JavaPolis day 1: mixed feelings

When expectations are high, you’re invariably up for some disappointment. Charles and Tom were unable to demo Rails-in-a-war-on-Glassfish; but at least they gave a warning in advance. But I definitely expected something more–or rather something else–from Eric Evans’ university session on domain-driven design (ddd).

The afternoon session on scripting languages went well enough anyway–or at least, the JRuby part did. The session took off with a theoretical explanation of JSR-2something (the support for scripting languages in Java SE). After that, Charles and Tom got their chance to warm up the Java-minded public for all goodness of Ruby. It took a little while for them to get comfortable, but then Tom was at the keyboard showing the simplicity of building a small Rails app from scratch; and Charles got the flow of the presentation going, explaining what Tom was doing and going into JRuby details. The hour flew by for most of the audience. When I got back after the half our break, Charles and Tom were still answering questions.

Charles and Tom showing some well-known faces

Now you have to believe me, in the 90 minutes of Groovy that followed, I did keep an open mind. I tried to look at the code samples objectively. I tried to admire the work that has gone into creating a dynamic variant of Java. I really tried hard to imagine a scenario where I would be tempted to remotely consider using Groovy in a real-world app. Okay, and I was also just a little bit busy trying to get my laptop to talk to the JavaPolis wireless network, which wasn’t easy either. But at least that one I finally succeeded at. The Groovy thing–I’m afraid it’s not for me. It gives me the worst of both worlds: no sweet Ruby syntax, and on top of that uglified Java syntax as well. Maybe next time I’ll see the light. I promise to keep an open mind.

The thing that most disappointed me however, was Eric Evans’ morning session on domain-driven design. Not that it was a bad presentation, not at all. Maybe it’s all about expectations. I expected an introduction into ddd. What is it, what’s so great about it, why should we use it, what lessons have been learned, what tips can a ddd guru give us? Instead we got a session about domain modeling: how do we get from use case to domain model. And also, if we have multiple models within our application/organization, what patterns can we discern regarding the interfacing between those models and the teams that design them? Interesting enough, no problem there; but what does this have to do with ddd? Domain modeling like this can well be done without any domain-drivenness. Or can it? I’ll know more in a week or two, when Evans’ book that I ordered will arrive.

2006-12-12. 6 responses.


  1. To be honest, for my first visit to Javapolis, I was a little disappointed..
    The session about DDD was a little chaotic..
    The afternoon was better, but still…

    Furthermore, Javapolis gave false information on their website..
    They published that each javapolian would receive a coffee mug but I didn’t see it.. When I asked someone from the javapolis team, they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about..

    Oh well, maybe next year it will be better..

  2. I’ve seen coffee mugs being handed out at the entrance desk this morning (Tuesday); you must have missed that.

  3. How did you get your laptop to talk? I never seem to get any dns and so nothing works.
    Apart from that though my day2 was much better and even provided ( for me at least ) the missing coffee mug

  4. Yes, the mugs were available this morning.

    Its my first JavaPolis and I’m really enjoying it. I was really interested in the JRuby talk by Charles and Tom. I must admit though, the three hour sessions are long, even with the break!

  5. also recently published a free book download called Domain Driven Design Quickly (it’s only 100 pages):

  6. Hi,

    The JavaPolis mugs were delivered at the wrong address somewhere in the Netherlands 🙁
    Because of that we only received them on Tuesday… Mail me your address and I’ll make sure we ship a few JavaPolis mugs ASAP :o) You can contact me at sja at bejug dot org.