It was a dark night in a city that keeps its secrets, where one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions...OK, OK enough of the Guy Noir quotes, but seriously, there was an air of mystery surrounding JDO at this year's JavaOne.
By far the most interesting topic of conversation in the hallways was the intrigue and political machinations swirling around Java Data Objects (JDO). The topic came to a head outside of the BOF presented by David Jordan entitled "Using RUBIS to Compare JDO With JDBC and Entity Beans".
Sun only seems to be able to find JavaOne presentation opportunities for JDO late at night. Spec lead Craig Russel's JDO BOF on Tuesday night started at 10:30 and David's BOF began at 9:30 last night. David's BOF presented work he did to implement the Rice University Bidding System (RUBiS). Five different JDO vendors participated; four provided O/R mapping implementations and one provided an object database implementation.
Designed to benchmark various implementations of an online auction site, RUBiS has in the past been one of the few sources of quantitative comparisons between CMP, BMP, and straight JDBC architectures. So it was with baited breath that the audience anticipated David's results for JDO. After a code review of JDO, CMP and JDBC it was apparent that the JDO code was the most comprehensible, but the audience came to see bar charts and prompted David to push forward. The first quantitative slide showed a "lines of code" count for JDBC, CMP and JDO. No surprises there, JDO had the smallest amount of java source code.
As David was preparing to move on to the quantitative results, an AV guy from Key3 Media literally shut David Jordan down in mid sentence informing us that the time was up and turning off both projectors. The audience squawked about the iniquity to no avail, and finally trooped into the hallway where David was literally cornered, and availed himself of questions. The big question: was JDO faster?
It turns out that as with all benchmarks, the 5 JDO participants are squabbling over the results, though that's my interpretation, not what David said. According to David he has no results to present at this time, but in a few months the quantitative results will be available.
With that, the crew of JDO implementers and users made their way to the local pub. We bumped into David Jenks at Thirsty Bear. Formerly with JBoss, Jenks is now with Core Developers Network. With the rest of us listening in, David gave the skinny on JDO and JBoss to Patrick Linskey of Solarmetric. Two of the core Jboss JDO developers are now with Core, but apparently Fleury has awakened from his dazed "chicken crossing the road" JDO analogies and is now a JDO proponent. So there may be JDO in Jboss' future.
Over a few beers, conversation turned to the political questions of the day: Why are the big database vendors against JDO? Will the Sun apparatchik succeed in torpedoing JDO? Why was David Jordan's mike shut off during Oracle's presentation, effectively silencing his defense of JDO? Was "The Smoking Man" behind it all?
Answer: it doesn't matter. There seems to be a genuine groundswell of developer interest in JDO. In David's words, "Once you try JDO, you're hooked." Craig said it best: "It's already too late (to stop jdo)."
>>> We interrupt this program to bring you breaking news. Craig Russel's presentation entitled "Applying Open Source and Web Technologies Together: Struts and OJB" played to a standing room only crowd. It was a great presentation which even includded a functioning web application for publishing RSS feeds using Struts on top of JDO.