Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First Day at Colorado Software Summit 2008

Today (Wednesday, 22 October 2008) is actually the third day of presentations at Colorado Software Summit (Monday was the first day), but I have been too busy tweaking slides and examples for my own presentations and listening and learning at other presentations to take the time to write even a short summary blog on the Colorado Software Summit. Also, I have learned about or been made aware of many new things I want to further investigate.

By the way, the observations I mention below are my own understanding of what I thought I heard. Because I tend to focus on things I am not very familiar with, it is certainly possible that I misheard or misinterpreted something.

John Soyring - Change ... that Matters

The annual tradition of opening the presentation portion of the conference with a keynote presentation by John Soyring continued this year. John's presentations are always at a higher level than I typically like to attend, but they are fitting for kick-offs of the conference. They help to tie in why all the more detailed subjects of the conference matter and what trends and future possibilities may impact us and how we can be better prepared for those.

In this year's opening keynote presentation ("Change ... That Matters"), John summarized the 2008 IBM Global CEO Study ("The Enterprise of the Future"). Among the many observations he made related to this study, he mentioned Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). A couple conference participants later said that this is relatively onerous to use. John also talked about the importance of governance, the strong movement toward Web 2.0 (particularly RESTful approaches and mashups), and the progress on the World Community Grid.

John Soyring also addressed the need for nearly every organization to be able to adapt, respond to, and take advantage of change. He also outlined some differentiating characteristics between "financial outperformers" and average performers. Soyring's presentation may be available online in the future because some of his previous presentations are available online: 2007 Opening Keynote and Web 2.0: The Next Generation (2006).

Yan Pujante - Building LinkedIn's Next Generation Architecture with OSGi

One of the subjects I was most interested in learning something about at CSS 2008 was OSGi. I have read quite a few introductory things on it, but really wanted someone to deliver the details to me in any easy way and Yan Pujante's presentation LinkedIn's Next Generation Architecture with OSGi did just that.

Before this presentation, I could have muddled my way through a one or two sentence description of what OSGi is and how one would use it in a Java environment. While I'm obviously no expert on OGSi with only a single 90-minute presentation to back me up, this presentation has given me the ability, I believe, to describe relatively coherently what OSGi is and how it can be used in a few sentences. I also picked up a few interesting details: (1) OSGi module are JAR files with specific manifest file name/value settings, (2) Java classes in the unnamed package (no explicit package statement) cannot support OSGi because its bundling depends on package structure, (3) OGSi versioning is specified with numerals separated with periods and not with strings, (4) no or little OSGi version slack is preferable in most cases.

Matt Raible, another presenter at Colorado Software Summit 2008, summarizes Yan's presentation here.

UPDATE (28 October 2008): Yan has posted his slides for this presentation.

Subbu Allamaraju - Pragmatic REST

Subbu Allamaraju opened his Pragmatic REST presentation with a slide with much of the same content as in his REST Fluff blog entry. Subbu went on to talk about other practical aspects of using REST and emphasized the proper use of HATEOAS (Hypermedia As The Engine Of Application State).

UPDATE (28 October 2008): Subbu has posted the slides for this presentation.

Tom Harrington - Getting Started with iPhone Development

I attended Tom Harrington's presentation Getting Started with iPhone Development. This conference has four well-timed presentations on iPhone development considering the really recent relaxation of the non-disclosure agreement.

Tom provided the type of details I was looking for and I have to admit I lost some interest in iPhone development when he explained the many requirements involved. These include the requirement to use a Mac for development (not a problem for many of the conference participants, but it is for some) and having to use the Objective-C language. These and other restrictions Tom mentioned are briefly discussed also here. This is another example of a presentation that was highly useful even if it was only to let me quickly (within 90 minutes) realize how much or how little time I want to invest in the near future in learning more about the topic.

Overall Comments for the Day

I ended the day giving my first presentation of the conference. I presented in one of the large rooms (Red Cloud in the Keystone Conference Center). I felt like the presentation went well and the great questions from the participants made me feel even better about it. Although I prefer presenting in smaller rooms in the conference center, I thought it went well overall.

A disappointment of the day for me was not winning the iPod Nano in the daily raffle.


Eric said...

"Among the many observations he made related to this study, he mentioned Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). A couple conference participants later said that this is relatively onerous to use."

Not sure what those participants meant by "this is relatively onerous to use". XBRL is a big world. Do they mean turning financial statements into XBRL is onerous? Or that using standard XML mapping tools to map from a database to XBRL GL to move data between accounting systems in onerous? Or that understanding the 150+ page Specification is harder than understanding the XML Schema or even XML Specifications?

@DustinMarx said...


Thanks for the feedback. I didn't know anything about XBRL until this week and wish I did understand better what the comments made were explicitly referencing. I will say it is difficult for me to believe that anything is more difficult to understand than the XML specifications. I got the impression that they were not referring to the specification in particular, so my assumption is that they were referring to one of the other alternatives you mention. If I'm able to learn any more concrete examples of why it is difficult to use, I'll add that as a comment here.