Sunday, November 25, 2012

Στον πλανήτη Δία...(Planet of Zeus Live @ Gagarin 205)

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Θα χρησιμοποιήσω μια μάλλον μετά μοντέρνα λαϊκή έκφραση. ΤΙ ΝΑ ΛΕΜΕ ΤΩΡΑ!!! To χθεσινό live των Planet of Zeus,  επίσημα η αγαπημένη μου ελληνική heavy rock/metal/stoner μπάντα, στο Gagarin205 τα είχε όλα. Sold out (παίζει να ήμουν από τους τελευταίους που αγόρασα εισιτήρια για μένα και τον Κώστα (bff), απίστευτο ήχο, εξαιρετικό track list, δύναμη, ρυθμό και ατμόσφαιρα δυναμίτη. Αν δεν τους έχετε ακούσει, τότε πραγματικά δώστε τους λίγο χρόνο, το αξίζουν γιατί δουλεύουν σκληρά, έχουν επίπεδο και επιμονή που θυμίζει ποιότητα μπάντας από το εξωτερικό και πραγματικά νομίζω μπορούν να γίνουν άνετα εξαγώγιμο προϊόν! 

Το κατά ευχαριστήθηκα και φυσικά γιατί μοιράστηκα ακόμα ένα live  με έναν απο τους 2  καλύτερους μου φίλους...και έναν άλλον νοητά που είναι λιγο πιο μακριά. Ηλία we miss u \m/\m/.

Πάντα τέτοια...φιλάκια απ' τον πλανήτη Δία!


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TedxAthens12... mini review...Ι guess I missed the doers...

Το ξέρω ότι εδώ και πολλά χρόνια έχω αποκτήσει μια κάποια φήμη για έντονες απόψεις και σχετική κριτική σε αυτό εδώ το blog. Υπάρχουν κάποιοι αναγνώστες που τους αρέσει υπάρχουν και φανατικοί αλλά σταθεροί hater χαχα, τους οποίους τιμώ αντίστοιχα.

Το σκέφτηκα αρκετά αν θα γράψω 2 λόγια για την χθεσινή μέρα. Στην αρχή είπα όχι γιατί δεν έχω όρεξη να δημιουργήσω κανένα flame ή να νιώσουν κάποιες διαδικτυακές περσόνες άσχημα...ή ακόμα και άνθρωποι που μπορεί να ξέρω. Καθώς κατά τις 6 το απόγευμα (γιατί δεν άντεξα παραπάνω) μπήκα στο ταξί να γυρίσω πίσω, θυμήθηκα τι είχα γράψει την περασμένη χρονιά. Και μόνο το γεγονός ότι κατέγραψα τόσα πολλά για το event τότε, ενώ τώρα δεν μπορώ να βρω και τίποτα το ιδιαίτερο με έκανε να προβληματιστώ. 

Επί της ουσίας και καθαρά προσωπική άποψη (παιδιά δεν είμαι η απόλυτη αλήθεια) το TedXAthens12 ήταν content wise μια πολύ μέτρια ως κακή προσπάθεια. Από ένα σύνολο Χ παρουσιάσεων που είδα μέχρι τις 6, 1-2 άντε να με κράτησαν. Μετά έχασα το ενδιαφέρον και ένιωσα μια κάποια κούραση να ακούω γενικές αερολογίες και πράγματα τα οποία ήξερα -προσπαθούσα με δυσκολία να βρω το Do..σε μερικές παρουσίες οι οποίες πραγματικά με άφηναν όχι μόνο δυσαρεστημένο αλλά και εκνευρισμένο  πχ κι εμείς σπουδάσαμε , κι εμείς δουλεύουμε..πχ λέω εγώ τώρα χαχαχα.

Ίσως έτσι να αδίκησα και 1-2 ομιλητές που θα μιλούσαν αργότερα, με το να αποχωρήσω λίγο μετά την μέση, αλλά προσωπικά ένιωθα ότι δεν τράβαγε η ομάδα.

Όπως και πέρσι είχα παρατηρήσει ( + άλλοι), το event πρέπει να γίνει μικρότερο, 8-11 είναι brain wash και ίσως αν βγάζανε τις μέτριες ως κακές παρουσίες και επέλεγαν να κρατήσουν τις πραγματικά ουσιαστικές, να μην ένιωθα σαν απλός θεατής βαρεμάρα κι κούραση. Επαναλαμβάνω,  προσωπική άποψη.

Απο θέμα οργάνωσης τα πράγματα ηταν στο άλλο άκρο, δηλαδή εξαιρετικά. Ωραίος χώρος, αρκετοί χορηγοί, πλούσια give aways (ίσως το φαγητό κατώτερο σε σχέση με το 2011) αλλά δεν θα κολλήσουμε εκεί.

Νομίζω ότι για να μην γίνει  ένα εντελώς marketing parade το οποίο ουσιαστικά έφτασε γρήγορα στα όρια που το marketing και το hype ξεπέρασε τον πραγματικό στόχο αλλά και trending της σημασίας των TED talks - θα πρέπει οι διοργανωτές να δώσουν μεγαλη προσοχή στο content  και στην ουσία.

1-2 πράγματα θα κρατήσω από την χθεσινή  μέρα, τα απλά και ανθρώπινα πράγματα της ομιλίας του Ματθαίου Γιωσαφάτ, έναν πιτσιρικά που έφιαξε έναν εξωσκελετό για να βοηθήσει την γιαγια του με προβλήματα κίνησης (missing link κάποιος),  το ότι συνάντησα και αντάλλαξα 2 κουβέντες με κάποιους καλούς internet- ίκους φίλους από τα παλιά (dealsend, Freddos, sotomi, MaryLoy) είχα την ευκαιρία να συναντήσω έναν από τους αγαπημένους μου τα τελευταία χρόνια  blogger τον Θ. Γεωργακόπουλο και να δηλώσω fan από κοντά!

Και του χρόνου καλύτερα... με μια φόρμα event που θα σου αφήνει το ίδιο inspiration  που πέτυχε το 2011.

ps) Μια τελευταία σκέψη, φοβάμαι ότι το πρόβλημα μας στην Ελλάδα είναι ότι δεν έχουμε αρκετούς Doers (δεν βγάζω τον εαυτό μου απέξω από την εξίσωση), Μιλάμε αρκετά αλλά δεν κάνουμε αρκετά..εκτός και αν φέτος στο tedX δεν βρήκαν αρκετούς real do-ers .

ps) δεν είναι πρόθεση μου να ξεκινήσω flame!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Taming...the eu chemicals

Despite the fact that many times I have hinted several stuff about my day to day work, I rarely blog about my 4 almost 5 years engangement with the ...chemicals industry of Europe. There was this moment that I did a small career change and I really thought that I would say goodbye to a project that I consider similar to a living organism which has parts of me (among other people), still breathing and kicking. Difficult thing to do, I get emotional and very proud of my work and all the passion I put in a project, an emotional investment similar to the one you put in people. This is how I feel.

The name of the project is REACH-IT, most of the EU - Citizens, everyday people, do not really know it and most probably never will, but in an extend it safeguards a very important sector, the creation, handling and import/export of chemicals within the EU. In law terms it is considered as one of the most complex regulations ever passed in the EU parliament and applied in the EU country members, and I can tell you for sure...it is a complex but elegant beast!But i love it sooo much!

My personal involvement was, is and most probably will be in the area of Business Process Modelling. Processes ..taming the regulation, orchestration of things to do, making a system that will coordinate this huge regulatory business logic- that every company dealing with chemicals is actually interfacing with it.

It was a great match for me, most probably very close to my love on control and keeping things in order, in straight lines (that has some side effects in life though haha). Tried several stuff through the  development phase, tried some engines, evaluated some others, learned more about different ways on expressing and implementing business processes - the pragmatic way! I should do a small talk about this actually, - 'the pragmatic business process modelling and implementation', in a world full of technologies and software packages that promise everything and give you nothing!The human factor is also an important one. The BPM way on building a system is very critical on the 'quality' of people using it and applying it.

