This morning started off with the opening general session, entitled “Java - Change (Y)our World”. Considering the current uncertain times for Java, Sun did what they needed to do at the start of JavaOne - they showed the strength and reach of Java, showed that it has a strong future, and showed that Oracle will not only support Java, but will strengthen it, and increase investment in it.
A number of heavyweights were brought out on stage, including senior folks from EBay, RIM, Sony Pictures, Verizon, and Intel, as well as, of course, James Gosling, Nandini Ramani (Dir. of Engineering for JavaFX), and, finally, Scott McNealy.
There were two main themes: 1. Java is in a strong position, will continue to grow, and will be heartily supported by Oracle. 2. JavaFX.
Number one is good to hear. I think that all of us (Java Developers) needed to hear it, even though we knew what they were going to say.
I personally have mixed feelings about number two. Sun seems to be betting a large part of the farm on JavaFX. I haven’t taken a serious look at JavaFX yet (I will soon), but that’s because I have so far considered it “yet another” user interface - Java’s attempt to play “me too” in an environment that already has Flash, Ajax, and other contenders. Today’s demos hint that JavaFX may be more than just another “me too” technology. Time will tell.
James Gosling’s pet project, the Java App Store looks interesting too - it should be interesting to see if it gets any traction. I spoke with one of the Sun folks at the booth, and he assured me that even though the big push is for JavaFX, non-FX Java apps will be deployable to the store as well.
Mark Gerhard, CEO of Jagex, makers of the popular RuneScape (all Java) game was given a Duke’s Choice Award, as was Randy Bryant, Dean of CS at Carnegie Mellon University, for the Alice project, which teaches programming through Java.
There was, of course, Tee Shirt Tossing from the stage (no, I didn’t catch one), and at the end, Larry Ellison was presented with a gift from Scott McNealy - a set of marine signal flags that spell out “Java”, for him to use on his boat “The Rising Sun”.
This of course, is just an overview - you can see a video of the presentation at http://java.sun.com/javaone/2009/general_sessions.jsp
I attended the morning session on HADOOP, which was very interesting, and have been wandering the Pavillion (think “tradeshow floor”), checking out the exhibitors, and gathering more tee-shirts than anyone could possible wear.