So I'm sitting here in my hotel room having just arrived to San Francisco after the 2 and bit hour flight from Denver. The No Fluff Just Stuff show in Denver was really fantastic and I was amazed to see so many passionate Java developers coming together on their weekend to talk techie. I met some great people including a few of the regular No Fluffers such as Neal Ford, Ted Neward and Scott Davis. And of course I had the pleasure of meeting the man himself, Jay Zimmerman.
I also managed to take in a couple of sessions and saw Seam demo'ed properly for the first time. My thoughts? Well it certainly papers over the warts of JSF, but it is still a lonnnngggg way away from the claimed "Ruby-on-Rails like" productivity. What summed it up perfectly for me was a moment in David Geary's talk where he created a CRUD app and claimed "it only took 40 lines of config and a 100 lines of Java!". I was tempted to stand up and say well I could have done that in about 10 lines of Grails code with scaffolding and no config, but thought better of it.
Of course Seam will get its users because of the whole "standards" approach that it has, but in terms of developer experience it is miles from Rails or Grails. Moving on, at the conference I did three talks on Grails covering Spring/Hibernate integration, GORM and plug-ins that were all completely packed out and the response was superb.
However, the moment that pleased me the most was near the end where the majority of the 250 attendees gather in the main presentation room and Jay asked them who would be using the various technologies presented. When asked about JRuby about 10 people raised their hands, when asked about Seam around 15 did, when asked about Groovy & Grails the majority of the audience raised their hands, far too many to count anyway. My (and Scott's) work here is done. Next...