[Promo]Explore something new this Columbus Day with Packt’s biggest ever sale

Packt Publishing is giving everyone the chance to explore its full range of over 1600 DRM-free eBooks this Columbus Day at a massive 50% off at www.packtpub.com, for 4 whole days. Customers simply use the code COL50 in their cart – as many times as they like until Monday October 21st. The offer even extends to Packt’s bestselling pre-order of 2013, the highly acclaimed Mastering Web Application Development with AngularJS.

But that’s not all – to mark the transition out of beta stage, the publisher will also be including its Packt Video product range in this limited offer. These practical screencast tutorials give users the working knowledge they need to get the job done, and all videos will be featured in the Columbus Day sale at 50% off – that includes the hugely popular Kali Linux – Backtrack Evolved: A Penetration Tester’s Guide.

The exclusive 50% discount code COL50 will be active on all eBooks and Videos until Monday October 21st.

Highlights at the Great Indian Developer Summit 2012

Here are the highlights of the Great Indian Developer Summit 2012:

  • More focus on HTML5, shift in the notion of Javascript as a merely client side programming language.
  • Mobile platform getting a greater share of developer attention and companies like RIM (Blackberry), Microsoft, Nokia, Google going a step ahead to build developer communities. RIM lured in developers by giving away free Playbooks to all its participants at their workshop. ( I know a lost chance for me, but as usual Grapes are Sour).
  • Leveraging HTML5 to build mobile compatible websites.
  • Focus on Functional style of programming and mainly on the ones like Scala, Clojure which run on JVM. Alternate JVM languages getting a wide attention.
  • People talking about Java 7 and also about Java 8.
  • Focus on Cloud computing with the likes of Java EE providing cloud support in Java EE 7 and onwards.

Few observations:

  • 90% of the participants where attending the talks by Venkat Subramaniam or Scott Davis. So you can guess the number of participants in the other 4 halls.
  • 90% of the participants (of course the same people above) were spellbound by Venkat’s and Scott’s presentation and they say they would return only for them.
  • I feel sad to say that #gids was never trending in India. This shows that not all developers are twitter savvy or not all have realised the potential of twitter.
  • People still dont know how to tweet or how to use twitter.
  • Expo stalls are useless, people visit only to get their expo cards stamped. And the exhibitors are happy to oblige. This has been the situation right from the 1st edition. Expo stalls should be more active, give out goodies and so on. I know RIM gave away Playbooks for porting applications.
  • RIM has been clearing its Playbook stock by giving them away for FREE for workshop participants, for twitter contest winners. I know one guy getting 2 Playbooks.
  • I missed a chance to get a FREE Playbook. And I this would linger at the back of my heart for a few days.
  • Being geek is one part, being a good presenter is another. So one cannot guarantee the other.
  • Lot of active participation this year than any of the previous years.

Overview of the Java sessions at the Great Indian Dev Summit-2012

There was a lot to learn at the Java sessions of the GIDS 2012 with topics covering Java 7, Java 8, Concurrency in Java using STM model, Java EE 7 and its various JSRs, Scala, JavaScript among other topics. And not to forget a beautiful key note by Venkat Subramaniam about the need for developers to be familiar with multiple languages and how one can go forward in shaping their careers. The key-note, Java 7 session were very much similar to the one at GIDS 2011, but redundancy helps in learning better.

  • Each of the sessions were filled with technical content and lot of things to be learnt. I got an early peak into the Lambda expressions to be introduced in Java 8 and whole lot of other features to accompany that release. Also there was a quick walk through of Java 7 features.
  • The concurrency in Java session showed as to why the current concurrency model in Java is aptly called as synchronize and suffer model. We were shown how the Software Transactional Memory model of  Clojure could be made use of in Java as well.
  • We as Java developers dont spend much time writing  JavaScript and more so people working with component frameworks like JSF, ADF would spend even less time. During the session about JavaScript, there was a face-off between Java and JavaScript and how they are familiar and different.
  • There was a really good session on Scala by Venkat Subramaniam which stretched beyond the allotted 45 minutes into about 90 minutes. He covered concepts such as Tail Recursion, Traits, Val-Var, Classes and so on. I really appreciate the effort he put in and the dedication he showed in conveying and covering the concepts he intended to during the session which involved stretching out of the allotted time.
  • I by chance happened to sit in a session on creating RESTful WebService using JAX-RS and the new features in JAX-RS 2.0, though there was lot discussed, my eyes were paining seeing at the amount of code one had to write to create and consume the RESTful webservice. But for people of JavaEE stack that shouldn’t be much of concern.
  • Interesting to see lot of Goldman Sachs employees turning up at the GIDS 2012 and being present in their Expo booths. Also go to know about a Collection library developed by Goldman Sachs for their internal use which now they have open sourced. I have a copy of their source-code, binaries and some material which I would go through in the coming days and see if I can share some of my findings here. So looks like they are trying to build and sustain a good technical expertise inhouse.

So stuffs to try out:

  • Goldman Sachs Collections API
  • JavaScript and BackBone.js framework
  • Lambda expressions in Java 8
  • HTML 5 features

Birds Eyeview of Web track at the GIDS 2012

The main focus of the day was the emergence or in otherwords out growth of mobile devices over desktop/laptop in the Q4 of 2010. And also the importance of making the applications mobile compatible. With the advent of HTML5 and lot of browsers including mobile browsers providing support for these features, it gives much more power to the developers in creating rich applications for mobile and desktop browsers.