For the time being, I have to say once more goodbye, but this is most probably a happy one and most probably not a 'hard' one. In a month or so, I will be 'transferred'  to a new battle ground using my experience..to tame..some more procedures, some more processes, something that I still love doing, bringing order and clean lines to fuzzy business logic! 

I think I am still in love with what I am doing...and I guess this is a good thing!

:)

*ps) lots of sudden changes lately.. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

εγώ παιδιά είχα ορθογραφία...

10 περίπου άνδρες, μεγάλοι, μικροί, εκκολαπτόμενοι σε έναν κύκλο, με ανάσες βαριές και ιδρώτα να τρέχει στο πρόσωπο τους. Με σημάδια από την πίεση, την δύναμη και την ορμή που χτυπάει το ένα σώμα το άλλο, όταν παλεύουν. Κάθε ένας και μια ιστορία στα μάτια, στο πρόσωπο.

Ένας να σκέφτεται την δουλειά μετά, ένας άλλος την οικογένεια που τον περιμένει στο σπίτι και τις υποχρεώσεις. Ένας άλλος να σκέφτεται ένα λαμπερό χαμόγελο που ήρθε ξαφνικά, ένας άλλος σκέφτεται ταξίδια σε χώρες μακρινές.

Υπάρχει και ένας που το βλέμμα του σε διαπερνά, θέλει τόσα να σου πει και να μην σου πει,  καθώς ο κύκλος  από αυτά τα βλέμματα προσπαθεί να αποβάλλει την ένταση και τον πόνο από πριν. Οι ματιές διασταυρώνονται, και οι σκέψεις.

Ένας που πρέπει να συνεχίζει να παλεύει, που πρέπει να κάνει το πιο δύσκολο πράγμα στο κόσμο και το λέει με τόσο παράπονο. Που πρέπει να πάρει τα πράγματα στα χέρια του, να προστατεύσει το μέλλον του αλλά και να αποχαιρετήσει ....το παρελθόν. Δεν αντέχεις ουτε να το σκεφτείς, η έννοια του irreversible σε διαλύει, όπως το ένα σώμα πέφτει με ορμή πάνω σου και για 1 δευτερόλεπτο νιώθεις την δύναμη και την πτώση σε κάθε σου κύτταρο ,αλλά δεν μπορείς να κάνεις κάτι, απλά πέφτεις.

Είναι και ένας μικρός...ο οποίος μέσα στην αθωότητα του φωνάζει μέσα στην σιωπή, εγώ παιδιά ...είχα ορθογραφία όλη την ημέρα και ήταν δύσκολα.

Ένας κύκλος από βλέμματα και συναισθήματα που σου θυμίζει το πόσο μικρός είσαι μπροστά στα καμώματα της ζωής.

Ίσως περισσότερη αγάπη και συναισθήματα να είναι η απάντηση...γιατί το βλέμμα εκείνο με το παράπονο δεν μπορώ να το ξεπεράσω.





Χρόνια πολλά World Community Grid- δώρησε κι εσύ λίγο από την υπολογιστική σου ισχύ για καλό σκοπό.

Στην εποχή που ζούμε η επιστήμη κάνει σοβαρά και δύσκολα βήματα μπροστά για να λύσει πολλά από τα προβλήματα της ανθρωπότητας, αρρώστιες, τεχνικές δυσκολίες, έρευνα σε μια ευρεία γκάμα πεδίων. 

Η επιστήμονες ανά τον κόσμο έχουν ανάγκη την δική μας βοήθεια όσο ποτέ άλλωτε. Όσο η πολυπλοκότητα των προβλημάτων που μελετάμε ή η δυσκολία μεγαλώνει, τόσο χρειάζοντε ένα χέρι βοήθειας για να λύσουν τον κάθε γρίφο.

Κάθεσα μπροστά από τον πανίσχυρο ηλεκτρονικό σου υπολογιστή, διαβάζωντας αυτό το blog, βλέπωντας ειδησεις, ακους μουσική και βλέπεις ταινίες.. δουλεύεις. Σου έχει περάσει από το μυαλό ότι μπορείς κι εσυ να βοηθήσεις έναν επιστήμονα ή μια ομάδα στην άλλη άκρη του κόσμου, που πολεμάει να αποκρυπτογραφήσει το πρόβλημα του καρκίνου, να συνθέσει νέα φάρμακα για ασθένειες, να ανακαλυψει νέα υλικά που θα χρησιμοποιοηθούν στην καθημερινότητα μας, να βρει λύσεις για ασθένειες που ακόμα δεν έχουμε φάρμακο και μαστίζουν χώρες του τρίτου κόσμου. 

Μπορούμε να κάνουμε πολλά πράγματα σίγουρα, αλλά είναι μια καλή αρχή να γίνεις και εσύ μέλος στο πρόγραμμα World Community Grid, να εγκαταστήσεις ευκολα τον αντίστοιχο screensaver και να δωρήσεις όσο μπορείς λίγο από την τεράστια υπολογιστή δύναμη που έχεις μπροστά σου, σε όποιο ερευνητικό πρόγραμμα εσύ πιστεύεις ή σε όλα, ακόμα καλύτερα. Είναι τόσο εύκολο, δεν θα σου κοστίσει τίποτα και όμως είναι μια πολύ καλή αρχή. 

Το world community grid έγινε 8 χρόνων και βοηθάει με εκατομμύρια CPU cycles πολλά ερευνητικά προγράμματα ανά τον κόσμο. Αυτό το post είναι 'εορταστικό' και μια προσπάθεια εμείς τα μέλη να φέρουμε και άλλους contributors.

Αν έστω και ένας διαβάει αυτό το post και γίνει μέλος..θα είναι μια τεράστια επιτυχία! Σας περιμένω λοιπόν .... sharing (your cpu) is caring. Είναι μόλις μερικά κλικ μακριά!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Devoxx 2012 - Conderence Day Two - review and Devoxx 2012 Recap

Here we are, my last full day review at Devoxx 2012, full of talks & meeting some interesting people :).

Talks

JBoss Announcement by Ray Ploski and Mark Little

We had a small session from the JBoss/Red Hat Management team. Eventually they revealed the 5 candidate names that the community can pick in order to re-name the JBoss Application server. You may find the voting page here. Unfortunately I did not like any of them and I still don't understand why they need to rename such a successful and positive 'in the mindset of many J2EE developers' name like JBoss. As I twitted a couple of minutes before the presentation, no matter what the new name will be, its going to be JBoss for me...beloved JBoss..always!! For just the sake of it though, I voted for Petasos...just to empower a bit the Greek cultural heritage (we are getting a lot of bad publicity in these late years :P).

Live Online - by Tim Bray

Tim Bray is a famous professional in the Java world for so many years. Leader of Web technologies at Sun Microsystems for a lont time, has worked in the initial XML specification and other  private ventures. He is now working at Google as a developer advocate on several areas.

An excellent presenter that combines excellent technical and presentation skills. Fun to watch after all. His speech was sort of going around various Google activities and reviewing or promoting many of the latest fun technologies from the company like maps, android, chrome. His focus though at the end was about web software security, ensuring user identity and raising the awareness levels for all developers to implement more secure and safe to use applications. (E.g always use https, use existing mechanisms for identity management etc). Great speech. H

is Google motd, is not that bad as some of friends commented when they saw the photo below. The argument was, live online in terms of the more people use google services  the better google becomes by enriching and making them smarter. It is sort of true and valid poin but not like live online 24/7!


