(I had intended to release this earlier, but after 4 full days of conferencing and partying, I just didn’t have the energy and the concentration to finish it. But here it goes.)
JavaOne is over. Five days of keynotes, sessions, exhibitions and thousands of people moving between them. This was my first official JavaOne, although I had a discover pass two years ago when I just happened to be in San Francisco when the conference happened, but I only saw the general keynotes that time. Now, thanks to the blogger pass I got from Oracle, I had full-access to all the sessions and keynotes from Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle Develop and JavaOne. Which means that it was just too much for me or anyone to attend everything. I tried to attend the main keynotes and a couple of sessions that interested me. In the end, I got back what I expected, which was to find new things, meet new people and have fun.
So, what was the main theme for JavaOne this year? There was concern from some of the people I talked to regarding whether Oracle will continue its support for Java, and most important, for the Java community, which I think is what has made Java so popular. It seems that Oracle at least is taking Java to its next versions, 7 and 8, with a somewhat clear path. It also seems that they’re starting to listen to some feedback from the community, but on the other hand they were very ambiguous on the whole "making Java free" issue. In fact, some sessions that were given by Oracle employees had PR people there just to make sure nothing was said about the matter. So much for improving the confidence of attendees regarding Java. It also seems that they will keep trying to push JavaFX (sans the scripting language) to people, and although the demos were cool, didn’t we see the same years ago? Lots of mixed feelings about this. There also seems to be some push back into the mobile arena, in which they were very careful not to mention Android, by the way. But in all, it seems that Oracle will continue to support and promote Java in the foreseeable future.
As a closing note, I really think that Oracle really needs to separate JavaOne into its own conference, and put it back where it belongs, at the Moscone. A big part of these conferences is the ability to network with your peers, but here it was close to impossible since you had to basically run from one building to another for the sessions, and then run or take a bus if you wanted to see Oracle’s keynotes at the Moscone (I never made it on time to the keynotes). Oracle tried to give the message that they’re committed to Java, but by joining the conference to their main event it almost makes it seem like JavaOne has become an afterthought to them, a second-class citizen from their big corporate event. Sure, you get to give bigger events like the Appreciation Party, but I’d gladly trade that for having Java stand on its own. If they are really committed, they should "put their money where their mouth is" and make sure JavaOne is a standalone event.