Friday, October 21, 2011

RivieraDev Day 1 Wrap Up

It was an interesting day we had on Thursday at Riviera Dev.

The conference started with a keynote from Stephane Epardaud, Inria, and some sponsors. Nothing much interesting in the keynote content, except that now I know that Inria puts (even) more efforts on programming languages. This is very cool. 

Dart, by Florian Loitsch
Then, the talks started. At the first session, Florian Loitsch from Google presented Dart. I was sooo sceptical about Dart, but I decided to come to his session anyway. To my surprise, his presentation reduced my scepticism on Dart. Not on the infamous "optional typing" on which I still have my reserves, but on the fact that Dart is not actually that boring. The Isolate concept, interface with factory, and couple other things are very neat. Florian actually did an excellent job in his presentation to demo all these things live.

I had also some interesting discussions with him at lunch time about Dart, the role of Gilad Bracha, how Dart team works, and so on. All in all, his talk was almost my favorite talk at the conference.

Kotlin, by Dmitry Jemerov
All right. After Dart, another language, Kotlin by Dmitry Jemerov from JetBrain. His talk was actually interesting, but because his session must compete with NodeJS session, the number of participants are not that many, but still he had a lot of audiences.

Dmitry did not present many new things on Kotlin compared to the Kotlin web site or to Strange Loop presentation on the language. One thing I like in Kotlin is actually reified generics and also on String interpolation, that quite neat. I wonder how type check costs to Kotlin performance though. One other interesting thing from his presetnation was the IDEA demo on Kotlin. It was so short  unfortunately, he could have made longer and slower demo though.

GWT, by Nicolas de Loof
Nicolas de Loof was a good presenter. His presentation was fluid, and by the way, it was the only French talk I attended.

In his talk, he presented GWT from very high level point of view. Why GWT, the environments around GWT, and so on and so forth. For me, the talk was too high level though, I expected something more technical or strategic, like GWT after dart (oops, I almost said: GWT after dark). But after all, it was a quite interesting session.

Java 7 / 8, by Simon Ritter
This talk was supposed to be the talk of the day. And indeed, it was talk of the day in term of audience. The INRIA amphi was quite full.

 He started with long history about Oracle and Sun, JCP and all those things. Then, quickly re, viewed Java 7 features, and finally Java 8. There were not many things in Java 8 though ..., oops sorry, there were a lot of things new in Java 8 of course, but I heard most of them. He showed examples on "closures", which was quite nice, and he talked about the possibility to have parallel collection in Java 8 (sounds familiar, isn't it?).

How GitHub Uses GitHub to Build GitHub
The star of the day is Zach Holman. His talk (was it a rant ? ) was astonishing and inspiring.

He started with agile-bashing (I love a presenter that starts his presentation by bashing agile) and then started to explain on how GitHub work, something he called working asynchronously. Then, about the crazy practices of branching of branch of branch of branch, and how he sees the things should have been done simpler. He also explained about pull requests as a communication tool, about Hubot, and all those things.

His rant was finally quite depressing for those who work with a lot of processes and less real things. The idea of Zach is to put to maximum the possibility of doing real things instead of those process stuffs like meetings, complicated problem report, and all other things that finally counter-productive.

Speaker Dinners / Open Café
Open Café at the end of the day was also interesting. I discussed a lot with Henri Gomez (DevOps),  Nicolas Leroux (Play!), Bodil Stokke (Coffee Script), Fredrik Ekholdt (Scala, TypeSafe) and my colleague Nicolas Bousquet. We had a lot of interesting things discussed, including what differences between Norwegians and Swedish :-) (Fredrik and Bodil are Norwegians) , Scala and TypeSafe, and all other things.

That was an interesting inspiring day. I hope to have similar experience today. Hope to see another depressing presentation again :-)

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