Day four’s keynote was mostly focused on Adobe Flex and related technologies. At first, I was a bit afraid because they started with exactly the same content they showed during the Thinking in Flex session. Hopefully it starts being very interesting when Bruce asked naively (yeah once again) if Flex had any problem with complex image rendering! Remember the quotes from James Gosling yesterday? They basically showed us an independent tool that calculates the same image rendering with different technologies and obviously Flex was better than any Java-related technology. Well, watch out their respective blogs / web sites, it may be fun. The second part of the keynote was about the Parleys v2 web site; it is not yet online at the time of writing but the live demo we saw was just amazing: smooth, features rich, completely integrated with the existing back-end. I wonder how many man day this thing took. But we went crazy when they presented the desktop flavor of the tool with immediate communication with the web version and the desktop version. This sounds a bit cryptic to me on a technical point of view but for the end users this is just pure joy.
Mule 2 and Beyond talk was very much expected since I have a direct interest in that kind of tool and the university session gave already a good insight about it. They apparently did a very good job to ease the configuration file (mule 1.x configuration files are a bit scary!) and the overall technology seems very mature. What I really like about this talk is that the speaker insisted on the fact that not only the tool is not intrusive but also it adapts to your existing infrastructure. Sometime I get a bit discouraged of some talks when they present the latest super genius technology that would imply us to refactor half of our code base to switch to it efficiently. With Mule and a new project, this sounds more affordable: I have some use cases in mind and it fits.
Enterprise RIA with Flex and Java was nice overall but still cryptic. I had this constant feeling the whole week about it, something like “Wahou this client feature is terrific … Wait, how do they do that?!’”. I mean, they have this ability to push updated content on other client editing data and this is done with a boolean flag that you switch. On one hand this is easy, very cool but on the other hand how do I configure this? What about network roundtrip? Performance? I am not saying it isn’t there, I am saying it sounds too easy to be true.
Close Customer Collaboration - the BMW case was interesting and very practical. This talk showed the success of introducing Agile methodologies and Scrum in a project. Finally the Java Puzzlers session was enjoyable, like every one I’ve ever the chance to attend.