Archive for December 19th, 2009

Clustering Grails

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

I did a talk on Grails clustering at the Groovy & Grails eXchange 2009 in London last week and wanted to put up the slides and the sample application and clustering scripts. This was the third time I’ve given a version of this talk (first at a Boston Grails meetup and again at SpringOne 2GX) so I’m way overdue getting this up.

Groovy & Grails eXchange 2009

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

I got back from the Groovy & Grails eXchange 2009 a few of days ago and wanted to get some thoughts down before the whole thing becomes a blur. It was quite a week – the conference was two days but I brought my wife and extended the trip into a small vacation. We did a bunch of tourist stuff including the Tower of London, the British Museum, Stonehenge, the cathedral in Salisbury, shopping at Oxford Street and Portobello Market, saw a play, etc. Wendy Devolder and her husband Nick graciously offered to meet us Saturday at Portobello Market since they live nearby. Portobello Market is huge but thanks to Wendy and Nick we saw a bunch of stuff we would have otherwise missed, including the amazing Mutate Britain: One Foot in the Grove street art and sculpture show.

There were even other attendees from Boston. My colleague Eugenia Harris (we work together at InnoCentive) was also there for the week so the three of us did a lot of the touristy stuff together, and four guys from Cantina Consulting were also there.

The talks were excellent, but the best thing about these conferences is the social interactions. I met a bunch of Groovy/Grails/Griffon folks in New Orleans at SpringOne 2GX and this was another opportunity to meet even more. I got to meet and talk to several Grails contributors and users including Peter Ledbrook, Marc Palmer, Tomas Lin, Robert Fletcher, Glenn Saqui, Luis Arias, Jakob Külzer, Stefan Armbruster, and Jeremy “The Human Grails Search Engine” Flowers.

The conference was very well run by Russ Miles and Wendy Devolder’s crew at Skills Matter. The space was a little overbooked and would have been better with closer to 100 attendees but they were aware of that and are still getting used to the new location that they recently moved to. Other than that everything was smooth sailing, and they created a conducive environment for a bunch of Grails and Groovy geeks.

One particularly cool aspect was the speaker’s dinner on Tuesday at the Slaughtered Lamb. It was fun talking to (and drinking with) Wendy, Nick, Peter, Tomas, and the rest of the folks there. Not having met people there in person, it was great to make some early introductions before the conference started.

The talks that I found most interesting involved stuff that I rarely use. I don’t do much complex configuration management but I have in the past, so Russel Winder’s Gant talk and Hans Dockter’s Gradle talk were great to get a sense for the current state of the art in build tools. I also don’t do much UI work, but I thought Tomas Lin’s Flex talk and Sébastien Blanc’s iWebkit talk were both pretty cool. They definitely make creating slick UIs look easy.

The highlight of the conference for me though wasn’t actually part of the conference – Graeme Rocher and Peter Ledbrook’s GGUG on Wednesday night on Grails internals. It was a rare opportunity to see a presentation from the two people who have contributed most significantly to Grails. We had a half hour break after a full day at the conference and they spoke and took questions for an hour and a half. It made for a long day, but the audience clearly would have stayed for hours more.

So all in all it was a blast. London was a lot of fun, and Skills Matter put on a great conference. We could use a Skills Matter here in Boston 🙂

You can download the PDF slides and watch the video here. I wrote up a post here showing how to use the sample apps from the talk.

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