Friday, May 19, 2006

JavaOne - The Mid-Week Hump, a Little Late

Sometimes a week can seem like a really long time.

There is a certain simplicity to going to an out-of-town conference. You get on a plane, and you go. It is a bit like the "gathering of the tribes" that used to happen among the tribes on the Great Plains. Except we do not bring our kids, our wives, our horses and our houses with us. We call room service.

JavaOne is a little too close to home for me. I still need to get the kids to school in the morning. I think it makes the conference a different kind of experience. I cannot get the really concentrated information dump that some people get. I cannot wait to get a bean bag chair in the main hall. I need to keep trying to find the part of the conference where the wireless network actually works. Thankfully, it is Firday and Moscone Center is almost networked enough. Who would have thought that so many JavaOne participants would want wireless connection? Certainly not the people who set up the wireless here.

But I also do not get that washed-out, spiritually empty feeling that can come from being out of town at a conference. A conference can be a beautiful thing, a forum for talking about those things that bore most people we know. And most of us get it. But it can also be like coming off a bad meth jag. Too much of the wrong kind of food, too much time in a bar with people you really do not know, and there you are. You know what I mean.

But this is turning out well. I like the fact that they show most of the keynotes in the hall. It is nice to be able to see it, see what they are saying and, yeah, it is still a lot of marketing and you can walk away. And that part of the conference is fast approaching. The part where everyone walks away.

First, I would like to mention one of the technical talks. I went to the talk on Generics. This has been around a while. There has been lots of press on Generics. I have read some of this and most of the time I feel as though not much has been explained. Really, there is not much there. Generics are not a large shiny feature, but they are nice. Could you take them or leave them? Yes. But on the other hand, if you work on frameworks, they can do some nice things.

If you use Generics, it can be really nice. One can stop casting so often. Every time, every single time, I cast an object when bringing it out of an NSArray or from a key-value-coding call, I remember the guy who said that in a real type-safe language, one should not cast. I do not remember his name, but I remember what he said.

If you use Generics, you stop casting so much. Going back to casting then feels even stupider. Can't we get past this already? Perhaps we can. We'll see.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home