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Hi All,

Last night, we took a look at two exciting and upcoming technologies, Xtend and Xtext. It was a very interesting event and ran from 6.30 pm until 8.30 pm- there was a lot of great discussion so thanks to everyone that contributed to the night.

Xtend is a new programming language designed specifically for Java developers, whilst Xtext is an open-source framework for developing domain specific languages.

Here is the event page –

Some great feedback on there already, but if you have something else to say then please add it as a comment here –

The night kicked of with a few lightning talks from organisers and members of the London Java Community. First speaker was Matijn Verburg, who took to the stage to explain the benefits of adopting a JSR.

The other lightning talk was from Ged Byrne, who gave an excellent review of Ebin Hewitt’s book, Cassanda: the definitive guide.

We then moved on to our final presentation “Xtend and Xtext”, presented by Sven Efftinge and Sebastian Zarnekow.

The presentation showcased the two technologies very well and provoked a lot of debate. It’s very clear that Xtend and Xtext are going to have interesting futures in the world of software development.

Firstly, a massive thanks goes to Sven and Sebastian, who flew in all the way from Germany to give the presentation.

Big thanks also goes to both of our lightning talkers – there is a constant opportunity to get involved in these events – it’s a great way to escalate your profile which can lead to new opportunities and promotions, or just a way of sharing what you have learned with a group of enthusiastic developers. We can offer constructive feedback from experienced speakers so if you’re at all interested let me know.

Another big thank you to everyone that made it out last night. We are one of the most active Java User Groups in Europe and we’re keen to stay that way so if you have any feedback at all please let Barry or Martijn know.

We at RecWorks are proud to have been able to organise another event for the LJC. RecWorks is a specialist consultancy blending social networks and recruitment services to provide first class service to our clients. For a list of our latest jobs please see our jobs page here.

Finally, a big thanks goes to Skills Matter for hosting the event.

Here are a few words from SkillsMatter.

Skills Matter are very pleased to be able to continue to support the London Java Community. Follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag #javasm and see below for some upcoming Java related events we think you’ll love!

Progressive Java Tutorials (May 3-4, 2012)

The Progressive Java Tutorials will take place at Skills Matter over two days on May 3rd and May 4th! Experts including Jan Machacek, Tobias Ivarsson, Jon Jagger, Howard Lewis Ship, and Anirvan Chakraborty will be sharing the latest ideas and best practices in Java and Agile Development. To find out more, follow #progjava on Twitter or go here.

Scala Days (April 17-18, 2012)

Skills Matter and Typesafe are very excited to present Scala Days 2012, coming to London this April. Scala Days is the premier event for Scala enthusiasts, researchers, and practitioners. A central part of the Scala Days event will be the Third Scala Workshop, a forum to showcase and discuss a wide range of cutting-edge Scala research projects.

In addition to the Workshop, further Scala Days sessions will be devoted to technical talks, experience talks, and tool demonstrations, offering a comprehensive insight on all that is going on in the Scala world. We have also planned social lunches and an evening Scala Days Reception, which will offer further opportunities to meet and discuss with all the people that matter in the Scala world in a relaxed social context. To find out more, go here.

Once again, many thanks to all who came to the event.

See you at the next one!



Skills Matter is hosting the first annual NOSQL eXchange this November with 7 action-packed talks planned for a day featuring a mixture of vendors talking about what’s interesting and useful in their stores as well as members from the community who are using NOSQL on their projects. 

Speakers and subjects include a keynote Emil Eifrem, Ian Robinson on Neo4j, Dave Gardner on Cassandra, Brendan McAdams on MongoDB, Aleksa Vukotic on CouchDB, Russell Brown on Riak and Robert Rees on Polyglot Persistance.

Events coming up

This week there is the talk on ScalaZ by the London Scala user group and the Developer round table by the London Software Craftsmanship community.

Tonight (Monday 7th) I am running a games night to help people learn and explore kanban, lean and system thinking.  I am joined by Karl Scotland who is another experienced practitioner with experience of delivering agile and kanban practices to many organisations.  If you are new to kanban and the ideas behind it, then its a great opportunity to learn more in a practical way (no kanban experience required).  Many teams are starting to adopt kanban, so its a good time to learn.  If you have been using kanban for yourself or you team, then you can share your experience as you play the games and learn some ideas from others.

The LJC are running a Getting Started session on OSGi by Simon Maple (IBM) and Zoe Slatery (IBM) soon and you may want to read the blog post Martijn wrote on OSGi as a warm up.

From Martijn Verberg blog post – As OSGi matures as a technology for application developers and with Jigsaw also coming into the mix around Java 8, now is a good time to learn about modularisation technologies in the Java space.

For those of you who want to practice your test driven development skills, there is a code retreat on 12th March down in Winchester.  You will get a full day of TDD coding in a collaborative way and get to share ideas as a group.  If anyone wants the LJC to run another code retreat in London then why not suggest it as a meetup event.

If you want to practice your Clojure skills and learn more about functional programming, the March Clojure dojo (29th) is almost full, so sign up soon.

On Monday 14th I am running a workshop on distributed versus centralised version control, comparing git / mercurial / bazaar with subversion.  The workshop is mainly aimed at students and graduates, so if you know anyone who would benefit from this workshop, please let them know.

