Tuesday, 4 October 2011

JavaOne 2011 - Days 1 and 2 (Sunday/Monday)

Hi all,

So I'm at JavaOne and it's been an interesting first couple of days!  I'm live tweeting a number of live announcements and insights but I thought I'd try to round-up my experiences so far on Days 1 and 2.

Apologies for anyone/thing I've missed - it's been a whirlwind! 


My Walk

I started the day with an interesting walk from my apartment to "The Zone".  First thing that struck me was the vast numbers of homeless people on the streets, really sad to see and not what I expected from San Fran at all.  They say that Britain is a broken society, I think I'm seeing worse here in San Fran.

JUG Leaders Brunch

The JUG Leaders and Java Champions brunch was the first thing up on Sunday morning.  It was fantastic to put names to faces (a bunch of us only knew each other from the mailing list) and of course to see familiar friendly faces including Stephen Chin, Bruno Souza, Fabiane Nardon, Kirk Pepperdine, Stephan Janssen and many more! Oracle gave us a briefing on what was going to be announced in the keynotes, one of the focuses being on Java FX 2.0. I'm still personally not sure whether it's going to be 'too little, too late' given the rise of HTML5, but then again I'm not heavily involved in the UI space.

User Group Sunday

The rest of Sunday was spent with the JUG leaders and other community members for a bunch of Open Conference style sessions.  It's always good to discuss the issues that we all commonly face, thanks to John Yeary for organising.

The Duke awards were presented that evening outside in the Mason Street tent/cafe area and LJC's Trisha Gee accepted a Duke innovation award for the Disruptor framework that her company (LMAX) has been working on.  The Zero Turnaround guys also picked up their well deserved award for JRebel.

The evening ended with us meeting up with Charles Nutter and some of the other JRuby crowd at the Glassfish party in the Thirsty Bear, it never hurts to get free beer! Was also nice to see Dan Hardiker and a certain Mr Gosling there.


The Good

1. Oracle's stance and genuine efforts with the community.
  • The Duke awards on Sunday night
  • The free coffee and beer
  • Featuring non Oracle speakers on the JavaOne front page
  • The technical content of the overall program being determined in conjunction with a community committee.
  • Their community interviews
  • And more!
Credit goes to all of the Oracle team behind this including Nichole Scott, Sharat Chandar, Mark Reinhold, Henrik Stahl, Adam Messinger, Mary-Lou, Tori Weildt, Dalibor, Donald and many more!

2. Parts of the Keynote were really good.  Mark Reinhold was very clear explaining Java 7 and 8, the Java FX 2.0 demo with the Kinect controlled Duke went down well and they involved the JRuby guys to explain invokedynamic and what it means for non-Java languages.

3. The Mason Street area and the hangout spaces in the hotels are pretty cool

4. Attendance was way up from last year, real buzz about the place, it's pretty clear that the Java platform is going through an upsurge, exciting to see.

5.  JCP matters again.  We had lots of people turning up to the JCP events, buoyed by the results of JSR-348 (step one in reforming the JCP) with lots of feedback and interactive Q&A.  Even the public EC meeting was packed out!  I was on the panel for a number of these events and was really happy with the amount of interest and feedback, especially considering they're effectively non-technical sessions.

6. Good talks on Lambda (Alex Buckley) and Jigsaw (Mark Reinhold) for Java 8 from experts who actually engaged the audience!

7. The O'Reilly cocktail party, was able to talk shop with fellow authors and catch up with friends from OSCON such as Laurel Ruma, Sarah Novotny and the rest of the O'Reilly crew.

The Indifferent

1. Oracle have tried their best with "The Zone", but the fact remains that running around the 3 hotels is still fairly difficult and trying to find certain rooms inside the hotels also leaves attendees missing out on their events.  I haven't put this into "The Bad" section as the sign posting and extra helpers made it bearable (just).

2. The speakers room was very small and has limited WiFi signal, Oracle, please talk to the OSCON folks on their set-up!

3. Getting my photo taken in an alleyway in the rain for a tech magazine - us developers don't usually make good models, as was proven today!

4. Some of the even rooms are still small and pokey and seem to be stuck in a basement level (Parc55 in particular)

The Bad

1.  The WiFi constantly drops in and out, ruining some presenters demos and causing immense frustration for attendees.  Lessons need to be learned from some of the European conferences such as Devoxx and FOSDEM.  Hoping this improves tomorrow.

2. The Intel part of the keynote.  Caused the entire keynote to be late (they rambled on), was boring (some pretty hokey bar/line graphs) and the its content was better suited to OOW as opposed to JavaOne.

Phew - busy days so far, looking forward to sleep :-)