Friday, June 12, 2009

Will JavaOne be wrapped up next year?

There’s one question that has lingered on everyone’s mind: Will there be a JavaOne next year? In case you’ve been living in a cave (or a basement coding), Oracle has purchased Sun, the creators and maintainers of the Java programming language, and Oracle has a history of rebranding and reorganizing companies it has acquired.

Despite Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, appearing on stage at the key note address, I and other attendees such as Tim Bray, can’t help get the feeling this will be the last JavaOne. Let me state right now I do not have any solid facts either way; Sun and Oracle have been purposely tight-lipped about it. This article is more about the current climate of the conference from a developer perspective and some wrap up thoughts.

For starters, the most consistent comments I’ve heard all week from alumni that have attended the conference for years, is that the conference is significantly diminished in size this year. Perhaps its the state of the economy or perhaps its the state of trade shows in the industry as a whole, but one way or another, attendance and vendor presence feels trickled down at best, deserted at worst. In fact, as one attendee pointed out this morning, Sun filled many of the Pavilion booths with its own company products. Whether it was the Sun Cloud, Sun Open Solaris, the Sun Java Store, Sun’s Duke awards, Sun’s Drizzle, etc, it felt like nearly half the booths were populated with Sun employees. That’s not to say there weren’t some good vendors and demos (JBoss, Intel, Microsoft, BlackBerry … Apple still missing in action), but it definitely felt like many vendors chose to skip the show. Given Java’s open community roots, its quite possible Oracle will keep the JavaOne showing going, if only to keep the community pleased, but its hard to say for sure. I guess we’ll have to all wait and see.

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