Monday, June 02, 2008


I'm in Sydney for JAOO 2008, gettin' my geek on. Work booked and paid for it all, with the only drawback being having to get up at 3:30am to get in a taxi to the airport for a 6:15 flight. Yes, we live on the other side of Melbourne to the airport. Conesquently, I'm in my hotel room getting ready for bed when the rest of the geeks are at the social do at a nearby bar. I'm trying to stay awake long enough to phone home and say goodnight to the kids.

I attended five talks today.

The first was the keynote by Erik Meijer, about Functional Programming (slides here). At least, I think that was what he was on about. He meandered a lot, and said some strange stuff, very little of which made sense. Some of it was about Haskell though. Which he thinks is good or something.

I then skipped the next slot, there was nothing much that interested me so I went shopping for presents for the kids and my wife, so that I may be allowed back in when I get home.

I popped back for Rod Smith's presentation on OpenAjax (slides here). This looks to be a mildly interesting way of letting widgets communicate with each other on a page.

A quick buffet lunch of quiche, salad and a beef roll and I skipped off in search of our hotel, found it, couldn't check in, so went to the comics shop across the road. Odd place, no wonder comics have a nerdish reputation when shops like this exist. No rhyme or reason to their shelves, single issues of one comic sitting next to back issues of some other unrelated comic, next to trade paperbacks of some obscure seventies superhero. The upstairs section was almost entirely dc/marvel superheroes. Very offputting atmosphere too, I felt a bit uncomfortable.

Back to the convention centre, after getting a bit soggy. Time for Martin Fowler (the David Bellamy of software) to tell us about the work he did several years ago on Enterprise Patterns (slides here). Nothing new, or particularly interesting, from someone with a reputation for engaging presentations. Strained my keeping-awake abilities to the limit.

Topped up with coffee in time for "Are your services loosely coupled?" by Thilo Frotscher (slides here). I wasn't expecting much from this, but it turned out to be quite good. Thilo discussed what coupling meant for web services, and how to use messaging to avoid this problem.

More coffee and then Google's Gregor Hohpe gave a talk about the realities of computing over the internet (slides here), covering the problems (mainly reliability, no transactions) and possible solutions or rather ways of working around and avoiding the problems. Very interesting, but I was fading fast and ran away to the hotel instead of staying around for the discussion panel and the following keynote.

Now I'm going to phone my kids and say g'night and then I'm going to slip into a coma for several hours.

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