No wonder why lot of the sessions lined up focussed on HTML5 and Javascript. With HTML5, there’s lot more dependence on Javascript, because a lot of features like Application cache, Local storage, Location aware and others are driven by Javascript. And most of these sessions were by the best of the speakers- Scott Davis and Venkat Subramaniam. There’s not a better way to start the conference day than by attending Scott Davis talk. Just a brief summarisation of the talks:

  • A birds eyeview of HTML 5 features namely- Application cache and Local Storage. Local storage allows developers to store the client data in a key-value pairs (like NoSQL) and provides upto 5MB of storage which is much more than the cookies which provided 4KB. Application cache provides support for caching web content on the client, so your images, css, javascript can be cached. This is done by defining a manifest file and referring to it in the html. The good thing is that there’s no cap on the application cache size.
  • JavaScript from a different perspective- I always under estimad the power of JavaScript, never took it up for learning and the only way I got around it was by searching on the web for solutions and copying the code. But Venkat in his talk says- JavaScript is often misunderstood because of- the term ‘Java’ it carries with its name and because of the bad code available on the internet. Functional and Prototypal features of the language were demonstrated during the session.
  • Improving the page load times by using PageSpeed service. Interesting facts as to where the web page takes time to load were shared along with possible optimisations. I remember using PageSpeed to check the page load times for my blog, but I need to explore the PageSpeed service which does the optimisations on the fly.
  • Got to know about Backbone.js which is a JavaScript based web framework. Its a component based, asynchronous and client side MVC based web framework which supports creating single page web applications. The main idea behind single page is that the multiple pages are replaced by individual divs on the single page. And instead of controllers it has an concept called routers which route the requests to corresponding functions/callbacks. Lot of the concepts learnt in the JavaScript talk earlier were useful.

Now coming to the expo booths-

  • None of them had anything useful to share about the product there were displaying except for SafeNet,where the person in the booth explained exactly what the product does and was in a position to answer the queries.
  • ThoughtWorks were giving out ThoughtWorks Radar and the people in the booth were from the recruitment team, but I thought they should have got a developer or two there who could explain as to how Radar is prepared or may be talk a bit or two about few upcoming technologies or the technologies they are working on.
  • The funniest stall was the JetBrains where I guess the person was from the sales/marketing team and had no clue as to how JetBrains is better than Eclipse or Netbeans. I asked him few questions about the features in JetBrains and all he had to say was, please ask your company to get in touch with us, we will provide them live demo from US and before that talk about the purchase plan of your company. Now does that impress hundreds of developers who visit the stall?

Lot to explore tomorrow and the day after. Stay tuned for more updates here.

6th Annual Open Source Awards (2011) – Packt Publishing

Open Source has gained a lot of momentum over the past few years. I have seen it grown in popularity and the number of applications available and the growth of communities around it. Being a Sun Campus Ambassador which played a pivotal role in contributing to Open Source community, I was exposed to the Open source early on. And these days we have seen companies like Facebook, Twitter, SpringSource among others contributing to the open source community. Also there are lot of conferences (foss.in, 2011.osidays.com) being organized around these technologies. There are languages (Groovy, Scala, Ruby, JRuby), frameworks (Rails, Grails,Lift) which are growing in their feature set and popularity.

Another such initiative towards helping the open source communities grow and thrive is the Open Source Awards organized annually by Packt Publishing. The 2011 Open Source Awards was launched on the 1st week of August by Packt, inviting people to visit www.PacktPub.com and submit nominations for their favorite Open Source project.

The 2011 Awards will feature a prize fund of $24,000 with several new categories introduced and the vote of the public becoming more influential. This year all CMS projects will compete in an even tighter contest in the Open Source CMS Award category with the now defunct Hall of Fame CMS finalists re-entered into the CMS category. Projects such as Drupal and Joomla! will face off with CMS Made Simple and MODx for the first time since 2008.

While the Most Promising Open Source Project and the Open Source JavaScript Libraries categories will be back for a second year, Packt is introducing new categories for Open Source Business Applications, Open Source Multimedia Software and Open Source Mobile Toolkit and Libraries. These new categories will ensure that the Open Source Awards remain committed to providing the platform to recognise excellence within the community while supporting Open Source projects both new and old.

Packt has opened up nominations for people to submit their favorite Open Source projects for each category at www.PacktPub.com/open-source-awards-home . The top five in each category will go through to the final, which begins mid-September. For more information on the categories, read Packt’s recent announcement: www.packtpub.com/blog/2011-open-source-awards-announcement.

Voting beings from September 19th and goes on till October 31st 2011. So vote to see your favorite open source project winning. And what more you can get lucky to win a Kindle!

Web conferences at Great Indian Developer Summit 2011

My first day at the Great Indian Developer Summit 2011 was the Web conferences where in major presentations I attended were all about HTML5, RDFa, Microformats, jQuery and JavaScript. There was a PlayBook related key-note, the sad part of that key-note was that though the speaker had the PlayBook in his hand he didnt bother to show it to the audience. I have briefly listed the topics covered in the sessions I attended. Continue reading “Web conferences at Great Indian Developer Summit 2011”

Sessions looking forward to at GIDS-2011

This is the 4th time I would be attending Great Indian Developer Summit- GIDS and for the information- have attended it all the times since its inception. So does that become a kind of record? 😛 GIDS-2008, GIDS-2009 and then GIDS-2010 (Wasnt able to blog about 2010 as I was busy with other works and wasn’t able to attend the sessions properly). As usual I have registered for the Java, Web and Workshop sessions of GIDS-2011 and looking forward for another exciting days of learning. So I thought why not list down the sessions I am looking forward to:

GIDS.Web Sessions:

GIDS.Java Sessions:

GIDS.Workshop Sessions:

Overall looks like an interesting GIDS 🙂 Stay tuned for more posts on GIDS-2011.