For those of you who have shunned EJB’s before, this is definately something you might want to check out. The EJB team was tasked, among other things, with making EJB easier to use, and more testable. And from what I saw last night, it looks pretty close to that goal. Not only is everything an interface (like Query, EntityManager, EntityManagerFactory, etc), but they increased the dependency injection points, and allow you to run it outside of a container. So some very cool stuff when that comes out. I also got a good taste of a lot of the new Java 1.5 language features like annotations and the new foreach operator. Makes me wish we were doing more Java stuff at work.
Speaking of, after the meeting we went out to a local tavern and had some good discussions on different technologies, including several parts where the group picked on me for our company moving to .NET. We still do some J2ME, but most of what we do nowadays is C#. The funny thing is that some of my time is tasked to make .NET more Java like through things like NUnit, CruiseControl.NET, NAnt, and NHibernate. Yep, most of the good familiar Java tools have .NET equivalents.
Some of the other topics were actually on UI stuff. Patrick mentioned a project he did where the UI interfaced with the domain objects via XML. But not by having each domain object serialize themselves into a Document. Basically they had a framework that knew how to take an XPath Query and get information out of objects based on that. It’s an interesting notion, and one I want to look more at. He said that XMLBeans are doing something similar, but with some restrictions on the objects, and that he really believes those restrictions could go away with enough demand.
All in all a great meeting, and sorry to anyone who didn’t make it out. The next one probably won’t be until February – we are moving offices next month, and then you have the holidays. But a big thanks to Patrick for coming out, and all the CharJUGgers.