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Past Meetings - 2009

VirtualBox, November 2009
VMWare, October 2009
Agile Programming -- Fundamental Rules of Software Productivity, September 2009
Design Patterns Reconsidered, August 2009
Spring Security, July 2009
Hazelcast, June 2009
Architectural Implications of RIA, May 2009
Flex and Java, April 2009
Spring, March 2009
Groovy, February 2009
OSGi, January 2009


Topic: VirtualBox

Date: November 11, 2009

Speaker: Fred Bloom

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use.


Topic: VMWare

Date: October 14, 2009

Speaker: Gary Murphy

Gary Murphy will host a discussion on the use of VMware virtualization technology for developers. This began as an e-mail exchange on the KCJava mailing list in June. The topic includes a brief overview of the non-Enterprise VMware products, and their costs and features.

We will then discuss how virtualization has helped development process. The intent is to engage the group in an interactive discussion of creative ideas on ways to use this exciting technology.


Topic: Agile Programming -- Fundamental Rules of Software Productivity

Date: September 9, 2009

What would appear on your list of fundamental rules for software productivity? What would top your list? How would you defend your answers? Mark Randolph has been invited to speak on that topic at the KCJava Users group, and has asked for our help in sharpening his wits.

Here is Mark's list. Can you improve on it?

Speaker: Mark Randolph

Mark has dedicated his career to finding and applying best practice software development methods. He currently works for Echota Technologies and is assigned at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Senior IT Specialist where he actively advocates for the adoption of Agile and Extreme Programming methods.

On his last job, Mark was responsible for piloting Scrum (an Agile Programming method), arranged training for 12 team leads, and organized and ran 7 Scrum teams, not all of which were successful (a humbling and instructive experience). Mark has also published articles on the Scrum Alliance web site, and recently attended the Agile 2009 conference in Chicago, which he will undoubtedly drag into his talk.

Mark is also a former computer programming instructor, has a master level knowledge Object Oriented Analysis & Design with UML (OOA&D) and C++, is Java competent, and is a registered Professional Engineer (PE). Mark has been a Certified ScrumMaster for 4 years.


Topic: Design Patterns Reconsidered

Date: August 12, 2009

The design patterns movement launched a revolution in object-oriented design and provided a vocabulary for developers doing object-oriented development to communicate their ideas. However, in some cases, patterns used blindly can lead to awkward, confusing, or hard-to-maintain code. It is time for some common patterns used on the Java platform to be reconsidered so that we can derive the benefits from patterns while minimizing the concerns they can raise.

Design is a matter of balancing a variety of forces; patterns exist at the balance points between forces. In any particular scenario, those forces will not be balanced in the same way. Designers must then apply their knowledge of patterns and the product to find a unique instantiation of the pattern that optimally balances the forces at work.

This session re-evaluates key patterns such as Singleton, Template Method, and Visitor. These patterns have downsides and do more harm than good in some cases. The presentation gives examples of each pattern in the Java development environment and examines them for clarity, testability, and flexibility. It discusses important problems and gives examples of alternative solutions.

Speaker: Alex Miller

Alex Miller is a Sr. Engineer with Terracotta, the makers of the open-source Java clustering product. Prior to Terracotta, Alex worked at BEA Systems on the AquaLogic product line and was Chief Architect at MetaMatrix. His interests include Java, concurrency, distributed systems, query languages, and software design. Alex enjoys writing his blog and speaking at a number of Java user group meetings and conferences.

In St. Louis, Alex is responsible for founding the Lambda Lounge, a user group for the study of functional and dynamic languages. Also, Alex is currently planning the first Strange Loop conference, in St. Louis on Oct 22-23.


Topic: Spring Security

Date: July 8, 2009

Speaker: Fred Bloom

Fred Bloom has managed and mentored multiple teams of diverse technical, skill-level and business backgrounds. He has successfully implemented and delivered software and system architectures and applications. He is a proficient developer in many languages including: Java, C++, C, Lisp and Assembly Language. He has developed on multiple flavors of Unix and Microsoft operating systems.

Fred holds degrees in Software Engineering and Project Management with additional studies in Japanese and Psychology. He is Sun Java Certified and contributed to Sun Microsystems' book "J2EE Core Patterns".

