@javapolis day 1

Today JavaPolis 2007 started. This is a major java conference, the (though probably somewhat smaller) European counterpart of JavaOne.

At JavaPolis, they have two days “university” with some longer, more in-depth sessions, and three days with normal (1-hour) talks. I had the chance to see a university session introducing Spring 2.5. This was an interesting session which (yet again) convinced me that I really should start using this. The spring sphere also seems to be growing. For example, the well known security framework acegi has now been added to the spring community and is rebranded “Spring Security”.

A session in which I had special interest was the “code generation on giant crud” session by Tom Klaasen. He explained the use of code generation on an JSP application with 500 domain tables, knowing in advance that the data model would change. He calculated that each table would need 2000 lines of java code and could not imagine anybody wanting to type them. In the beginning they used ant and xdoclet to generate the application, but they have been able to improve things by migrating to maven and freemarker (xdoclet was slow).
It all sounded extremely familiar. The process they went through was similar to what happened in the development of (the predecessor of) equanda, though I assume equanda has more features.

Unfortunately, Tom Klaasen did not manage to drive through on the message. Though he rightly argued the advantages for generation on a large application, he could have stressed a bit more the extra agility and advantages in time, consistency, bug prevention, security,… which can occur thanks to code generation. Which gives us developers more time to spend on the important (and more fun) stuff, the business logic, which makes the solution more relevant and less expensive for the customers.

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