J and I and Me
  Dependency Injection Is More Than Wiring Components
Dependency Injection is widely used nowadays. However, at least in the Java EE space this is narrowed down to "wiring components". I think configuring beans and injecting simple types is at least as important. The alternative is to read in configuration properties from files. Here is why I think DI is the much better approach for that:

Of course this is not apparent during a short demo - but in real life DI for these kinds of applications it is a huge advantage.

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  Private or Public Cloud ?
Currently Cloud is to a lot of people synonymous to "Public Cloud" i.e. some company provides virtual machines or a platform to deploy applications on. Examples are Amazon AWS/EC2, Rackspace, Terremark, Google AppEngine, force.com, vmforce etc. But an enterprise can also build its own Private Cloud. Companies like VMware offer all the infrastructure you need - and there are Open Source offering like Eucalyptus or OpenStack. Which route should you take?

Public Cloud Advantages

Private Cloud Advantages

Maybe the truth is in the middle: Only for high load you might want to offload work to the Public Cloud. But then you would need a common API for the Public and Private Cloud. Also the Public Cloud would need the same access to data as the Private Cloud - which is doable but might not be trivial. And you would still get different latency.

But: Cloud is in its core a business model. Instead of investing in infrastructure you just rent it - which drives down capital expenditure. This can only really be achieved in a Public Cloud because only then you don't own the infrastructure. Also a Private Cloud can only offer as many ressources as you have purchased.

More applications and data than you think might end in the Public Cloud. The most sensitive business data of quite a few companies are in Salesforce already. If important data cloud not be in the Cloud Salesforce would been doomed - but the reality is that they are very successful.

PS: I would like to hear your opinion. In particular if you are interested to give a talk about "How and why we built a Private Cloud successfully" I would like to hear from you!

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  Book Review: 7 Languages in 7 Weeks (Bruce Tate)
I haven't done a book review in quite a while - so I thought it might be time to do one again. I have chosen Bruce Tate's "7 Languages in 7 Weeks". Bruce has written several books before that I found pretty interesting like "Bitter EJB" or "Better, Faster, Lighter Java".

I believe learning programming languages is a good way to improve as a Software Engineer - and it is one of the recommendation from "The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master" by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. Even if you don't use the language in your everyday work you will get a different perspective on software development and learn new idioms.

In particular if you are used to Java it might be worth investigating a few new languages - especially those that run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Bruce covers the following languages:

For each language there is an introduction and three sections explaining the concepts. The final section wraps up what has been learned and shows strength and weaknesses. All of the material is pretty hands on. I found the best way to use the book is to read it while sitting at the computer so that you can immediately try out what the book talks about. Actually I bought the eBook. So I have the PDF open while I can type in stuff in another window. The book also contains some small exercises for self-study.

The book is very helpful to get started in the languages. The exercises are simple and give you an achievable goal to work towards. It is easily possible to work through the book in much less than 7 weeks - which is a good thing. The exercises are probably good for one or two hours each. The choice of languages is good: Some more academic ones like Prolog or Haskell, some that are currently hyped like Scala and Clojure. I was surprised to see Io on the list and I think JavaScript would have been a better choice, in particular with the Node.js framework. Also I am missing pointers for a deeper dive. Also frameworks like Lift for Scala or Rails for Ruby might have been worth mentioning. A language always comes with a set of tools and frameworks. So looking at the language in isolation is a good start but then you need to care about the other parts as well. So maybe that is beyond the scope of this book.

Bottom line: This is a great, very hands-on book that I would highly recommend if you want to see what is currently going on in the programming language space or if you are just curious and want to broaden your horizon.

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  Preview: JAX 2011
The annual JAX conference in Mainz is the main event for Germany's Java scene. For JAX 2011 I had the pleasure to organize the Spring Day again. The schedule contains:

There will also be a basic Powerworkshop about Spring. This time I decided to do it based on Spring Roo which in my opinion is a great way to create Spring applications quickly. Also there will be an Advanced Spring Powerworkshop during which I will talk about advanced topics such as Patterns, architecture, migration to Spring etc.

During the conference I will also do a presentation about AMQP and RabbitMQ for Java developers and a presentation about Java PaaS.

Last but not least: We are planning a panel about the next decade in the Java world with Lothar Wieske and Stefan Tilkov. I am looking forward to this and I hope we will have some interesting discussions there. If there is anything you think we should be talking about I would be more than happy to hear about it!

So JAX 2011 will be quite a packed conference for me. But I am sure it will be a very nice conference again and I am looking forward to meet as many of you there as possible!

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Eberhard Wolff
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