Just got back from No Fluff Just Stuff and had a really good time. It was a true whirlwind -- flew in Friday night, presentations on Saturday (8:30am and 3:30pm), plus time on the expert panel after lunch. I attended Bruce Tate's sessions on Hibernate and J2EE vs. .Net. Last night was dinner with the whole crew. When NFJS comes to the Boston area, I'll have to get people to a decent restaurant, maybe even a Chinatown excursion.
This seminar was small even for a No Fluff, only seventy five attendees total. Turnout for the Tapestry sessions was a bit disappointing. It was actually the smallest crowd I've ever given the Tapestry spiel to: 5 in the first session I believe, 7 in the second. Bruce and folks said they often get questions about Tapestry during the expert panel ... but not while I was there. Interestingly, when I announced that I was the creator of Tapestry, heads on the expert panel turned ... they thought I was just the author of the book.
I need to tune my presentations a little ... there's a bit too much marketing ("fluff") in them, and I should use the time to cover some more interesting features (such as form input validation) ... that is, more "stuff". There's no point in selling Tapestry to this particular crowd ... they're already somewhat sold in choosing my session over the other three running at the same time. Even so, I got back a lot of positive evaluations. The one bit of Fluff I should add in is to discuss the other members of the Tapestry team, the subject of the most common question between sessions ... a disguised way of asking "how viable is Tapestry?".
I think I'll change the titles, too. Beginning Tapestry: Java Web Components is too generic. Expanding that session to discuss form input validation will show off the power of the framework, but also allow me to change the title to something like Build Powerful Web Forms with Tapestry, which is more in the spirit of NFJS.
With the work of the book finally behind me, I'm beginning to see other things more clearly. I really have been stressed, especially the last few months. One question that came up during the expert session concerned time management ... I stayed quiet because for the last year, I haven't managed my time, the book has managed me. Strangely, despite learning Maven and creating HiveMind, I still don't feel I've kept adequately current ... thus my renewed interest in Spring and Hibernate.
With HiveMind now free, I can put together a session about it. I think an important part of the presentation will be interoperability ... my live demo can show things like accessing a session bean in JBoss as if it were a HiveMind service. I also want to learn a bit more about Spring. What I want is the ability to represent beans managed inside Spring as HiveMind services, plus whatever else is necessary to allow HiveMind to run Spring within itself. I'm sure the Spring guys can do just the opposite (get a HiveMind Registry created as a Spring managed bean).
Also, I'm going to finally take some time to look into Hibernate properly. I'll certainly be doing some Tapestry / HiveMind / Hibernate (Hivernate?) integration. In fact, showing how to use Hibernate properly within a Tapestry application would make another great session for NFJS.