Thursday, October 1, 2009

Alternative languages for the JVM @ OpenWorldForum Paris

Today, a was kindly invited by Alexis Moussine - Pouchkine to be the Scala advocate in a roundtable about alternative languages on the JVM, during a session about the Futur of Java in Open World Forum meeting in Paris.

The sessions was brief (3 parts of about 30 minutes), and in my feeling a bit outside the main topic of OpenWorldForum which was more about open source at a strategic an politic level, but (surprisingly for me) our room was quite crowd, with interested people.

Alexis gave the first presentation about the state of Java and OpenJDK, and final presentation,  about forthcoming JavaEE 6. As always, I really liked to hear and see Alexis make the show, his presentations were really good, and he defenitly deserve his "JavaEE and Glashfish Evangelist" title.

The roundtable begun with a presentation from St├ęphane Fermigier of the way accomplished by Java and the JVM as a platform for other language since it's first release back in 1996.
Afterwards, Guillaume Laforge (of course for Groovy) and I (for Scala) talked about our prefered language, the "welcomeness" of the JVM plateform, the always funny debate about dynamically and statically typed languages, and the fact that we seem to be going to a world of "polyglotism", where multiple languages would cooperate on top of a highly industrialized, robust and efficient VM, and be selected for their adequacy to the task to accomplish - all that things mixed up with attendees questions. 

And then, even if we went past the given 30 minutes (well, actually, even went past the 40 minutes...) it was already time to stop.

It was a really pleasant meeting, and I'm really happy to see that Groovy is now a first class citizen in the Java world, that Scala is beyond the status of new intriguing thing and becomes to be evaluated in different places, and that we can say "functional programming" elsewhere than in an University or some strange startup without being looked as a dangerous, non business compliant hacker.

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