SpringOne in Antwerp: Keynote Day Two

[tag]Adrian Colyer[/tag] (minus yesterday’s frog in his throat) began describing Spring’s portfolio by summarizing big changes of recent times, and on the horizon. But before he got into the details, he went off on one of the most bizarre sidebars I’ve ever witnessed. The first thing you need to watch when the videos are available is to see Adrian describe Duck Typing. It’s high comedy. No blog entry can do justice to this talk so I’m not even going to try. It needs to be seen to be believed. [Update: take a look at this picture to get an impression of what I mean.]

[tag]Spring Batch[/tag]: The Dark Matter of the Java universe.

This is how Adrian described it. There is so much of that code out there, but Java has been brought up following the web. With Spring Batch available, the batch programmers can ‘come out of the closet’ and join their fellow Java programmers in being ‘cool’.

[tag]Mylar[/tag] has become Mylyn
This represents a new concept – a task-focussed IDE. This capability will be put in the hands of many people when new versions of Eclipse will contain it’s plugins as part of the core download.

It works by bringing together lots of ToDo sources (JIRA etc). When you tell Mylyn that you are working on a given task, then Mylyn removes a lot of clutter by narrowing down what you can see. When you switch to a previous task, the IDE ‘re-focuses’ on that task’s important features.

Three Centres of Development
Spring IDE is coming along at a very fast pace now. Namespaces are supported and, as I’ve mentioned previous, Web Flow has its own graphical editor. Aspects are more deeply supported too, with gutter markings and refactorings. Very interestingly, a new centre of development, based in Vancouver (and led by a former AspectJ collaborator of Adrian whose name I will get and add to this blog entry later. Update: The man in question is Mik Kersten) is to be set up. This will be the Tools Team and will be generating a whole new wave of tools to make us more productive in our use of Spring.

In Florida, a Web Team is being established around Keith Donald.

In Southampton, the Core team will be based.

So Spring will now be based across these three locations, and with Rod establishing a corporate presence in Silicon Valley the team will be a little less distributed than in the past.

The question for Adrian now is how to set up the development environment – there is a blank canvas to work on. Continuous Learning, is where he is heading with this. His analogy on Master Guildsman is spot for me. Software engineering is a craft and the way we learn it is closer to an apprenticeship model than a formal learning process. He wants to set up an environment in which each engineer is as good as he or she can be.

Before handing over to Eric Evans, Adrian rounded off this second day’s [tag]SpringOne[/tag] keynote describing elements of the Spring portfolio like OSGi, Web Flow and Acegi. I’ll cover these in more detail, as well as Eric’s part of the talk, in a later entry.

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