As Adrian found out,
I will be sitting on an AOP panel at JavaOne with James Gosling, Graham
Hamilton and Gregor Kiczales. The panel is provokingly called "Aspect
Oriented Programming: Great New Thing or Great Leap Backwards?" and Adrian
was a little bit upset at Sun’s apparent hostility toward AOP.
I am not that pessimistic.
First of all, think of the calibers of the people sitting on this panel and
you will realize that if anything, Sun is trying to draw attention on AOP, not
derail it. While Graham confesses to being an AOP skeptic, I am not sure
where James stands but we will find out soon.
Regardless of the position of each of the participants, keep in mind that the
point of a panel is not to convince any of the panelists but rather to expose
all the pros and cons of a certain topic to the audience. And this is the
biggest challenge when sitting on a panel: getting your message through to
the audience, and resist the temptation to engage in technical discussions with
the person sitting next to you, which will only lead to further the audience’s
confusion about the topic.
Discussing the in and outs of a certain technology with your peers is a very
rewarding exercise, but it is better left to early evening chats around a beer,
not to public panels such as this one.
As for myself, I would qualify as "healthily skeptical". I have used
AOP, thought about it a lot and while I see the diamond in the rough, I think it
needs a giant leap forward to become more mainstream. If you want to hear
more, don’t miss the panel!