Modern Software Development Anti-Patterns by Martijn Verburg and Ben  Evans

If you are a Java developer you must have heard or know Martijn Verburg as the man behind the term 'diabolical developer', member of the London JUG, participating in the JCP/JSR process and of course co author of a very very nice book (which I am currently trying to finish off) - the Well Grounded Java Developer. I am very lucky to meet Martjin a couple of years ago in an Oracle JUG leaders summit in Prague, he is a real cool guy and a great software developer. So I was not going to miss his talk along with Ben Evans (the other co-author of the book). Armed with lots of humour they played a bad guy / good guy role in a story about good and bad practises in the Modern Software development world. Things we all tend to do right or sometimes wrong, from team collaboration, knowledge sharing, believing on hypes, over engineering, team collaboration, team management and so on. Really inspiring talk so, make a note to watch it from Parleys as soon as it becomes available. (All Devoxx2012 talks will be available with the upcoming months...)

Up up and Out: Scaling software with Akka by Jonas Bonér

I a am real fan of Jonas Boner, a definition of excellent professional  in the Java world with that ubber geek style. We had the pleasure to host him some years ago, back in Athens, in our local JUG events. His last technology crusade is about Akka, a modern framework/technology on building scallabe distributed applications. I have been slowly following the Akka framework evolution in these recent years and the more I read or hear about it I find more attractive. Unfortunately I never had the chance on using it on my day to day projects but I am really looking forward. The overall notion of Akka Actors and the isolation of data per actor really is a definite way go when you have a problem that needs to be split and processes into smaller parts. Excellent talk, giving an introduction to Akka Actors in comparison with existing JDK tools we already have and some points on the architecture potentially used to address such problems.


JavaPosse LIVE  - Dick Wall, Carl Quinn and Tor Norbye

The favorite fun time moment of every devoxx these recent years. The famous JavaPosse podcast, broadcasting and performing live on stage. Dick Wall, Carl Quinn, Tor Norbye and Chet Hasset who is actually being an official member from now on. What a great fun. Before the start of the presentation which was actually a presidential debate between the 4, on who will be the president of the United States of Java, we all stood up and we sang the JavaPosse and Java theme....Java ..Javaaaa Java Jing Jing Jing. It was a great laugh and great Java points. I suggest you subscribe to the weekly podcast and download Episode 400 which is the Devoxx 2012 one! Javaaaa Javaaa Javaaa Java jing jing jing! My vote at the end of the debate would go to...Tor Norbye!!

Robots That Care by Bram Vanderborght

What an excellent talk by someone who really knew many things on his domain. I decided to make a break from the Java Path and follow the robotics/future path. Bram Vanderborght is a young Professor on robotics in Belgium. He gave as talk about the evolution of robotics, the current state of the technology (we already had speaking, dancing NAO's all around devoxx), the challenges ahead for robotics and when the technology is going to become mature and mainstream to heat our everyday life - closer to the 'image' we have for robots from movies (if we exclude the drama and violence part). Robots are already changing the shape of many industries, specifically the industrial production one, and they quickly replace humans on many cases, doing either heavy or boring tasks with extreme precision. Prof Vanderborght claimed that the robotics science  will soon  come what the computer science is (was) in this last 40 years..the next big revolution. I wish I would live in the future where all these stuff are already developed...

The Problem With Women: A Technical Approach by Trisha Gee

 I saw Trisha Gee earlier this week in the talk about Agile methodologies in LMAX. I really liked her presentation style and she really seemed a talented professional. Her talk was about women in IT and why the numbers are so low. She decided to do a Agile Retrospective wall, with the help of the audience,  related with the question of what we like/done like in our developer/IT job and how we could change it. She them used all these points to reflect them on the impact to the low number of women deciding to have an IT job. Many valid points excellent talk and quite a lot of tips for us (men) to consider in our day to day work with women colleagues. I really liked them quote ' that when a women colleague is doing a good or bad job don't use the genre even if you have good intentions ' in order to beautify your statement. Women are almost identical with men in many aspects and we tend to forget it some times, maybe the way our society has evolved and is structured has created stereotypes and ways of thinking that - want to emphasize on this 'fundamental' divide..(which is not that fundamental in %). Really liked her talk, already subscribed to her blog (see my link above) and I am sure I will see her again in some future conference. Currently she is working for 10gen (MongDB)


So...Devoxx 2021 Recap 

Devoxx - the conference

As always I am very very happy to be spending my personal money in order to  attend devoxx. It was my fifth time and the conference is rolling on its own. Great speakers, you will always find interesting speakers, people who wrote the book you ve just bought from amazon or you are reading their blog. The topics were full of Java (but not only Java). For example you had the chance to see some iOS talks, some Web development with non Java tech talks, even talks about robotics. We are developers and we generally like technology. It was a good fit.  So great content!! That is one of the best things to love about Devoxx content and all these ideas you bring in your backpack when you return home (and...some Tshirts yaaay).

When it comes to technicalities, I was never queued for more than 5 minutes, the registration was a matter of 2 minutes and the access to various rooms easy and straightforward. The schedule was consistent and we did not have many sudden changes. Oohh yes...the wifi was working...#win and this is something lots of people indicated.

Technology trends

This is my personal view on things, I maybe biased on certain technologies so my understanding on trends for Devoxx 2012 maybe different from some else with different backgroupnd

Java

No matter if we agree or not with some Oracle policies and strategies, now that the migration from Sun has been completed and full control of Java is on new hands we have to agree that things are going rather fine! All this 'fear' some years ago about the future of our beloved platform is almost gone, the platform is evolving (maybe not as fast as some we would like to) but it is getting there. The Java Language Specification is evolving see JDK8 with lots of new features especially the λ . 

This is actually one of the changes that I personally consider that would make a bigger hit comparing to older changes like Generics or enhancements. My biggest fear about λ (s) is not the final specification neither the new stuff introduced to the language but us, the developers. I am really afraid of 'overreacting' and 'posies' developers trying to completely transform their coding to purely functional in a language domain that now has this capability but there are bug zillion lines of code that have to be maintained and still work.

Parallel / concurrent  programming is evolving as well and is getting even more important as the technology on the CPU is giving up on the race of MHz and is trying to optimize multi-core architectures. Java seems to be getting there and lots of talks on this Devoxx were about our previous way of handling that kind of programming, the current available JDK tools (and other libs) and the way to go. So it was a very strong point for me that we should enrich even more our understanding and knowledge on this domain.

 

Mobile

It is relevant it is getting more relevant as the 2 dominant platforms the iOS and Android are battling on the lead. The Android OS is getting for the very first time really close on the user experience of iOS (still not there but it has nothing to do of what it was 2 years ago). On the other hand the iOS is an excellent platform to code, a very well balanced framework and my only negative point is ObjectiveC which I still sort of dislike :P .

Other technologies

  • I am highly interested on the way Java EE is going to evolve, new spec is going to come up sooner or later, new app servers (new JBoss, new GlassFish) are slowing hitting the production server rooms. I still have a lot of faith in the EJB specification
  • Akka, my framework of choice for this Devoxx - personal note and goal to study and read more - even in toy projects. 
  • Google App Engine, I have started playing with the App Engine in these recent months, I really like it is very easy to start doing things - for sure I have not explored all the hidden traps or problems but I at the moment I enjoy it a lot.
  • Clojure, if it is one dynamic language I would like to learn some more and play a bit, it is Clojure (still don't like Scala).

That was all folks! It was really great, i had lots of Java love coming in and i will always remember the last - very sweet end ;) . Hope to be able to make it next year..again!

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Devoxx 2012 - Conderence Day One - review


Excellent T-Shirt of one Devoxx-ian while waiting to enter Room 8 for today's keynote. Big day, today the main conference is rolling! I had an early wake up and arrived quite early at the venue waiting to enter room 8 where the main talks were scheduled.

Talks

 Welcome & Announcements by Stephan Janssen

Stephan did an overview of this year's Devoxx which is sold out!! Yet again, no wonder why , Devoxx is the best Java Developer European Conference for many years. I wish it continues to be. 

