I'm just back from the Future of Middleware (FOME) workshop at Middleware 2011, where I was presenting a paper I co-authored on "Another Look at the Middleware for Dependable Distributed Computing". As you can probably guess from the agenda, it was a very wide ranging workshop covering pretty much all aspects of middleware that you could imagine, from enterprise through to sensor networks. Overall I thought it was great to see so many challenges still remaining in the middleware area and also that there was a lot of commonality in the way the authors, both academic and industrial, were proposing solutions: it's a good time to be in middleware research and development.
So it wasn't uncommon to hear terms like "the internet of things", "ubiquitous computing" and "dynamically reconfigurable middleware". As with many of these events, it wasn't just the presentations that were interesting or worth the trip, it was also meeting the attendees and sharing experiences and thoughts. There was a good mixture of academic and industrial attendees and it was good to catch up with a few friends/colleagues that I haven't seen for a while, such as Rachid Guerraoui and Steve Vinoski (OK, I saw Steve a few weeks back at QCon San Fancisco!)
Unfortunately due to the time of year and the amount of work that we've got going on throughout the company I wasn't able to spend as much time at the conference as I'd have liked. So I didn't see the wider conference, only the FOME workshop. Plus, I didn't get a chance to see Lisbon, which is a great city that I've visited many times over the past couple of decades. The people are great, vibrant and friendly. And usually the weather is pretty good, though this time it rained, despite what the marketing image might suggest
All of the papers are (or will be) available for free for a very limited time from Springer, so thanks to them for doing this. I encourage you all to go and download them because there's some really good material in there. The various presentations will be available eventually too, but I'm not sure where they will be placed (probably the FOME web pages.) Until they're available, I'll leave you with a couple of the slides from my presentation to whet your appetite!