Events coming up

This evening (4th April) the London Software Craftsmanship community is running what should be a very lively event with some interesting people in the software development world, including 

Dan North – @tastapod – agile coach, troublemaker and originator of BDD
Chris Parsons – @chrismdp –  CEO of Eden Development – hold the Windsor code retreats
Ade Oshineye – @ade_oshineye – Developer Advocate at Googe
Dave Hoover – @redsquirrel – Chief Craftsman at Obtiva

The event topic is “How can craftsmanship move the industry forwards?” and I am looking forward to lots of interesting ideas and examples of how software craftsmanship practices and principles are used to make our work better and more meaningful.  Dont forget to sign up at SkillsMatter.

On Wednesday (6th April) Atlassian are running the London event of their round the world Road Trip.  Atlassian will be covering many ways they use their own tools to great effect (often referred to as eating your own dogfood), including Jira wall-boards, mock-ups and collaboration with Confluence, managing iterations with Greenhopper and anything else that can be squeezed in.  The event is oversubscribed, but you can get on a waiting list if you contact Atlassian.

London Geek Nights are running an Introduction to Lua on th 19th April.  Lua is a powerful, fast, lightweight, embeddable scripting language.  Lua combines simple procedural syntax with powerful data description constructs based on associative arrays and extensible semantics. Lua is dynamically typed, runs by interpreting bytecode for a register-based virtual machine and has automatic memory management with incremental garbage collection, making it ideal for configuration, scripting, and rapid prototyping.

Miles Sabin has just started Functional-Brighton for anybody interested in Scala, Clojure, Haskell, etc. No date for the first get together yet but more details on the web site.

This months London Clojure dojo is being rescheduled to avoid being in between the long bank holiday weekends we have coming up.  Are you aware that if you book 3 days holiday on the 26th, 27th and 28th of April you would have 11 days off work in a row!


Two new chapters are available for “Jenkins – The definitive guide” by John Smart.  So if you want to know more about continuous integration or how to get the most out of using Jenkins (formally Hudson) then this is a great resource.

Netbeans 7.0 RC1 is now available – it includes some Java 7 features such as Project Coin, maven 3, improvements for CDI and REST, HTML5 editing and Glassfish 3.1 support.

Ubuntu 11.04 beta has been released.  OMG Ubuntu has a review of Ubuntu 11.04 beta, giving a summary of many new features of the desktop.  I am using this as my main laptop OS now and find it very fast to use and so much quicker to work with.  The desktop now uses Unity gnome shell and Compiz to drive the default 3D desktop and this gives lots of handy keyboard shortcuts for launching and navigating your application windows.   As this is only a beta release, you may want to wait until the end of the month for the final release.

RichFaces 4 has been released, supporting JavaServer Faces (JSF) 2.  RichFaces 4 has extended several areas of JSF, including usability, performance tuning, dynamic resources, skinning, and component development – allowing developers to take advantage of all the productivity enhancements of JSF 2.  There is a showcase website for RichFaces if you want to see what it looks like.

Summary of Last weeks events

More fun and games occurred at the Clojure Coding dojo, where we were again treated to some lovely sandwiches and quiche courtesy of Thoughtworks.  The dojo problem was based on the Google AI challengeAnts.  Ants is an n-player simultaneous game where each player controls a set of ants on a discrete grid with a fog of war. The objective is to have the highest score at the end of the game, which consists of killing the most ants and trying to be the last remaining colony.  At it was quite a big problem to solve in one dojo, the teams decided which parts they wanted to work on.  My team decided to create the world and parse the commands that would come in over XMPP, using the defined Ants protocol.  We started off by defining a test and code for an empty world, then adding an ant and other artefacts such as food & water to the world and finally parsing sample examples of the ant protocol.  As we came to a good stopping point a few minutes before the end, we decided to document our functions so you could call (doc function-name) so other developers using our code could quickly see how to use the functions we defined.  We created our own fork of the project and uploaded our project to github.

The London Clojure dojo repositories are all available via github.

I hope to get across all the things I have learnt about Clojure in my JAX London talk next week – “Getting started with Clojure”.  If you want to go to JAX London, dont forget the 30% discount available for LJC members: JAXCVW. There is also the free JAX community evening on Tuesday 12th.

If you have write-ups of any events, please send them to the mailing list know or send the links to me and I will include it in these updates.