Full Circle magazine #46 is now out, full of useful guides and news on Ubuntu.  A special python programming edition has also been published to help get you started with the language.

Last week there was a major release of GlassFish Server 3.1.  This release extends the Java EE 6 Reference Implementation with new application development capabilities, centralised administration and high availability features.  Also including improved OSGi support for Java EE Applications, OSGi web console and Apache Felix 3.0.6 (Apache Gogo shell).  Another good feature is that when applications are re-deployed, GlassFish maintains HTTP session and EJB state, enabling rapid iterative development.  If you are new to Glassfish, also have a look at the community website.

Last week was also the first release (war) of Jenkins Continuous Integration server, since moving from the Oracle trademarked name Hudson.  There has been a flood of developer activity on GitHub and the project is looking very healthy.  There are also packages available for Ubuntu and Debian.  I’d be really interested in hearing from anyone else who has tried Jenkins CI, especially migrating from Hudson.

Summary of Last weeks events
There was a good sense of camaraderie and sharing of painful experiences as I discussed the frustration of working for a company with a Mafia-like culture.  It seems that there are still a great number of companies out there that have problems looking at the way they work, with everyone too busy getting on with today’s work (problems) without knowing if its really benefiting the organisation.  I had lots of questions in the pub afterwards and lots of feverish scribing during the talk, so I hope I imparted some useful survival tips and maybe the seeds of change. 

JAX London Preview night was a little wobbly, due to the fact we were on a boat on a busy Thames river.  I think the wavey nature of the boat added to the ambiance of the evening though.  There were two great talks that evening, one on event driven architecture with Comet and the other on lots of new things in spring 3.1 (features just released that day).  Everyone that braved the cold had a good evening and we were treated to drinks at the bar by the JAX London team (on Facebook now).  I had all the vitamins and minerals I needed for the rest of that week from the Guinness that was bought for me.  Thanks everyone.

I had my first book review published on after a lot of trial and error.  The book was on Inkscape, a really great example of open source software which can be used to create all sorts of graphic design work, from simple buttons and logos to complete web site designs.  The submission process is a bit fiddly and not quite so clearly documented as I’d like, so I wrote my own guide.  Thanks to Packt Publishing for supplying the Inkscape book.

If you have write-ups of any events, please let the list know or send them directly to me.
Thank you.

Skills Matter, our sponsor, is organising some exciting conferences in London, UK for the open source and agile developer community. They have offered LJC members 25% discount of the ticket price. To qualify for this special community discount, please email me for the discount code to use when registering, or see our mailing list.

Agile Specifications, BDD and Testing eXchange (1 day), London, UK, November 27th – for agile developers and testers

Featuring Dan North, Gojko Adzic, Liz Keogh, Janet Gregory, Antony Marcano, Andy Palmer, David Evans and two ParkBench Panel Discussions

Follow the event on #agiletestingx


Lean & Kanban eXchange (1 day), London, UK, December 1st – for project managers, IT Managers, agile developers, architects and anyone interested in Lean thinking

Featuring David J Anderson, David Laribee, David Joyce, Zi Makki, Benjamin Mitchell, Karl Scotland, Martine Devos and two ParkBench Panel Discussions

Follow the event on #kanbanexchange



Droidcon (1 day), London, UK, December 2nd – for android developers

Featuring Carl-Gustaf Harroch, Kevin McDonagh , Andreas Reuterberg, Alex Shaw, Akshay Dashrath, Gabor Paller, Martin Roth and two ParkBench Panel Discussions

Follow the event on #droidconlondon


RoR eXchange (1 day), London, December 3rd – for ruby on rails developers

Featuring Amy Hoy, Jason Davies, Frederic Cheung, Sven Fuchs, David Black, Andrew Chalkley and two ParkBench Panel Discussions

Follow the event on #rorexchange


Functional Programming eXchange (1 day), London, UK, December 7th – for functional programmers of all languages

Featuring Robert Pickering, Sadek Drobi, Matthew Sackman, Anton Schwaighofer, Ganesh Sittampalam, Miles Sabin, Duncan Coutts and two ParkBench Panel Discussions

Follow the event on #functionalpx


Groovy & Grails eXchange (2 days), London, UK, December 9th and 10th (only very few tickets left) – for groovy and grails developers

Featuring Russ Miles, Guillaume LaForge, Russel Winder, Hans Dockter, Burt Beckwith, Venkat Subramaniam, Dierk Koenig, Graeme Rocher, Peter Ledbrook, Tareq Abedrabbo, Sébastien Blanc, Tomas Lin and two ParkBench Panel Discussions

Follow the event on #groovygrailsx


Open Source in Finance eXchange (1 day), London, UK, December 15th – for JEE architects and developers of high performance, scalable systems in financial services

Featuring Alan Hardy, Rob Davies, Angelo Corsaro, David Vincent, Alex McGuire, Janne Valkealahti, Emma McGrattan and two ParkBench Panel Discussions

Follow the event on #opensourcefinx





What is the LJC

The London Java Community (LJC) is a group of Java Enthusiasts who are interested in benefiting from shared knowledge in the industry. Through our forum and regular meetings you can keep in touch with the latest industry developments, learn new Java (& other JVM) technologies, meet other developers, discuss technical/non technical issues and network further throughout the Java Community.