Final thoughts on JavaOne 2009

As expected, JavaOne was interesting. For the first time in 12 years I actually attended more than a couple of sessions; but that isn’t why it was interesting. It was interesting because we witnessed the ceremonial passing of the Java One torch from Sun to Oracle and a fairly public goodbye from Schwartz and McNealy.

By all standards it was a pretty lightly attended Java One – I expected it to be a lot lighter given the economy, the uncertainty around Java and the Bacon Fever – so I was actually pleasantly surprised. Outside of Sun itself – I think JBoss was probably the largest software vendor on the pavilion floor – that says something.

Despite the low attendance overall – we had very solid attendance at our mini-theatre sessions – I think ours was one of the few booths that drew a crowd (without having to give stuff away) – so all in all it was a good show for us.

I’d be very surprised if this wasn’t the the last Java One; and as the crews started dismantling the pavilion – I felt like I should be trying to rip down a sign or banner – some memento to remind me of the fun times I’ve had at Java One over the years.

A lot of people were questioning the future of Java at the show (as usual) but I still firmly believe it’s going to be safe enough for the next 20 or 30 years – more than long enough for most of us. I don’t think Oracle will do anything stupid; though given the size and complexity of Sun I think they’re bound to make mistakes – it’s up to us to tell them when they do and to help resolve them.

As anyone who knows Java One – it’s about the people you meet – not the content. And so it is with Java – it’s about the people / community / ecosystem – at the end of the day – no single company has really owned Java for a long time.

Update : My pictures and Marek Goldmann’s pictures on Flickr.

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