JFall 2012 was over far too soon! Seven tracks going on simultaneously in a great location, with many artifacts reminding me of JavaOne, and nice snacks and drinks afterwards. The day started, as such things always do, with a keynote. Thanks to @royvanrijn for the photo below, I didn't take any myself and without a picture this report might have been too dry:
What you see above is Steve Chin riding into the keynote hall on his NightHacking bike. The keynote was interesting, I can't be too complimentary about it, since I was part of it myself. Bert Ertman introduced the day and then Steve Chin took over, together with Sharat Chander, Tom Eugelink, Timon Veenstra, and myself. We had a strict choreography for the keynote, one that would ensure a lot of variation and some unexpected surprises, such as Steve being thrown off the stage a few times by Bert because of mentioning JavaOne too many times, rather than the clearly much cooler JFall.
Steve talked about JavaOne and the direction Java is headed in, Sharat talked about JavaME and embedded devices, Steve and Tom did a demo involving JavaFX, I did a Project Easel demo, and Timon from Ordina talked about his Duke's Choice Award winning AgroSense project. I think the Project Easel demo (which I repeated later in a screencast for Parleys arranged by Eugene Boogaart) came across well and several people I spoke to especially like the roundtrip/bi-directional work that can be done, from browser to IDE and back again, very simply and intuitively. (In a long conversation on the drive back home afterwards, the scenario of a designer laying out the UI in HTML and then handing the HTML to a developer for back-end work, a developer who would then find it convenient to open the HTML in a browser and quickly navigate from the browser to the resources within the IDE, was discussed and considered to be extremely interesting and worth considering adopting NetBeans for, for no other reason than that.)
Later I attended a session by David Delabassee on Java EE 7, Hans Dockter on Gradle, and Sander Mak on cross-build injection attacks. I was sorry to have missed Martijn Verburg's session, which sounded like it was really fantastic, among others, such as Gerrit Grunwald. I did a session too, entitled "Unlocking the Java EE 6 Platform", which was very well attended, pretty much a full room, and the demo went very smoothly. I talked to many people, e.g., a long time with Hans Dockter about how cool Gradle is and how great the Gradle/NetBeans plugin is turning out to be. I also had a long conversation (and did a demo) with Chris Chedgey, from Structure101, after his session, which was incredibly well attended; very interesting how popular modularity is.
I met several people for the first time, as well as some colleagues from past places I've worked at. All in all, it was a great conference, unfortunately too short, which was very well attended (clearly over 1000) people, with several international speakers, as well as international attendees such as Mattias Karlsson, Sweden JUG leader. And, unsurprisingly, I came across NetBeans Platform applications again, none of which I had ever heard of before. In each case, "our fat client application" was mentioned in passing, never as a main application, and never in a context where there are plans for the application to be migrated to the web or mobile, simply because doing so makes no business sense at all.
Great times at JFall, looking forward to meeting with some of the people I met again soon.