Devoxx4Kids was presented, an excellent initiative that could be 'copied' in other countries as well. It is so nice to teach programming to kids and show off the potential of technology. I would really love to do a similar initiative back in Greece through our Java User Group (www.jhug.gr). I will keep a note on this and check for any potential connections. Watch the video (Devoxx4Kids 2012 from Roy van Rijn on Vimeo)

After that,  we had a short introduction of Devoxx France, an initiative which spawned from the famous Paris JUG and it is really a great thing for the big French Java community. The French have a very vibrant JUG, lots of members and a quite big IT market to back them up, Devoxx France and in general many other things happening was a matter of time to explode in terms of activity and support. Great job by Antonio Goncalves which I happen to know from the JUG leaders community and previous Devoxx/javapolis events. Lots of Java love from France!!!




But...wait a minute if we have Devoxx France what about the Brits! Well here we are, Devoxx London (UK) has been announced. It is going to happen on March 2013 and is a two day event. This is great news for all the Java geeks around Europe. More events, more knowledge sharing and lots of opportunities from people travelling either from south or north to reach a Java conference. I really like that the European Java Developer community is standing up and creating events and buzz around our beloved language, Java is alive through it's community that is a fact!

Make the Future Java by Nandini Ramani and  others

We had an overview of the future plans of Oracle related to Java. Nandini Ramani is VP of engineering at Oracle. Among several things noted, I could see a steady push by Oracle on the embedded Java field , it seems Oracle is still believing that Java is relevant on this domain (I believe so to). JDK 8 is expected in Sept 2013 and Oracle is continuing to work with Apple through the OpenJDK project, in order to provide a solid port for the Mac. Yaay from me! Keep then coming. I am already using the preview - builds of JDK7 and those provided by Oracle. This initiative seems to go just fine! Last but not least Oracle is pushing hard on JavaFX, by updates and a solid roadmap. I have not explored this tool yea (in terms of worth noting development) but lately I am getting feedbac by many people that is looking more interesting than the past and more solid. Overall, despite the different mindset and strategy of Oracle, despite the first bumpy years of taking over the Java 'myth' from Sun, the switch seems to be working al-right. There are clear paths and strategies in many fields and Java is not dead at all. Keep it up Oracle!

When Geek Leaks by Neal Ford 

Neal Ford is a software architect working at ThoughtWorks. He is a well known geek, working in several big systems and juggling with many programming languages. He is also known as an author with an impressive list of books, you may find them here. His talk was about effective presentations and anti patterns. Excellent all round talk that blended lots of stuff and had references from different fields. I am sure we all have revised some of our presentation skills principles. Some of the stuff in his talk are included in his latest book  Presentation Patterns , if you are into presentations in your day to day work I highly suggest to check his book out.



What's new with Google App Engine and Compute Engine? by Ludovic Champenois and Alexis Moussine-pouchkine

I have been night hacking on the Google App Engine, latetly. I  have to admit I am quite excited about the overall thing while learning new tricks and tips. So this talk was a must for me. Excellent overview of the current status and things to come. I am always happy to attend talks by Alexis M.P , which we had the chance to co-host during his Sun ear in Greece as well, as a Glassfish evangelist.So, Google app engine is getting ready for JDK7 soon enough. They are also finishing up the project 'eu data centre locality' meaning you can be sure that your data and app is deployed on EU data centres. We also had a short introduction to the Google compute engine service ( pre-configured linux vms within the Google App engine ecosystem) and Google SQL Cloud (MySQL instances available to be used either as standalone or within App engine apps). Hey did you know that the game Angry Birds is actually using Google App Engine services -cool!.

When it comes to Java, we had short talks around the GAE maven plugin and the integration of your GAE project with Jenkins (C.I).

Closures and Collections - the World After Eight by Maurice Naftalin

I am great fan of Maurice Naftalin. I still remember his talk in previous Javapolis /Devoxx events around the new Java Collections and Generics. What a buzz at that point. Many of you must have red his book (co-author) around Java Generics (one of my favourites actually) from Oreilly. Maurice,  hoped along the λ expression train and gave a speech around the impact of the JDK8 upcoming lambda expression additions to Java Collections. Really nice talk that made you think about the impact that λ can have in your day to day code. I am still afraid of people misusing this interesting feature added in the Java language but..this is another story, post. If you want to improve your λ expression awareness (like me) have a look on Maurice's new initiative - LamdaFaq -> 'all about Lambdas and friends'


Fork / Join, lambda and  parallel() : parallel computing made (too ?) easy by José Paumard

I think Jose Paumard is my favorite speaker for this year. I attended his talk during the university phase and this one was my second in the row. He continued elaborating on the parallel computing tools that we already have in java and yet things to come. Some of the examples were present in the University session. He demo-ed a potential solution to the travelling salesman problem, using parallel programming techniques, trying to fit the algorithm in the parallelism world. A great note from his talk : not all algorithms are meant to run in parallel mode

Agile ++: When Agile Goes Well by Trisha Gee and Israel Boza rodriguez

Very interesting talk, (even though I was getting a bit dizzy by Israel B.R - he was constantly moving while talking - tip for his next talk - try to disrupt it :P). So we had 2 developers from the famous LMAX company, providing services on the financial sector. We must have heard LMAX (like many of us) by the recent paper of the LMAX Disruptor, a very interesting library, addressing parallel and concurrent computing problems. The talk though was not about Disruptor but about the release and development process within LMAX and how they incrementally shifted their Agile tool set in order to make it fit and work in their demanding release time frames. Releases every 2 weeks (1.5 actually), pressing business partners, high expectations and limits on software quality. LMAX is for sure a challenging company to work for and these guys/girls are really lucky.  During the talk they note several obstacles of modern software development methodologies, present in many software houses. Problems on estimating tasks, breaking down tasks, choosing the appropriate agile approach (Scrum. Kanban etc), handling work load on several sub groups within the same department, testers overload.  I could relate to many of their examples from my experience. The answer some times is not clear , especially within different organizations with different needs, different business offering but for sure time should be allocated to teams and developers to re-think their processes and incrementally improve it.

So..

Busy day, 9am to 8pm. Tiring but exciting at the same time. So many new things, so many things to note down and think about them in the future.

 I was happy enough to bump into old friends that haven't seen them for a while and find out how they are doing and talk a bout many things - the Greek recession included, like 'uncle' Kirk Pepperdine , Dimitris Andreadis , Geertjan Wielenga and Bert Ertman . Tomorrow is my last full day so, stay tuned for another review tomorrow night.

Good night from cold Antwerp!!! Java love to all of you!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Devoxx 2012 - University Day Two - review


Here we are, it is the second and the last  day for the first half of Devoxx. The university phase is over and tomorrow we have the main 'part' of the conference which is going to last until Friday noon. I will be departing a bit early this year so I am going miss the Friday part, but 2 more full conference days for me. 

The exhibition area is almost ready for main part of Devoxx so all the main sponsors had their stands ready and I managed to collect some t-shirt  and freebies. We, geeks love that stuff!



You can actually see some more photos from me, in my instagram feed. I happen to use a lot instagram to post photos both in facebook and twitter, which makes me think that I am deprecating my flickr account - but then again I am going to re-uploaded them as well.  Unfortunately my iphone4 camera seems to be getting busted and my photos are getting a weird 'mat' effect...time to upgrade..please gods of programming - sent me a brand new iPhone 5 :P .


Talks  

1. Building Modular Enterprise Applications in Java by Paul Bakker, Bert Ertman and Marcel Offermans


I decided to do a more hands on session and start the day with some coding on developing OSGi applications, a platform / tooling that I don't get to use a lot in my J2EE day to day work. I missed Bert's talk yesterday so the lab was an excellent opportunity to have a go. The room was packed!  I managed to complete most of the exercises and I kept the notes and sample configuration for future reading. 

