. For one thing: I have a few upcoming expenses and not much income, so I was really depressed about that. I was in a better mood on Saturday and Sunday that I was on Friday. Plus there were a lot of people from the same company who were there in groups. (The organizer said that not many companies can afford to send groups to Java One.) I really do not feel comfortable interrupting a group of people to introduce myself. But I did talk to a few people.

Plus: I went into software because I am not Senor Schmooze. Now I have to do all the stuff that I went into software to avoid. And schmoozing with a bunch of people who hate it as much as I do AND are as bad at it as I am is really difficult.

I was also depressed because I have been slacking off on studying Java and other technology. But now I am more excited. Also I got a tip from one of the speakers, Venkat Subramaniam. He said that studying consistently starts a virtuous cycle: the more he learns, the more he learns. He had a talk on testing with dependencies that I liked.

Ted Neward talked about collections and generics in Java and using them to write Java applications that incoroporate concepts from functional programming. He said Ruby people like to brag that they can print out the lines in a file in one line. In Java, you have to instantiate a few classes, put them in try/catch blocks, and close the fine in a finally block (since closing the file can throw exceptions and those have to be in a try/catch block too). He used generics and collections to put most of that in a class that did all that stuff. Then in his main Java class he instantiated the class, using the path as the constructor argument, and in the for loop printed out each line.

Granted, he earlier said that every time you write a for loop god kills a kitten.

But he made up for it by referring us to a few good websites: Functional Java and Apache Commons Functor.

Mark Richards talked about JMS. There are a lot of trading firms in Chicago that want people with JMS knowledge. He also talked about JMS and Spring. I asked him if he would be willing to come out to Chicago to speak at CJUG and he said he would. He also used some Scala and Groovy in one of his talks. I did not like the look of Scala. But I will look into Groovy, since I need to look into other languages.

Matthew McCullough gave a talk on Maven. I will definitely look into it.

First I go to a talk by Matthew McCullough, then Tim O’Brien hands out books: I encounter two guys with Irish names in one week who are connected to Maven. Coincidence? I think not.

I also saw a talk on Java concurrency by Brian Goetz. It would be a cliche to say, “This guy wrote the book on Java Concurrency in Practice,” but he did. You can get it at Amazon. Sun thought it was so good, they hired him.

So I will be more diligent about studying. If you have a chance to go to No Fluff Just Stuff, you should go.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration of Zechariah from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.

2009-10-05 Update

I have not posted in a while, so I will give an update on what has been going on.

A few weeks ago, one of my cousins got married, and my mom was in town for that. So I spent some time with her and a few other relatives.

The next week (last week), my desktop PC died on me. I turned it off one night, and the next morning it rebooted after 15 minutes, and kept rebooting during startup until I turned it off. If I leave it off for a day, it will stay on for 15 minutes, and then go into the reboot infinite loop. It is a Linux/Windows dual-boot, so I doubt there is something wrong with the registry. I cleaned out a lot of dust with some compressed air, so dust is not the issue. There is probably some component that is having problems.

I did not want to be short a PC for a few days, so I went out and bought a new system. I am only running Linux on it. My older system only had 1 GB of memory, and the new one has 8 GB. I was going to buy a new one soon anyway, but I am a bit depressed about spending money sooner than I intended.

I spent a few days getting some important stuff that I backed onto DVD, including some that I burned to DVD during the 15 minute window I had on my old system. I forgot to get the OpenCMS database, so I may have to recreate all the static content on this site from scratch. I will wait a few days and see if I can ftp some more stuff from Brigadoon.

There are also some Java updates, but I will post about those tomorrow. And I am still looking for a job.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration of Macedonian Kings from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.