I couldn’t make it to The Server Side Symposium this week, so I spent my spare time following the latest happenings on twitter, various blogs, and checking out the uploaded slides. While these are no replacements to talking to the other attendees in person, it is great to see the online world make things easier when we can’t show up in person.

The symposium agenda had four tracks over a period of three days with a number of the slides now available online. Below are some of the highlights from the symposium:

Twitter Updates

Updates from the conference where posted with the #tssjs hashtag and they can be used to get a listing of the play-by-play points as people tweeted them. I pulled out a list of all the tweets and converted them into a tag cloud. Clicking on any of the commonly used words below will show the tweets that those words were posted under.

Tweets from TheServerSide Java Symposium (based on #tssjs on twitter and generated using TagCrowd.com).

Beyond tweets during the symposium, if you want to keep in touch with the some of the frequent posters of twitter status updates – some of the top users:

dustyp, wmartinez, steepi, occasl, maxkatz, lexlimo, davidgeary, ligolnik, mraible, starbuxman, Kylar, digitalseraphim, jimtay, scholnicks, scottdavis99, benhardy, nshttpd, abh_sc, jasonwhaley, MichaelPNash, ebenhewitt, xgerman, frankmarit, javatools, gholler, kito99, zacksm, crichardson, robc2, javasymposium, ian_ratner, rmisek, joonaslehtinen, iceycake, springrod, and DaveChappell.

Java, Sun, and Oracle

With Sun now officially being part of Oracle, a big question for many is the future of Java in the new landscape. James Gosling’s keynote laid most of these concerns to rest by highlighting Oracle’s commitment to Java. Details are available at many of the articles on the topic: James Gosling isn’t going anywhere (at JavaWorld), Java founder emphasizes Oracle’s commitment (at InfoWorld), Java pioneer distances himself from JCP (at NetworkWorld), and Gosling Claims Java in Good Hands with Oracle (at eWeek).

Beyond the Oracle acquisition, more details from Gosling’s keynote on What’s Happening in the Java World? have been blogged about and posted by Matt Raible. In particular, Gosling made a few comments that were of remark. That he’d really like to never see XML again and that we are 99% of the way there. That the magic of Java isn’t the language: it is the VM platform. Scala, Groovy/Grails are all exciting, and that there are more Java enabled devices now than there are people on the planet.

Cameron Purdy presented a great roadmap for Java. He talked about C++, Java and .NET – the lessons learned from the Internet Age, and What it Means for the Cloud and Emerging Languages (abstract). He based his roadmap on a list of 10 reasons why Java has been able to supplant C++ and 5 reasons why it has not been able to.

</p>

</center>

Scala

With Scala being one of the exciting languages being built on the Java VM, there was discussion on Scala and its performance – in particular the fact that while some languages like Groovy and Groovy++ are slower than Java, Scala is as fast as Java. Scala language features were shown to simplify implementing design patterns (abstract) as well as for scalability (using GridGain) (abstract | slides).

Better Web App Interfaces (gwt, flex, html5, etc)

Some of the best received talks were about the building more the future of web apps interfaces. Scott Davis covered features of HTML 5 that you can use now to make your applications more powerful (abstract), while David Geary discussed some of the features of GWT and showed how easy it is to build powerful and interactive applications using GWT and Java (abstract | slides | online article – part 1 | online article – part 2). Speed Tracer was mentioned as a helpful tool to identify and fix peroformance problems in web applications.

One of the best presentations was Matt Raible and James Ward presenting their Flex vs GWT Smackdown (abstract | slides). The slides (embedded below) gave a clear recommendations in which cases it might be better to use one tool versus another.

</p>

</center>

Other topics

There were a couple of other themese that came up. SpringSource’s Rod Johnson gave a keynote on What’s New in Spring 3.0 (abstract) without any powerepoint and demo’ed Spring Roo. Tim Morrow from Shopzilla talkked about how they upgraded their architecture to go from 6 second response times to sub 200 ms response times for over 8000 searches a second (abstract). Jesper Pederson from JBoss talked about Software Quality (abstract) and described JBoss’ tattletale. Kirk Pepperdine presented about Hunting Memory Leaks (abstract) and talked about the VisualVM tool.