Tuesday, July 28, 2009

JVM Language Summit Call for Participation

I should have blogged this sooner, but things have been a little...crazy...lately.

The JVM Languages Summit is coming up for its second year. The event last year was spectacular; representatives of all the major languages and several minor ones showed up and talked about their plans, their history, and their desires from the JVM. And JVM engineers from the three major vendors (Sun, IBM, Oracle) sat there and dutifully took notes. It was a great meeting of minds, and an incredibly uplifting event for those of us invested in the JVM.

It's also not just an event for implementers; if you're keen on the nitty-gritty details of JVM languages and want to help improve them, promote them, or otherwise relate to them in some way, you should be here.

Hope to see you at the Summit!



Dear colleague;

We are pleased to announce the the 2009 JVM Language Summit to be held at Sun's Santa Clara campus on September 16-18, 2009. Registration is now open for speaker submissions (presentations and workshops) and general attendance.

The JVM Language Summit is an open technical collaboration among language designers, compiler writers, tool builders, runtime engineers, and VM architects. We will share our experiences as creators of programming languages for the JVM and of the JVM itself. We also welcome non-JVM developers on similar technologies to attend or speak on their runtime, VM, or language of choice.

The format this year will be slightly different from last year. Attendees told us that the most successful interactions came from small discussion groups rather than prepared lectures, so we've divided the schedule equally between traditional presentations (we're limiting most presentations to 30 minutes this year) and "Workshops". Workshops are informal, facilitated discussion groups among smaller, self-selected participants, and should enable "deeper dives" into the subject matter. There will also be impromptu "lightning talks".

We encourage speakers to submit both a presentation and a workshop; we will arrange to schedule the presentation before the workshop, so that the presentation can spark people's interest and the workshop will allow those who are really interested to go deeper into the subject area. Workshop facilitators may, but are not expected to, prepare presentation materials, but they should come prepared to guide a deep technical discussion.

The Summit is being organized by the JVM Engineering team; no managers or marketers involved! So bring your slide rules and be prepared for some seriously geeky discussions.

The registration page is now open at:


If you have any questions, send inquiries to inquire@jvmlangsummit.com.

We hope to see you in September!

Monday, July 27, 2009

JRuby's Importance to Ruby, and eRubyCon 2009

I'm going to be speaking about JRuby again this year at eRubyCon, in Columbus OH. I just got back from Rails Underground, which reminded me how much I love the smaller regional Ruby conferences. So I'm totally pumped to go to eRubyCon this year.

The idea of "Enterprise Ruby" has become less repellant since Dave Thomas's infamous keynote at RalsConf 2006. There are a lot of large, lumbering organizations out there that have yet to adopt any of the newer agile language/framework combinations, and Rails has most definitely led the way. I personally believe that in order for Ruby to become more than just a nice language with a great community, it needs to gain adoption in those organizations, and it needs to do it damn quickly. JRuby is by far the best way for that to happen.

There's another aspect to adoption I think has escaped a lot of Rubyists. In 2006 and 2007, Ruby gained a lot of Java developers who were running away from bloated, over-complicated frameworks and the verbosity and inelegance of Java. When I asked at Ruby conferences in 2005, 2006, and 2007 how many people had done Java development in a former life, almost everyone in the room raised their hands. When I've asked the same question in 2008 and 2009, it's down to less than half the room. Where did they go?

The truth is that the Java platform now has reasonably good answers to Ruby in Groovy, Scala, and Clojure, and reasonably good answers to Rails in Grails and Lift. And yet many Rubyists don't realize how important it is for JRuby to continue doing well, many still seeing it as simply "nice to have" while dismissing the entirety of the Java platform as unimportant to Ruby's future. It's an absurd position, but I blame myself for not making this case sooner.

I believe that JRuby is the most crucial technology for Ruby's future right now. Regardless of how fast or how solid the C or C++ based Ruby implementations get, the vast majority of large organizations are *never* going to run them. That's the truth. If we can leverage JRuby to grab 1-2% of the Java market, we'll *double* the size of the Ruby community. If we completely lose the Java platform to alternatives, Rubyists may not have the luxury of remaining Rubyists in the future. It's that big a deal.

So I hope you'll come by eRubyCon and hear what we've been working on in JRuby and what we have planned for the future, especially our work on making JRuby a stronger JVM citizen. I'm certain to expand on the Hibernate-based prototype code I showed at Rails Underground, and hope to have some additional, never-before-seen demonstrations that will shock and amaze you. And if there's time, I'll demonstrate my two research pets, the "Ruby Mutant" twins Duby and Juby.

See you there!