Friday saw Scottish Developers holding a day conference in Perth, Scotland.
Extra chairs had to be brought in: we took a couple of last minute bookings that took us over the edge. Good to see a full house!
Full details of all the sessions can be found here.
But briefly, the sessions were:
Duncan Jack – Coldfusion and Flash Integration
John Cant – HyperOS and experiences of designing an ASP webserver for CD
Andy Swan – Design by Contract
Rob Lally – scripting language Groovy designed for the JVM
John’s demonstration of HyperOS was an eye-opener: unlike VMWare or VirtualPC, HyperOS uses real hard drive partitions to manage operating systems. Re-installation of an operating system is simply a matter of drag’n’drop: Windows 95, for example, took less than a minute to restore itself to a “clean” unbroken state. And, of course, whilst HyperOS can only run one OS at a time, that OS has full access to the machine’s resources. Contrast this with VMWare or VPC which uses the host’s resources.
Rob’s Groovy session demonstrated how Groovy sits on top of the Java language and is in fact a very terse language that is converted into Java prior to execution. Rob demonstrated that 50 lines of Java could be expressed in 6 lines of Groovy. Impressive stuff.
Duncan’s session, once again, drummed home the power of Flash. Scottish Developers ran an evening event in June where Flash was demonstrated from an animation perspective. Duncan looked at it from an Rich Internet Application angle. Powerful, fast, fewer roundtrips to the server: that was the main message.
Andy’s DBC session presented Bertrand Meyer’s pre and post conditions. It also covered invariants. Interestingly, once the session entered Q’n’A, the subject of discussion moved to TDD, Test-Driven Development. We ended up discussion how pre/post conditions are often tested using assertions, and since TDD uses assertions too, could we combine pre/post assertions with the test’s primary assertion? Of course we ended up wondering if one assertion per test is a good thing, or should we just bite the bullet and have a handful of assertions per test. Currently, we are agreed on the latter: more than one assertion per test. Emotive stuff.
We gave away a couple of books, a rubgy shirt and some t-shirts: everyone’s a winner!
All in all, these were four very good sessions and excellent speakers: see you at the next Scottish Developers event!