He is current working as a Managing Technical Architect in consulting.


Topic: Hazelcast

Date: June 10, 2009

Hazelcast is an open source clustering and highly scalable data distribution platform for Java.

Speaker: Talip Ozturk

Talip Ozturk is the founder of the Hazelcast project.


Topic: Architectural Implications of RIA

Date: May 13, 2009

This meeting will feature a presentation about the architectural implications of RIA followed by an open discussion.

Speaker: Gary Murphy


Topic: Sexier Software with Flex and Java

Date: April 8, 2009

Building sexy software that users love is usually a challenging endeavor. The open source Flex SDK and Java are a perfect combination of technologies for building rich, sexy software - for the web and the desktop. Flex applications can run in the browser using the ubiquitous Flash Player or on the Desktop using the new Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR). In both instances Java can be used for the back-end of the application. The communication between the Java back-end and Flex front-end can utilize a number of different communication protocols, but the easiest and best performing is the open source BlazeDS library. This session will cover the basics of using Flex, Java, and BlazeDS to build sexy software for the web and the desktop.

Speaker: James Ward

James Ward is a Technical Evangelist for Flex at Adobe. Much like his love for climbing mountains he enjoys programming because it provides endless new discoveries, elegant workarounds, summits and valleys. His adventures in climbing have taken him many places.


Topic: Spring

Date: March 11, 2009

The presentation will be "An Introduction to Spring." The presentation format is designed to be interactive and adaptive; meaning, the audience's questions and input will control the overall presentation content.

The current proposed high-level agenda is as follows:

Speaker: Fred Bloom

Fred Bloom has managed and mentored multiple teams of diverse technical, skill-level and business backgrounds. He has successfully implemented and delivered software and system architectures and applications. He is a proficient developer in many languages including: Java, C++, C, Lisp and Assembly Language. He has developed on multiple flavors of Unix and Microsoft operating systems.

Fred holds degrees in Software Engineering and Project Management with additional studies in Japanese and Psychology. He is Sun Java Certified and contributed to Sun Microsystems' book "J2EE Core Patterns".


Topic: Groovy

Date: February 11, 2009

Groovy and TDD will give a brief introduction to the Groovy language before jumping directly into a live build of a Groovy application using Test-Driven Development. This presentation will be code intensive, and give some examples of advanced usage of the Groovy language, including metaprogramming, closures, and DSL's.

Presentation source code

The whole point of the presentation application will be to evaluate this syntax:

And have the app understand it and return the proper result. We'll just have a simple lookup table for the conversion, but the fun part will be the metaprogramming involved.

Here are answers to some of the questions and the code from Matt's presentation.

Speaker: Matthew Taylor

Matthew Taylor was an engineer for G2One before it was acquired by SpringSource. Now he enjoys the same job of working on Grails applications and writing Grails plugins for a new company. He spent over 8 years working at Whiteman AFB near Kansas City before moving to the St. Louis area to find fame and fortune in the software industry. He has 6 years of Java experience and over year of professional Groovy and Grails experience.


Topic: OSGi

Date: January 14, 2009

OSGi has come into its own on the server this last year or so. Sun's GlassFish v3 server runs atop Apache's OSGi runtime, called Felix. SpringSource recently released a production OSGi Spring DM-based server (appropriately called "Spring dm Server") that runs Eclipse Equinox as the OSGi runtime. Now under the Apache umbrella is ServiceMix, an open Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) implementation, which also runs on Apache Felix. Since the influence of OSGi on server-side Java development practices will likely increase this year, rather than decrease, we should take a look at OSGi and see what the pros and cons are, how we might leverage the advantages of OSGi (namely modularity and a dynamic, service-oriented environment) in our own applications, and how we might avoid some of the more annoying gaps that implementing an OSGi architecture seems to create.

Links to OSGi Information
http://www.osgi.org/Main/HomePage
http://felix.apache.org/site/index.html
http://www.eclipse.org/equinox/
http://www.springsource.com/products/suite/dmserver
http://servicemix.apache.org/home.html

Speaker: Jon Brisbin

Jon Brisbin is a development ninja for NPC International, Inc. He works in the Pittsburg, KS office and provides architecture, development, and support for enterprise-wide applications distributed via the company's secure WAN-based intranet.