So I started the day out with Andy Glover's "Groovin' builds Gant get any easier". Andy did a great job of explaining what happens when you combine the utility of a feature-rich build system like Ant with the expressiveness and power of Groovy. Anyone using Ant can benefit from Gant. I can't see why anyone would stay with XML based Ant. One thing that I always appreciate about Mr. Glover's talks is the way he draws even the most recalcitrant audience into his talks. It's fun to see a master at work.
Speaking of masters, the next session I went to was Brian Sletten's "Restlet for the Weary". I kept getting this feeling that a Restlet plugin for Grails might be a good thing. I wonder if anyone has done that yet. I don't think it's mere coincidence that you can rearrange the letters in Brian's name to spell "Brain".
After another delicious lunch, we came to my favorite event, the expert panel. The interaction between the speakers, audience and Jay Zimmerman, the host and moderator, is just hilarious, while being informative at the same time. Ladies and gentlemen, don't try this at home.
This might not have been a good idea, but I finished up the day in a two part session by Stu Halloway. Stu has a series of 4 talks based on his recent blog posts titled Java.next. The two sessions that he had this weekend were great and Stu is one of the smartest people I've ever met, but it was a bit much for my brain after three days. In fact, I am still mentally digesting much of what he talked about. I will have to do a follow up to this post. But in the meantime, I highly recommend that you check out his blog. Be sure to do it on an empty brain, so to speak.
Well that's it for No Fluff Just Stuff 2008. I've said it before and I'll say it again. These are, by far, the best technical events available. If you haven't been to one, get to one. If there isn't one near you that's no excuse. There is a group of guys from the Netherlands that come to one each year. Since they have to fly in anyway, they go to a different city each year. So there's no excuse. Check the schedule. If you're in the northern midwest, the Milwaukee NFJS will be Feb. 27 - March 1, 2009. See you there!