OSGi can be complex in certain cases but with some help you can get to deploy and play with your own custom services. I hope I will manage to allocate some more time in the future on studying a bit more the OSGi world, I am was actually intrigued by the OSGi remote services specification - something that I would really like to study a bit more.

2. Performance Optimization Methodology by Aleksey Shipilev and Kirk Pepperdine

This was The talk of the day for me, quite intensive and advanced, going through the steps and phases that have to go consider towards spotting, identifying, analysing and resolving performance problems in modern Java applications. Kirk Pepperdine is a veteran on this field while A.Shipilev is contributing serious JVM /JDK optimizations working for Oracle. It was a long run and the speakers had developed an application which was used to demo every aspect of the performance optimization required, from system to application level. Heavy use of standard tools like Visual Vm, Thread dump tools and a small demo for the upcoming JClarity Censum tool, by the newly introduced venture of Kirk and friends. The best thing is that for all of you that did not make it the slides are already available here - so grab them and study them in case you are doing related work or you have unknown performance problems in your app. The overall mind-map of the speakers (an overview of all things) can be found here.


3. Introducing PersistIt: Open-source Java, Key-Value Storage that Beats Native Alternatives by Tim O'brien and Ori Herrnstadt

Interesting talk, PersistIt is an open source (Eclipse licensed) java key value storage that competes with already known to the java community libraries like H2 DB or BerkleyDB or MapDB. I really liked the open source mentality of the project which originates from server developed by Akiban. It aims to bring the NoSQL, SQL world together implementing major specifications in a in memory data storage (BTree variation). There were lots of points regarding performance and a plus that ACID transactions are supported. Worth testing and downloading the library anyway, it is simple after all. Happy to see new ideas and implementations on this front, heading open source and developer friendly.

4. FastOQL - Fast Object Queries for Hibernate by Žarko Mijailović, [Srđan Luković] and Dragan Milicev

I was very curious about this talk. We all spend time, improving, fixing or trouble shooting our Hibernate DB layer, or even trying to find ways to improve the performance of our HQL queries, while trying to maintain consistency and do not break older pieces of code. At least in my experience heavy re-factoring and fall back to pure JDBC mode can be the answer to many common problems. FastQL promises to resolve the optimization and productivity part of complex queries by introducing an alternative QL notation and trying to optimize the underlying queries issued. I became a bit sceptic though when the examples provided 'were' using HQL queries that were based on plain inner joins and the lack of support (at the moment) for left or right joins. I don't know if it possible to consider FastQL on an existing HQL based system and migrate part of the functionality, would it be risky? I can fully understand the concerns that FastQL is trying to address but I think it might need some more development. Anyhow it is a nice try and I hope to able to get out of the beta phase and become - production wise stable and future proof.

5. JDK 8 demo : Lambdas in Action by Guillaume Tardif

Excellent nice talk with samples of the upcoming Lambda expressions already available on openJDK (jdk8) releases. It is clear that this addition to the specification of the language is going to shake the java dev community harder than the generics did. I am kind of starting to like the final implementation and the way it is trying to preserve the type safety notion of Java. It is also obvious as many people indicate that λ expressions open the door for multiple inheritance in Java (in a specific way but..it is kind of true). Last but no least I am really afraid of cocky devs trying funcy coding that may lead to maintainability and easy to grasp issues, especially in large dev teams and large KLOC wise projects.

6. The Fascinating World of NAO by Tasha Carl

Cool BOF, the rise of the robots! NAO (like saying now)  is a European(French) project from Aldebaran Industries. It is still not a commercial product but at least 2000 of them can be found on several labs and especially universities (playing football as the speaker indicated). It has a 25 factor of independence (if I remember correct the term, meaning it can move and react in several ways and axes). It features some high gear, HD cameras, accelerometers, and gyroscopes. The robot can be programmed with Java (and C++)! It has a Linux based OS (or brain shall we say). It is quite cute and can dance very well as we all saw during the session. If you subscribe somehow to the developer program, you can get to have one NAO (which is Just in time - manufactured for every customer) for 3-4K Euro. Projects like NAO make you think what extraordinary things are about to come in a few years. I hope that one day I would be able to  be teaching my kid to program a robot like NAO just for the fun of it. The rise of the robots...I wish I could live in that era...in the far far future.

So ...

Busy day for sure, again there was a star talk and the many others that increased the number of notes in my laptop. I decided to pimp my macbookpro a bit more, I am kind of dropping the no sticker policy on my laptop, its becoming a veteran hehe. I also had the chance to touch and play with the new Google Nexus 4 phone. Excellent screen, snappy Android (it is getting closer to iOS), but the feel of the phone was very plastic for my taste and I was expecting to be a lot thinner.Lots of poeple have been complaining all over Europe for the supply lines. Friends in the UK and in Germany reported that the google eshop crashed almost 20 minutes after the 'opening' and the was actually a limited amount of devices available. Come on google!Anyway it is a well equipped device, I will dare to say this is most probably the first Android phone ever - coming closer to the iPhone.I guess future releases will be even better.




Big day tomorrow and a early start for me. Greetings from Antwerp - it is getting colder but it is a weirdly 'feeling' crispy night!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Devoxx 2012 - University Day One - review


It's been a long day and here I am after a  long walk to the Antwerp docks, back to my hotel room blogging about my first conference date, for the 'university' phase of Devoxx 2012.

Registration... the RFID/NFC era.

Early start in the morning, since I wanted to be on time for pre-registration and welcome package handling. Eventually all went very smooth and fast, no waiting at all, evidence of the maturity and experience of many years from the devoxx team and organizers.

In the entrance the  Registration team, after scanning your e-ticket, strapped to your hand the special RFID/NFC bracelet and you are done!


A few meters away your Devoxx backpack, which is smaller but more handy this year, with the usual T-shirt and notebook, was waiting for you. A special card printing machine was installed in the reception, you swiped your bracelet and a nice plastic card - was printed within seconds - that was cool!


There are also auto voting machines, in every talk room that mimic the Facebook Like page sign. I was actually focusing in the arrows on the sides - so watch out guys / girls take a step back and if you like the talk swipe on the Like (right side) or don't like on the left side. Just like Facebook : ). They are built based on Arduino, our beloved RaspberryPi boards and NodeJS backends! Extra coolness points :D!!

Talks 

1. Intro to iOS6 for Java Developers by Michael Seghers (twitter)

It's been over 2 years that I am trying to allocate some time and 'will' and deep dive into the development world of my beloved iPhone and ObjectiveC. I have bought books, watched some tutorials but at the end of the day I still can not find enough time or focus  between my Enterprise Java developer life and do something interesting. I thought that despite the fact that I am attending a heavy Java related conference I could spice up a bit my agenda and try to push this diversification of programming skills that I dream of.

Michael Seghers is a great presenter and I was quite satisfied about the overall performance, content and outcome from his presentation. He had a difficult task, do an hour crash course test addressing mostly hardcore Java developers on ObjectiveC (a weird looking language IMHO) and then deep dive into the specifics of iOS mobile kit development - producing a worth talking example/use case.

Despite the fact that my ObjecticeC skills are still in the newbie level - I managed to take some extra notes and actually make some a-haaaa! At the same time when it comes to the  iOS MVC programming model and the specifics I was actually feeling more confident, we, the Java developers, are used on that kind of Event / Delegate driven methodology for many years through many frameworks, the iOS way is not way different. But there is a but...

This is where my ObjectiveC rant begins. I still believe that the language is requiring lots of wiring code for object creation/allocation and handling. Despite the fact that Java is actually getting very old, it really had, productivity wise, enhancements years ago that I am still very reluctant to forget or pretend to forget that they don't exist and go back to more primitive language. Wait a minute, did I mention primitive? OK, maybe I am over-reacting a bit, ObjectiveC is powerful language and has many advanced features but still IMHO like the introduction of ARC (which is actually quite new) can improve on it's syntax. As a hard core Java developer, I still don't understand why in 2012 I have to do wiring on the constructors, write on separate files or use pointers (the way ObjectiveC wants).

