JavaOne 2009: another amazing experience.

This was another amazing JavaOne. It was also the weirdest: between the Oracle situation, the global meltdown, and the financial situation, it was very different. Early on, we were really concerned (==nearly paniced) that no one would show up. Almost every company that usually sends a crowd of people to JavaOne had travel restrictions that meant that few could attend. From what we had seen from other conferences, we feared the worst. And yet, attendance ended up being about 15,000. Very respectable!

The press, of course, was weird this year: we did few interviews, mostly because there was only one topic they wanted to ask about, and there was nothing we could say.

My favorite part of JavaOne this year was the standing ovation that Scott got on Monday. It was a remarkably emotional moment for everyone. To all of you who contributed to that thundering applause: Thanks!

Our lineup of new technologies was great: JDK7 is looking wonderful; JavaFX reached another release milestone and is maturing nicely, along with it's tools; glassfish V3 is becoming totally wonderful; NetBeans 6.7+kenai is a killer combination; and the store is on it's way to being an amazing addition.

The fun part, for me, is the Toy Show. It's not about strategic initiatives, business issues, corporate relations, or new releases. It's all about jaw-dropping surprise. Everything from the Mifos (MIcroFinance, Open Source) project: bringing millions out of poverty. To Manuel Tijerino's jukebox architected to give indie musicians broad exposure and a source of revenue independent of the studios. To teaching kids through BlueJ and robotics competitions. And saving lives by doing computationally intensive image matching in an EE server with a JavaFX front end to analyse cancer biopsies. And the total victory of technology and style over common sense that is Neil Young's LincVolt. And a whole lot more.

June 8, 2009