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Scalar 2016

26.04.2016 Leave a comment

I attended the scalar conference in Warsaw. This is a short write-up of some of my thoughts about it.

By far the most interesting talk was given by Mathias Doenitz, who described his project Swave, which is a Rective Streams protocol implementation intending to be usable both in place of standard Scala/Java collections and distributed processing systems like Akka Stream or Apache Storm. I was looking forward to such a “write once, run everywhere” framework for quite some time, I will definitely be watching it’s progress.

On last year’s Scalar, the most interesting talk was given by Heather Miller, a PHD student of professor Martin Odersky. It seems someone from “Scala headquarters” is sent to Warsaw every year. This year’s emissary was Dmytro Petrashko, who talked about some unexpected behaviours of Scala initialization order. It was definitely interesting, but did gave me a pause thinking about unexpected complexity of having multiple mixins in a class.

Presentation of Amira Lakhal was also quite interesting but not from technical point of view. Amira is “one of the Duchess France leaders where she helps women in IT to became role models”. She demonstrated a simple but complete machine learning system, gathering accelerometer data from an Android device to detect if the user was standing, walking or running. Talk was very well prepared and it seem Amira’s strategy is to show some real-world, tangible application. Frankly, it was a welcome break because many of the other presenters (not mentioned here) were so out of touch with reality that it felt like a symposium on string theory.

The conference itself was very well organised, in particular the venue was really great. However, all of the talks were really short and there was almost no time for questions. I must also say that the conference host seemed rude and sexist. But maybe I just have high expectations, having attended conferences hosted by RafaƂ Motriuk – this guy is just pure awesomeness on stage. Despite those minor glitches, the conference was great and I am looking forward to visiting it next year.

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