Again, IMHO I still don't find ObjectiveC syntax appealing and productive enough to make me ...forget my old Java heritage and move on. On the contrary the iOS core libs and the way the framework is wired and guides you through the development steps - is very mature, powerful and easy to grasp. I would love to see the iOS mobile framework - to be available in the Android world (copy all the ideas) for example. Ideally, I would love to code Java on the iPhone or a language like Java...e.g C#. Again..maybe I am getting old, maybe I am writing to much Java code, but I think Apple can do better on updating the ObjectiveC spec.I am not intending to start a flame war.

*cool hint from the presentation  the Doom game,  Level editor was written in ObjectiveC.

2. From Runnable and synchronized() to parallel() and atomically() by José Paumard (twitter)

This was the best talk of the day, what a blast really!! Too much interesting and hard to grasp information presented in a such simple and direct way! I must have made several pages of notes. Jose Paumard is the type of 'active' academic, teaching and coding, he is a professor  and an open source developer and that mix actually was reflected 100% to his presentation.

The talk did a journey back in time regarding CPU memory models, threading and memory allocation. He then continued giving excellent examples of the Merrory Barier problem and the False Sharing effect for caches in the recent multi-core CPU's. Simple examples aligned with code for everyone to understand and follow. I made a note from a specific slide indicating that currently there are 2 potential tools suggested,  that we have as Java developers on the False Sharing problem, that is the ideas and implementation on the LMAX Disruptor framework and the tool set provided in the related new packages of JDK 7.



Another large part of the presentation was around the STM (Software Transactional Memory) principles, as a potential way to resolve parallel programming and concurrency problems . It was indicated that a big step forward is going to be made within 2013 with the introduction of the Haswell core from Intel, which will incorporate the logic of STM into the core! The Java specification is expected to follow all the changes on the STM front since the hardware is already moving forward. JEP 155 is already on the run and hopefully in some future revisions of the JDK we are going to have major upgrades on the concurrent utils and packages offered by the language.That is great news, Java is still alive and will be covering such an interesting area.

Some great examples and many slides were focusing on the Akka framework, as a potential way to inject STM principles to current development problems and challenges. I have to be honest Akka is one of the things that I am really eager to test on a real production system, unfortunately up until know that was not the case but I have steadily reading resources around. I was very happy to get another reference and valid points around Akka, from yet another presentation.

I really wish we can host Mr Paumard in any of our Greek JUG (www.jhug.gr) monthly events sometime, I am sure lots of developers will find the content really great, easy to follow and take notes and ideas on implementation problems. Definitely worth seeing presentation, grab it as soon as it becomes available from Parleys.

3. Hacking the Java compiler for fun and profit by Raoul-gabriel Urma

Fun short talk regarding the changes you can apply on the specific parts of the Java Compiler code, by modifying to parse and understand specific syntax idioms (that you may want to add). Of course the overall examples was as the title suggested 'hacking' activities and the presenter made a clear note on this. Changing or altering the functionality of the Java Compiler is a serious task and you need several safeguards and important reasons to do such a thing. The important note out of this presentation is that we are expected more development on the Javac plugin development and more powerful ways - enhancing Javac. 

*note from the presentation - eventually all the optimizations done in our code are not performed by the java compiler but from JIT runtime.

4. Weld-OSGi in action  by Mathieu Ancelin , Matthieu Clochard

Interesting presentation about the mix of OSGI bundles/ runtime and Weld . The presenters demo-ed a simple note-taking application where they have been installing new plugins /services dynamically using OSGi, with no container or configuration restart/change. Valid point noted: OSGi is considered by many of us difficult to master and use but things have changed Weld-OSGi is a good example and a nice start for experiments. I will check it out when I have some free time, definitely worth trying and see if still the arguments for OSGi development apply :).

5. CRaSH an extensible command line for the JVM by Julien Viet , Alain Defrance

That was a very cool one! I have not heard about CRaSH before, but I am definitely going to try it and follow it's updates. Crash is shell for 'communicating' with a running JVM, passing live commands, checking JMV statistics or making modifications. It's open source, it's free and I think that it will earn it's place in the modern Java Devops administrator/developer. Tools like CRaSH can help Java developers do devops or maintenance (or performance tuning) tasks easier and in a more controller way. So, definitely give CRaSH a try...you may find it here! The plugins and integration with tools like Visual VM or the embedded mode used to attach on Java Application Servers is a big bonus! I really liked the overall idea!

So.. 

That is all for today. On the side notes, another year that I am thinking that in conferences like devoxx I should have been using a small 10inch laptop, too much hassle to move around with my 15 inc macbookpro and at the same time, a tablet does not cut it when you want to write notes or some code - while watching . Oh well, we use what we have :D .

Greetings from Antwerp! 

*if you want to follow live Devoxx updates and comments every day - use the #devoxx tag on twitter.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hello Antwerp....Devoxx here I come.

Well here I am again, after an one year break I am back to my beloved Antwerp in Belgium, for my favourite Java developer conference, Devoxx 2012. This is actually my second half of vacation, since my summer was kind of weird, full of tention and only a few days of holidays :/ . 

I really missed it last year so I managed to save the required amount of money and come back  at a conference that is full of action, great speakers and lots of new stuff and ideas to be explored.  I always have a great time at Devoxx (since 2007) and I think it is going to be a blast this year as well.

I have to thank a lot Stephan for the conference pass and I hope to make the most of out it along with other members of the JUG leaders and Java Champions Community that I belong and I am very proud of.

During the week I hope to give you an overview of my day, so the blog is going to become a bit Java/ development centric - my apologies to my non techie - developer audience (please stay tuned). 

Things seem to be quite at the moment in the HolidayInn Express, my place of choice every year for the conference. I arrived at about 9pm so I did not manage to pre-register and get my welcome pack. It is going to be an early start for me tomorrow along many other developers in the University Day One.

It is really a pitty that it is one of these years that I am coming alone in this conference, no close friends (Pano!!, Marko) or JHUG members. I think it is something like a curse for me but I have to live with it.

My twitter account is going to abuse the #devoxx hashtag.  For those visiting for the first time my blog, you can find more about me on LinkedIn.

Goodnight from Antwerp

:)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

JHUG Nov - σύντομες εντυπώσεις

Επανήλθαμε, λίγο μουδιασμένα αλλά τελικά οι φανατικά σταθεροί δώσανε το παρών. To Java Hellenic User Group είναι ακόμα ζωντανό, αλλά επειδή είναι ουσιαστικά μια παρέα ανθρώπων (κοινότητα) έχει και αυτό σημάδια κούρασης από την Ελληνική πραγματικότητα.

Κάποιοι regular είναι ήδη στο εξωτερικό ενώ όλοι όσοι έχουμε μείνει πίσω ίσως το γενικότερο κλίμα να μην ευνοεί να δίνεις λίγο από τον ελεύθερο σου χρόνο για μια ομιλία. Ίσως μεγαλώνουμε ίσως αυξάνουν οι υποχρεώσεις.

Είχαμε 2 πολύ καλές παρουσιάσεις και μπορώ να πω το ευχαριστήθηκα και ας ήταν σφηνάκι meet-up.


Ο καλός μου συνάδελφος Κ.Καπελώνης έδωσε το δεύτερο τμήμα της παρουσίασης του για software quality. Πάντα κατανοητός, πάντα to the point και το κερασάκι στην τούρτα μια πολύ απλή και καλή εξήγηση για τον αγαπημένο LCOM4 quality indicator στο Sonar. Θα βρείς την παρουσίαση εδώ.

