Brian's Waste of Time

Tue, 11 May 2004

PhillyJUG: Marc Fleury and Gavin King

Gavin is presenting his EJB to Hibernate to EJB3 talk from TSSS. He is presenting a history of EJB's (EJB 1.X etc), blah blah blah. EJB 2.X blah blah blah. Nice history flyover, but sort of long. Slams WebSphere. Hahaha. Gavin is actually a pretty funny presenter. He pulls off the humour well.

He has pointed a good point, which is the JTA dependency rather than the container dependency. I wonder how hard it would be to do a JTA outside EJB container -- at least from the client side, if not the implementation. Fowler's POJO is a buzzword. That is disturbing. Hibernate does dirty checking the same way as the OTM, interesting. I had hoped it used CGLIB to optimize it some. OJB1.2 has some serious options here.

Apparently he misses method-level security a little bit. ObjectFilter also skipped method-level in favor of object-level, but it'd be easy to make method-level work as well =) Detached Objects is a great term for non-transactional persistent objects (where non-tx means no modifications stored back).

Hibernate is almost at the Object Transaction level. I think I may have the language to describe why we do it the way we do in OJB. The object space transaction system allows you to have pessimistic transactions in web applications. Hibernate only allows for optimistic. OJB pessimistic is sort of a very pessimistic optimistic transaction. Whereas Hibernate says "it shall be optimistic" OJB says "yes, the database TX needs to be optimistic, but you can preserve pessimistic semantics as long as everything particpating can access the lock manager."

Back to the presentation -- he really has developed a good language for talking about these problems. The "describe your object graph then go get it" is a good way to do dynamic aggregates a la Eric Evans (who proposes static aggregates in his book). I look forward to seeing his and Christian's book!.

Marc has taken the stage for Transparent Middleware which is apparent a trademark. He is big on the aspect kick. I don't know what he is going to talk about, but aspects are going to kill the frameworks -- they just solve the problems better. Nice, he is seriously pushing AOP ideas -- not just JBoss. Marc just won big points from me. He is presenting it very well, too. Regardless of what anyone may say about him, he knows how to explain concepts. He even said nice things about a competitor (BEA).

Marc is dancing around intentional programming. He hasn't said it, but it is close to the idea that you declare what happens in the model, and aspects take care of the nasty details.

If you want to get a good idea of what AOP really does, go sit in on one of Marc's presentations. He gets it. Invocation level failover is a cool idea too. If JBossCache is as transparent as he claims it will be very, very cool.

Marc waved his arms =) EJB 3 is Spring and Hibernate, people are right. Marc slipped that they are looking to use Pico behind the scenes for dependency resolution. Cool, good for them. I would like to hear anyone else on the EG's POV on everything that is happening. Obviously, if EJB 3.0 is happening as Marc describes they have to agree with it. Smalltalkers are taking over the world.

Marc is starting his anti-Geronimo FUD by slamming Axis specifically and the BSD license in general (just a bunch of idealistic kids he described in rather unpleasent ways using rather gross physical gestures). He is trying to say that Axis is dead in the water, which, umh, is wrong. He is a smart guy, and his attack is obviously aimed carefully. It still isn't very nice, but he isn't making money by being nice. Funny how the story is completely different with Tomcat (guess there is too much invested).

I wonder if open source has saturated the market sufficiently that attacking Apache is safe for him, or if he is alienating more people by that. I get the impression that he is too smart to attack Apache for personal reasons (Geronimo), so I guess in his analysis attacking the ASF and promoting Microsoft technologies is a smart move (he has, rightly so, said that a lot of what "he" is driving in EJB3 is from the MS world, and in a very complimentary way).

Comments removed per a reasonably polite request from M. Fleury in comments. If you care deeply about it, email me.

Despite any misgivings I may feel about Fleury, JBoss the project is doing some seriously hot stuff, and I agree with Fleury about the direction of containers/application services/etc (move into aspects).

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