Sunday, March 18, 2007

NFJS Day 3 : Grab-bag

(This weekend, I am attending NFJS here in StL. I'll post a full review later. For now, here are some random ideas from various sessions.)


1. Both the Java compiler (with respect to optimization) and the Java garbage-collector is smarter than you and I. We need to accept this and stop trying to outsmart them.

2. A great idea for monitoring an app in production: configure a log4j telnet appender along with the usual file appender. If nothing is connected to the telnet appender, then the overhead is zero. However, one can telnet to the remote app and watch log messages appear as they happen.

3. There is an argument that, with Groovy and JRuby, Java will become the assembler of our time. That is, most people will stay in the "Dynamic Language Layer" (how's that for giving a hated TLA a new lease on life?) and only systems/hardcore types will tweak Java.

3(b). With the Google Web Toolkit, the same argument might be applied: perhaps Javascript will become the assember of the browser platform??

4. One presenter commented that Groovy raises the application velocity of him and his team. (He is on a project with 100K lines of Groovy so this is not blowing smoke.) In my limited experience, Groovy also lowers the application inertia: I'm much more likely to write something if I have Groovy than just Java. (I find this to be true for all dynamic languages, but especially for Groovy once my client's classpath is extracted from the complicated Ant build.)

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