Κλείσαμε με τον Χ.Γιοράν, από την γνωστή μας πια Neo Technology με την βάση  Neo4j, όπου μας έκανε μια θεωρητική ανάλυση για τις βάσεις στην υλοποίηση distributed databases και τα μαθήματα / εμπειρίες τους με την υλοποίηση του αλγόριθμου Paxos στο σχετικό implementation της Neo4J.


Ευχαριστούμε και πάλι το Colab που μας παραχωρεί δωρεάν το χώρο του και έτσι δίνει στέγη στην προσπάθεια μας. Χωρίς αυτό θα είχαμε σίγουρα πολυ πιο δύσκολη δουλειά έστω και για ένα μικρό meet-up.

Θέλω να το γράψω για πολλοστή φορά, πριν κλείσω αυτό το post. Το JHUG σαν κοινότητα μετράει  αρκετά  πια χρόνια (σε λίγο καιρό θα κλείσουμε 10 !!). Μέσα σε αυτά τα χρόνια έχουμε γνωριστεί, έχουμε μιλήσει, έχουμε διαφωνήσει αλλά ο πυρήνας πια είναι σταθερός. 

Το JHUG  δεν είναι πρόσωπα, ίσως στην αρχή,  τώρα είναι όσο ποτέ άλλωτε εξαρτημένο από την πρωτοβουλία του καθένα μας και την καλή διάθεση. Θα ήθελα λοιπόν να τονίσω ότι αν θέλετε ή αν νομίζετε ότι έχετε κάτι να πείτε, να παρουσιάσετε ή να προβληματιστείτε μην διστάσετε να κάνετε ένα request για μια ομιλία στα επόμενα μας meet-up. Θα μας βρείτε πάντα στο google group mας όπου ανακοινώνουμε και οργανώνουμε την επόμενη κίνηση.

Όταν πρώτο σκεφτήκαμε την δημιουργία του JHUG , ένας από τους σημαντικούς στόχους που για μένα ήταν και παραμένει κορυφαίος είναι η εκπαίδευση - ενημέρωση.

Οι Έλληνες προγραμματιστές δυστυχώς δεν απολαμβάνουν όσο θα έπρεπε τα benefits αντίστοιχων επαγγελματιών στο εξωτερικό, όπου εταιρίες πολύ πιο εύκολα δεσμεύουν budget  για να εκπαιδεύσουν ομάδες και να επιμορφώσουν ανά τακτά χρονικά διαστήματα. Μέσα από το JHUG θέλουμε σε ένα βαθμό μέσα από knowledge sharing να βοηθήσουμε έτσι ώστε σχετικά εύκολα και φτηνά να παίρνουμε διαφορετικά ερεθίσματα και γνώσεις στο οικοσύστημα της Java!

Να είστε καλά, ελπίζω να τα πούμε ξανά τον επόμενο μήνα!!

Καλά να Java-ρετε....may the source be with you!

Ο κυρ Μπίλις

Είχε σωριαστεί έξω από την πόρτα της πολυκατοικίας. Πέρναγαν αυτοκίνητα, μικρά παιδιά για το σινεμά πιο πάνω, πιο μεγάλα παιδιά, τον άφηναν εκεί. Μόλις γύρισα σπίτι. Δεν μίλαγε, κάτι ίσως μουρμούριζε αλλά σχεδόν ακίνητος, θα νόμιζες ότι είναι ανδρείκελο από μαγαζί με ρούχα που έκλεισε.  Είσαι καλά μάστορα; τον ρωτάω. Δεν είμαι μάστορας μου απαντάει, ήμουν κάποτε τώρα δεν είμαι.

Με το που ερχόσουν κοντά, σου μύριζε αλκοόλ. Χτύπησες; Ναι, αλλά δεν ξέρω που είμαι, απαντάει. Μπορείς να σηκωθείς; Ναι, αν με βοηθήσεις...γιατί είμαι μόνος. 

 Πιάνω τον Μπίλι από το μπράτσο, αρχίζει και κλαίει, μου λέει πως κατάντησα, κοίτα έπεσα. Προσπαθώ να μάθω που μένει, μου λέει κάπου εδώ. Να σε πάω κάπου, που είναι το σπίτι σου; Δεν ξέρω είναι κάπου εδώ δεξιά ή αριστερά. Όλοι αισθανόμαστε χαμένοι μερικές φορές σκέφτηκα από μέσα μου.

Περπατάμε λίγα μέτρα, με ρωτάει πως σε λένε; Πάρι . Είσαι φίλος μου Πάρι, η γυναίκα μου με εχει αφήσει έχει πάει κάπου και δεν με αγαπάει κανείς. Έλα του λέω υπερβολές. Το πόδι μου είναι χτυπημένο - μουρμουρίζει μέσα στο μεθύσι του. Ξαναπέφτει.κάτι σαν δεν αντέχω άλλο..τον πιάνω από την πλάτη και την σηκώνω ξανά αυτή την φορά τον στηρίζω. Σε ευχαριστώ μου κάνει. Που μένεις μάστορα; Δεν ξέρω ίσως στον άλλο δρόμο ίσως και όχι.  

Τον υποβαστάζω κανονικά και περπατάμε - με προσοχή στην άκρη του δρόμου. Πήγαινε με κάτω στον δρόμο μου κάνει. Εντάξει, εσένα πως σε λένε; Με λένε κυρ Μπίλι... έτσι να με λές. Εντάξει. Αρχίζει πάλι να μουρμουράει για την γυναίκα και την κόρη του...κάθε βήμα και αναστεναγμός ο κυρ Μπίλις. Είμαστε φίλοι τώρα Πάρι..να το θυμάσαι. Οκ κυρ Μπίλι.

Καθώς πλησιάζουμε κι ενώ δεν μιλάμε γιατί συνεχίζει να μουρμουράει, σταματάει - κρατιέται πιο καλά και μου λέει, Φίλε μου Πάρι θέλω να σου δώσω μια ευχή  που με βοήθησες να σηκωθώ. Έλα μάστορα του απαντώ, σε ακούω καθώς πάει πάλι να μου πέσει. Να παντρευτείς από αγάπη και όχι από ανάγκη... όχι σαν και μένα. Να αγαπήσεις και να σε αγαπάνε..

Toν άφησα σε μια καρέκλα, μου είπε ότι ήταν αρκετό θα τον έβρισκε τον δρόμο και δεν ήθελε κάτι άλλο. Μου λέει, τόσα χρόνια τον βρίσκω τον δρόμο απλά μερικές φορές πέφτω...

Μερικές φορές σαν τον κυρ Μπίλι όλοι πέφτουμε, έρχεται κάποιος που σε σηκώνει, σε περπατάει μερικά βήματα και μετά τραβάμε τον δρόμο μας. Πολλές φορές αυτός που σε σηκώνει είναι αντίστοιχα αδύναμος... ή έχει την ανάγκη σου. Ο κυρ Μπίλις... μου έδωσε την ευχή..και τον ευχαριστώ - δεν ξέρω πως την έδωσε τι σκεφτόταν, πάντως πέτυχε καλά!

Friday, November 09, 2012

JHUG Meet-up ..αύριο

Ξανά μαζί...πληροφορίες εδώ. Λίγο Java love χρειάζεται αυτό τον καιρό.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Στον φίλο μου...που τρέχει


Αυτό το post είναι αφιερωμένο στον έναν από τους 2 καλύτερους μου φίλους. 

Πολλοί θα τον ξέρετε σαν kchristidis, dilated, θα το έχετε ακούσει στα αρκετά παλιά μας weekendgeeks podcast, θα τον έχετε δει στο δρόμο με ποδήλατο και κόκκινο μούσι

Μεγαλώσαμε μαζί, ζήσαμε και ζούμε στην ίδια γειτονιά (εγώ πάντως ρίζωσα τώρα δεν ξέρουν αν θα φύγουν αυτοί - χαχα), βαστάει ο ένας τον άλλο όποτε χρειαστεί, διαφωνούμε, συμφωνούμε, μαζί στις συναυλίες, λέμε κάθε μέρα καλημέρα και η δουλειά στο γραφείο δεν είναι ίδια αν δεν βλέπω το username του αναμμένο στον IM Messenger μου.

