Friday, March 31, 2006


Java (1) vs Ruby on Rails (0)

In the mail yesterday, I received two different conference brochures and was disappointed...

One of the brochures I received was for Enterprise Architecture Summit". The conference is all about enterprise architecture yet they don't really have even a single enterprise architecture practitioner presenting. In fact, if you look at the speakers list, all but one person (Gunther of Siemens) either works for a consulting firm or a software vendor pitching thinly veiled sales presentations. It seems as if they have the same faces every single year. I wonder if attendees wouldn't appreciate a little more variety?

Maybe the problem with conferences is that the economic model behind them is fundamentally busted. They choose posh facilities where rates charged by the venues are obscene which results in the only way to cover costs is to bring in lots of software vendors who of course pay a fee for a booth. Likewise, if vendors pay money they demand a speaking slot and it goes downhill from there.

I guess my recommendation to my peers in large enterprises is to avoid this type of insanity. One conference host that doesn't allow vendors to speak yet provides high quality topics and speakers is Marcus Evans. They also have a unique value proposition for vendors as well.

I also received the brochure for the Java One Conference which has hundreds of different sessions but yet I couldn't identify not a single speaker from a Fortune enterprise whose primary business wasn't technology? I wonder if attendees of conferences are no longer interested in case studies?

The one thing though is that should receive a lot of attention is the support in Mustang for a scripting engine of which several sessions will focus on. The specification will describe mechanisms allowing scripting language programs to access information developed in the Java Platform and allowing scripting language pages to be used in Java Server-side Applications.

One perspective says that languages such as Ruby will now be able to participate in enterprise application development while others may be of the belief that Ruby will no longer be relevant if you can do scripting within the Java platform using languages already familar to the enterprise. Only time will tell which direction the enterprise goes. Of course it is my prediction that large enterprises will take a different path than what is currently being hyped in the blogosphere.

With scripting support, Java will continue to grow by leaps and bounds and may even be the death of other languages delegating them to second-class citizenship. Other features that many of the conference attendees will be talking about that matter include discussions around clustering support, native platform GSS/Kerberos integration, Support for the Simple and Protected GSS-API Negotiation Mechanism (SPNEGO) and the ability to integrate enterprise applications into management consoles via the JMX protocol. I wonder if I can find the equivalent discussions happening at Rubycon...

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