OCJUG Meeting December 2007 Notes

Richard Brown of Allergen (makers of Botox) works exclusively with Documentum at work (and SharePoint for MS Project integration) and recommended that I check out Alfresco, a GPL CMS written in Java, and Stringbeans, an open source Portal. (Frankly I was more interested in Alfresco than in Stringbeans! I realized how very little I like even the idea of a portal...) Alfresco really does look quite impressive. I wanted to attempt a rewrite of the OCJUG using Alfresco right then and there, but Richard had to leave, so we nixed that idea.

There was a young database guy who's into groovy and postgres (good pick!) and an older Russian sounding fellow who claimed to be into "everything" Java. I am awful with names.

Jim White showed off his toy hydrogen car for a few minutes: it's a small device that has a balloon bladder for the hydrogen, a small open-air fuel cell, and a tiny engine. It had no radio control, but would run for several minutes on a full "tank". Hydrogen came from a tiny battery-powered generator that separates water into ozone and hydrogen via electrolysis. Very cool.

Later on Jim explained how he would like to solve the longstanding CJAN problem (CPAN for Java). However, he revealed that he's never used Maven in his life, nor has he ever written a package for any of the main package managers out there (apt-get, rpm, fink, etc) nor has he ever used the closest thing we have in Java, which right now is Maven (or arguably Eclipse's OSGi based plugin architecture). Nor was he aware of the upcoming Java module changes in Java 7 (JSR 277 and 294). Of course, this did not stop Jim from having deeply held beliefs on how it should (and should not) be done. In the end I was not convinced that he has the experience required to solve this important problem. (It also did not help his chances at getting collaborators that he declared "My part is done!", I think referring to his "Ant Anywhere" code. In my opinion the phrase "My part is done" should not be part of the vocabulary of any collaborative software effort before the final product is shipped. And given the inevitable burden of maintenance, perhaps not even then!)

In the end, given the option of either implementing someone else's half-baked idea and solving my own half-baked (but perhaps more humble) JNI accelerometer problem, I left a bit early so I could work on the JNI problem.

(I will hyperlink this post later. Promise.)

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