In the last few days I got involved in an interesting question – if you to have an internal conference with 250 presenters, multiple timeslots, live sessions, recordings, materials and more – and you need to create a website for it, what would you do?
One of the obvious choices is to write a custom app for it, has a database (document db or graph db or something similar NOSQL), a 2/3 tier architecture, etc. Or… if I’m anyway trying to understand the options around document generation, I could generate the website from some lousy excel sheets and upload to a CMS that would handle commenting and links and similar.
So I did the latter, using a little bit of XLSX parsing, use of good old Apache (N)Velocity (currently maintained by the Castle team), a little bit of window dressing and figuring out some stupid limitations around transposing arrays with double nested loops using the Velocity language, and:
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