CSS 2008 – Monday

Looking down the speaker list for this year, there are a number of contributors from LinkedIn. The first presentation I attended, “Building LinkedIn’s Next Generation Architecture with OSGI” given by Yan Pujante gave an overview of the reasons that the LinkedIn architects chose to use OSGi, and the hurdles they encountered along the way. I had hoped that OSGi would feature more heavily in the conference, but this was the only presentation on the topic.

The final presentation of the day, was given by another LinkedIn employee, Matt Raible on the topic of Spring 3.0. The presentation itself was interesting, though a little hampered by the lack of availability of a Spring 3.0 release (the first RC was expected in September but is not yet available). Matt gave an overview of the improvements that were already included in Spring 2.5, as well as what is expected in Spring 3.0, including support for Java 5+ and a new Spring Expression Language.

Development for the iPhone is a topic which is featuring quite heavily at this year’s conference. Despite not owning an iPhone, I attended the introductory session today to see what it was all about. It turns out there are quite a few constraints – 1. you have to have a Mac (no problem there, at least), 2. programs have to be developed in Objective C (some learning curve then), and 3. Apple put a lot of restrictions on the delivery of the software you create, and require developers to be screened before their contributions can be considered (this can apparently be a lengthy process). On the plus side, for anyone used to developing Mac applications, the same development environment applies so you’re already well on your way. Well, who knows, maybe some day I’ll give it a go, but I don’t think I will be rushing to try it.

The fourth presentation I attended was on the OpenWeb operating system, given by Anton Bar, the chief “Gheek” at G.ho.st. G.ho.st is a company based in Israel and Palestine, a fact which Anton gave a little time to at the beginning of the presentation. One particular issue they encounter is that Israeli citizens are not permitted to enter Palestine. Although the two offices are geographically close, organizing meetings between team members is a challenge.

The product G.ho.st is a web operating system, giving users access to their online data from various sources (e.g. GoogleDocuments, Flikr, Hotmail, etc). The G.ho.st user interface is built using OpenLaszlo compiled to Flash (I’m attending a presentation on OpenLaszlo later in the week, so more on that then). The reasons given for choosing OpenLaszlo was that the performance of Flash is better than Javascript, without the browser inconsistencies, but unlike Flex, is not proprietary. I haven’t had to time to play wit G.ho.st itself, but I do plan to.

All in all, an interesting first day. After attending the first few presentations, I’ve changed my schedule a couple times, and looking forward to the rest of the week.

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