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Conferences: Devoxx 2009

So, last week I bought a couple of books, a train ticket, and headed south to Antwerp. At this time of year, the sky over Antwerp in Belgium has the same kind of shade of post-apocalyptic sci-fi gray like the sky over Hamburg in Germany, so I didn't go there for a boost of my vitamin D levels. Instead, I went there to spend a few days in a cinema complex, with very comfortable chairs, interesting talks and curious Java developers - the yearly Devoxx conference.

As I didn't have a presentation scheduled myself, I could sit back and enjoy the sessions. On the first day of Devoxx, I saw Mark Reinhold's fun JDK 7 talk, with the simple closures moment, which a few hours later led to a packed JDK 7 BoF. Squeezed between the two was Joe Darcy's nice presentation on the small language changes in Project Coin. I saw James Gosling's session as well, which had an entertaining run through the complexities of dealing with legal & tax codes on the world.

On the second day, I enjoyed Michael Kaye's race through the different XML handling options in Java, before I went to see Mark Reinhold talk on Jigsaw. Completing the day was a Jigsaw BoF in the evening. There were a couple interesting questions in the BoF about distributed publication, discovery & provisioning of modules, advantages of virtuals, and similar advanced concepts.

Finally, on the third day I went to see Alex Buckley talk about the Da Vinci VM, invokedynamic and all that really fascinating low level stuff, before jumping on a train back home.

As usual, the hallway track was what kept me from visiting more talks - conversations with Frederic Simon, Stephen Colebourne, Bruno Souza, Aaron Houston, and many others kept the flow of Devoxx running, where each break between sessions is an opportunity to break out to a new conversation with old & new friends. And like every year I went to Devoxx, it was a great experience.