Sun Tech Days Atlanta

by Robert Cooper

Gosling dragged the crew into the Dirty Dirty for the second (annual?) Sun Tech Days Atlanta. Last years STD I was pretty down on. It is 100% recycled JavaOne content from 9 months earlier. This years had a better mix with a good bit of new content. One comment from the other Manheim people that were there is they had a general feeling that it was better organized and orchestrated this year. I think that is fair, but I didn't notice a huge difference. The event was also expanded to include tracks for Solaris development and administration, which was good too. There was some good stuff there even if that wasn't your field directly.

One thing, though. I want to say to Sun...again.


Jeez. JavaOne, STD, doesn't matter. There seems to be a critical shortage of places you can plug in your laptop at all of these events.

Anyway, the one big complaint I had was the feeling of Bait and Switch I got from the whole EE program. Last years was bad because it was all intro to stuff that was so old everyone in the room had already seen it. This years was the exact same thing, the difference is they titled the affairs like they were going to be legitimately interesting. One session about "Everyday webservices: Metro and Rest," where you expect to see the new JAX-RS stuff from metro was... wait for it... all SOAP and WS-* and the same demos I have seen 3 years running with a brief bit on RESTat the end. I didn't even see the REST bit because I didn't want to sit through 40 minutes of old content for 10 minutes of new. The "SOA Grid Computing" Oracle session (hey, doesn't that sound great?) Literally started with and intro to WSDL. "Are you frakking kidding me?" was the general response from my compatriots.

One the flip side, the Glassfish session was really good, and my group seemed to get a lot of good information out of it. The features list for GF3 is so long that just getting a handle on what is there is going to be an issue for a lot of people. I kind of wish there had been a little more tech content there, but it was generally good. The SE6uN session was good, and Rags was once again in good form as a speaker. All of the evangelists seems at least a little more comfortable with what they were doing over last year. There were also session on JRuby on Rails, which I wanted to go to but had to duck out for to get back into midtown for...

Sort of heels of Sun Tech Days, the GWT team had a meetup with the team and a few external developers to discuss the road map for GWT in the future. We are all waiting for GWT 1.5 to drop, promising another round of big compiler optimizations such as expansion/in lining of methods and the much anticipated support for SE5 language constructs. All in all it was a good chat.

The Google meeting was a good idea, especially since STD now seems to be becoming a regional event. I can't help but wonder if next year we will see more things orbiting around STD as a mini-JavaOne.