Σε 2 μέρες από τώρα θα λάβει μέρος όπως και πολλοί από εσάς στον 30ο κλασικό μαραθώνιο της Αθήνας, για δεύτερη φορά και θέλω να τον τιμήσω γι' αυτή την προσπάθεια. Θέλω να τον τιμήσω και ελπίζω να το κάνω αρκετές φορές γενικότερα για την sport διάθεση που έχει φέρει στην ζωή μου μιας και σε αυτά τα πράγματα ήταν πρωτοπόρος.

Πριν 5 χρόνια με βίδωσε να πάρουμε ποδήλατο και με μύησε στις τότε μικρές βόλτες του FreeDay (κάποτε ήταν δεν ήταν 50 ποδήλατα), αργότερα μου έμαθε τι σημαίνει σπαστό ποδήλατο και 3 χρόνια μετά έγινα φανατικά ορκισμένος 'σπαστός' occasional urban cyclist (μεταφορικό μέσο). Συνεχίζω ακόμα να το χρησιμοποιώ και μάλιστα πιο πολύ από ποτέ!

Πριν σχεδόν 3 χρόνια ξεκίνησε να τρέχει σαν τον Forrest Gamp. Στην αρχή σιγά σιγά αλλά όταν με 'ξαναβίδωσε' να κάνω το ίδιο είχε ήδη αναπτύξει τα skill του.  Θυμάμαι όταν τρέξαμε μαζί στην αντίστοιχη διοργάνωση του Μαραθωνίου, στα 10χλμ. Είχε ήδη τερματίσει λεπτά μπροστά από μένα, αλλά θα τον θυμάμαι ακόμα γιατί οταν προς μεγάλη μου έκπληξη κατάφερνα να τερματίζω κι εγώ, τον άκουσα να με χειροκροτεί παράλληλα στον τερματισμό και να κάνουμε πλάκα...με το ζόρι κρατιόμουν για να μην κλάψω (ήταν αυτό το περίεργο συναίσθημα έστω και για μια τόσο μικρή - για τους έμπειρους- απόσταση, που λες ότι τα κατάφερα, αλλά και έναν δικό σου άνθρωπο να σου λέει - δικέ μου ΜΠΡΑΒΟ!).

Σε αντίθεση με το ποδήλατο, δεν μπόρεσα να τον ακολουθήσω στο τρέξιμο. Εδώ και πολλά χρόνια η καρδιά μου ανήκει αλλού - ολοκληρωμένα και αφοσιωμένα (Judo) παρόλα αυτά, ότι ξέρω για τα σχετικά τα έμαθα από αυτόν. Το τρέξιμο για μένα συνεχίζει να είναι ένα τεράστιο μαρτύριο αλλά κάνω δειλά δειλά βήματα πάνω από τα 10χλμ και το χρησιμοποιώ σαν εργαλείο για να αυξήσω την αντοχή μου στο Judo αλλά και να φτάσω στον μεγάλο μου στόχο σε 1-2 χρόνια την μαύρη ζώνη και το πρώτο μου dan. Ίσως κάποια στιγμή να προσπαθήσω να τρέξω ημι μαραθώνιο...όσο πιο πολυ μπαίνω σε αυτό το μαρτύριο τόσο πιο πολυ το αντέχω.

Ο Κώστας όμως συνέχιζε. Χειμώνα, καλοκαίρι, μέρα παρά μέρα, είτε η δουλειά πήγαινε καλά είτε όχι, είτε υπήρχαν ατυχίες στην ζωή είτε όχι, είτε τον παρακινούσαμε να κάνει κάτι άλλο ή να μην πάει για τρέξιμο εκείνο το βράδυ, είτε του λέγαμε να πιει ένα ποτό παραπάνω. Ήταν φανερό ότι είχε βρει τον δικό του αθλητικό έρωτα και με χαρά πέτυχε τον μεγάλο στόχο και πρώτο του όνειρο να κάνει και αυτός έναν μαραθώνιο.

Το θέμα είναι βέβαια ότι δεν τον θαυμάζω as such μόνο γι' αυτό. Ήταν ένας σεβαστός στόχος, τον πέτυχε, αυτό που θαυμάζω σε μερικούς ανθρώπους και προσπαθώ με νύχια και με δόντια να ακολουθήσω το παράδειγμα τους είναι η επιμονή. 

Τον θαυμάζω λοιπόν γιατί δεν σταμάτησε, δεν το παράτησε, δεν τον άκουσα σε κάποιο καφέ ή παρέα να λέει 'σιγά το έκανα αυτό και  τι να μας πεις τώρα' , δεν τον όρισε το επίτευγμα αυτό. Δεν κόμπασε όπως αρκετοί κομπάζουν, μέσα στην απατηλή λάμψη της ματαιοδοξίας που κρύβεται πίσω από ένα τόσο δύσκολο εγχείρημα. Συνέχισε και την επόμενη χρονιά, να τρέχει, να προσέχει, να μην αφήνει τις όποιες δυσκολίες να τον βγάλουν εκτός στόχου, να προσπαθεί. Σε 2 μέρες θα δώσει ξανά το παρών και αυτό είναι ο μεγαλύτερος άθλος ότι θα είναι ξανά εκεί.

Μπορεί για τους μυημένους τα λόγια μου να φαίνονται υπερβολικά αλλά no shit δεν είμαστε ούτε επαγγελματίες ούτε είχαμε καμία παράδοση σε όλα αυτά. Απλά ο καθένας μας, βρίσκει την ηρεμία της ψυχής του μέσα από ένα hobby και ιδιαίτερα αθλητικό hobby. Ο αθλητισμός, ιδιαίτερα όταν έχει ευγενή κίνητρα είναι ότι πιο καθαρό και ουσιαστικό για την προσωπική και ψυχική υγεία του καθένα. 

Φέτος υπάρχει ακόμα ένα μικρό twist, η δεύτερη απόπειρα μαραθωνίου έχει και ένα charity. Ο φίλος μου επέλεξε να τρέξει για χάρη της οργάνωσης Action Aid (ενάντια στην φτώχεια και την ανισότητα). Το ξέρω ότι λεφτά δεν υπάρχουν πολλά αλλά αν νομίζεις ότι μια τέτοια πράξη σε αντιπροσωπεύει, μην διστάσεις να δώσεις ένα μικρό συμβολικό ποσό. Σίγουρα θα του δώσεις μια ενθάρρυνση μιας και με αγωνία μετράει τις ώρες. Όπως και όλοι οι δρομείς που ξέρω.

Καλή τύχη φίλε, έκανες μια καλή προετοιμασία και όλα θα πάνε καλά. Ελπίζω ότι θα είμαι ξανά εκεί να σε χειροκροτήσω και να φωνάξω, αλλιώς καθώς θα ανεβαίνω το αεροπλάνο θα χειροκροτήσω από εκεί! Σου αφιερώνω...το παρακάτω κομμάτι...γιατί change is coming...through your good shadow καθώς θα τρέχεις.


ps) Καλό αγώνα σε όλους, είτε τρέχουν τα 42, τα 10 ή τα 5χλμ.  Κάθε μορφή αθλητισμού είναι αναγκαία στην πολυτάραχη και αγχωμένη ζωή μας, ίσως όπως 3 χρόνια πριν, η διαδικασία κέρδισε απόλυτα τον φίλο μου, έτσι και τώρα άλλοι να νιώσουν το ίδιο. Εξάλλου ποτέ δεν είναι αργά. Όσο για μένα φέτος..δεν θα προλάβω αυτό το μαρτύριο αλλά νιώθω ότι θα πολεμήσω με το θηρίο σύντομα.