Java One: First Recapture

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So here I am at an airport yet again. This time in San Francisco waiting for my flight home. The Friday afternoon Java One sessions are still going on, but when leaving at lunch time you could already see that it is getting less busy.

Even the general session this morning with James showing off all sorts of cool uses of Java was not too busy. He showed various projects ranging from the new 3D playground of Project Wonderland combining Looking Glass (3D desktop) and Darkstar (Sun Game Server) via toy robots and industrial strength robots to video capturing software and autonomous submarines. A lot of very amazing stuff.

I will potentially write about some of those later. For now I am just going to recapture the event from my perspective in general. It was definitely a professionally organized event. I immensely profited from the experience from a professional as well as a personal level. I learned a lot about different technologies that are very much, a bit less or not at all relevant for my work. However seeing them all hugely widened my horizon and gave me all sorts of ideas and things to follow up on. This todo list alone will keep me busy for a few months.

Personally I met a lot of the JUG leaders from around the world that I have been in contact with via mailing lists for a while and it was great to put a face to all the emails and blog posts.

It was great to meet many luminaries from the open source community and the Java blogosphere. The exchange of ideas I had with some of them during my stay was very inspiring and some of my input might just make a bit of a difference here and there. I actually heard that Rich Green got to see my last blog post/rant. Who knows what will come out of that?

So to keep up with that tradition of contributing here is one thing I did not like about Java One:

The conference pavillion with all the stands was not open long enough. It contained the various vendor stands that served as a good place to hook up with your suppliers of choice. It also hosted the booths for various open source projects including the booth with lots of interesting presentations and a lot of demo stands for various Java powered gizmos and software.

I would have loved to hook up with a lot more people there and see more of the displays, but with technical sessions, bofs, labs and lunch the tight opening hours did not allow me to get even a fraction of the things done I was planning to do.

I think the pavillion should be open from 8:00 to 20:00 on all the conference days with maybe Friday closing at lunch time. I totally understand that this causes more of a strain on the booth owners in terms of staffing, but merely having one person on a stand would just be fine. I would be happy to just look at each stand without help, get some swag and get to see an automated demo here and there. This would certainly be good for the vendors too, since they would get more exposure. In addition the longer opening hours would have allowed me to visit some more open source project team members in person rather than having no idea where to find them.

So that was my 2 cents of input. Don’t get me wrong. Overall the event totally rocked and I certainly intend to be back. Looking at the future I am pretty certain that Java is on a wild ride. JavaFX, the open sourcing of everything and the move to support Linux more and more might just mean that Java will come out as the winner of the race to the rich net based applications on the web and the desktop. Of course there are still many things to improve, but the big commercial ecosystem and the open community around Java together have the potential to make the difference of win or loose.

Exciting times ahead. Tuning out know. I can’t wait to get back to my family in a few hours.