Two weeks ago, we held another Schneide Dev Brunch. The Dev Brunch is a regular brunch on a sunday, only that all attendees want to talk about software development and various other topics. If you bring a software-related topic along with your food, everyone has something to share. The brunch was so well attended that we had trouble to all find a chair and fit at the table. There were quite some new participants, so the introductory round was necessary again. Let’s have a look at the main topics we discussed:
Choosing Google Web Toolkit
If you start the development of a new web application today, there are many frameworks to call to aid. Most of them will not lend a hand, but mostly stand in the way. In a short presentation, we learnt about the arguments in favor and against the use of the Google Web Toolkit for the development of a highly customizable web application. The two most important aspects were that GWT enables desktop-like “real” (as opposed to “web”) development but still provides enough hooks to embrace the web-only developers.
The Spock testing framework tries to bring natural and expressive syntax back to testing. It mixes the best of most current testing and specification frameworks together in a groovy-based domain specific language. The first contact with Spock of one of our attendees was very pleasant. The framework provides opiniated default tools for most modern testing aspects (e.g. mocking), but is extremely integrative with all current testing libraries. The take-away of this topic was: Try Spock for your next adventures in testing.
Schneide job offer
We from the Softwareschneiderei host the Dev Brunch for nearly six years now. In all these years, we grew slowly without the need to announce open job offers. Now is the time where even we have to insert a little bit of advertising into the brunch: we are hiring. Enough said.
SWT UI-based tests
The Standard Widget Toolkit is the graphical foundation of the Eclipse platform. It’s a bit dated (like most Java-based UI toolkits) and doesn’t really embrace automatic UI-based tests. There is SWTBot, but it doesn’t provide the power of a tool like FEST-Swing. We discussed the situation, but couldn’t offer much help.
Another question for discussion was the usage of the classic decorator design pattern in a rather twisted use case. Without going into much detail, the best option would have been the use of Mixins, but the environment (Java) doesn’t provide them. It was an interesting discussion with lots of different solution attempts. We didn’t find the definitive answer, but there was some good inspiration in the train of thoughts.
The programming language Go
One guest offered us a quick overview over the new programming language Go, developed by Google. To sum up a few aspects that were mentioned, Go is compiled to native code, doesn’t offer type inheritance but compile-time interface binding (if it matches, it binds) and so-called goroutines. The latter are slightly improved coroutines. The communication between objects is mostly done with channels, a very flexible event notification system. The feature with the most raised eyebrows was the visibility modifier: capitalization. If your name begins with a capital letter, it is exported. You can quickly learn the basics of the language with the web-based “Tour of Go”.
Summary of Java Forum Stuttgart
One attendee summed up his impressions and experiences with this year’s Java Forum Stuttgart, a local Java-based conference. The day was worthwile and informative, but some basic pieces went missing. For example, you weren’t provided with a notepad and a pen and had to go on a hunt at the exhibitor booths. The single extraordinary talk that you’ll remember for years didn’t happen, either. Most visited talks were solid, but not outstanding. Most noteworthy tools this year were Gerrit and Sonar.
Data loses its location
A final aspect for open discussion was the fact that stored data loses its location. With all modern web- or cloud-based services, the notion of a “storage medium” begins to lose meaning. And with the fast mobile internet access, you won’t have to reside at a specific location to access all your data. For the next generations of computer users (read: kids), data will behave like the notorious aether: always there, never affixable.
As usual, the Dev Brunch contained a lot more chatter and talk than listed here. The high number of attendees makes for an unique experience every time. We are looking forward to the next Dev Brunch at the Softwareschneiderei. And as always, we are open for guests and future regulars. Just drop us a notice and we’ll invite you over next time.