Last year I wrote a very pessimistic blog post on Oracle's JavaOne which I never published and just wanted to give Oracle another chance. Since then Oracle did not really perform well in terms of community. Android lawsuit, the clash with Apache which caused them to leave JCP, replacement JCP nominations, dead of JavaFX script, a crippled JavaOne and the list goes on...
This year even when i step out of the plane I still did not have any good feelings or hopes on JavaOne. Honestly I wouldnt be attending if i did not have a session accepted.
However, despite I was ready ready to criticize each move, soon I realized there is a good progress. Oracle might have taken some bold an not really approved steps by the community but it seems like they had already done with that part and they really seem to move java forward. Still everything is not perfect but JavaOne is alive again and once again it is a conference worth to attend.
First of all Oracle really realized they are not communicating with the community. This year there was a good effort to do that. Arun Gupta and the Glassfish team were great on handling the JavaEE part. I must confess JavaEE6 should be the most underrated JavaEE version ever. It is quite mature, completed and has everything you may need to develop an enterprise project. Glassfish team did great with providing an east to setup reference implementation on Netbeans+Glassfish but did not stop there, very soon after the conference started we heard of JavaEE certified version of Tomcat, the TomEE. Even the TomEE team was quite surprised they had been certified that soon. This is a huge step! Tomcat is the most commonly used and accepted development server on non-vendor locked development world. A Tomcat with JavaEE capabilities would most probably drive more people to give JavaEE a chance against Spring and other frameworks. This might be the most clever move Oracle has ever made.
Donald Smith which you may know as @DonaldOJDK performed a good success on replying most of the tweets and on the stage shows. Clearly bringing people with community and open source experience in is helping Oracle. Adam Bien also performed just like a good natural evangelist although he failed with a menly joke offending some women which an experienced rock star would never do. I think it was a bit exaggerated but still he had chance to correct it but he failed to.
It is quite clear JavaOne is missing something on the stage - specially in the keynotes - some rockstars. Ever remember James Gosling on stage talking on Java? the passion, the tech shows, t-shirt catapult... There needs to be fun and innovation on the stage which Oracle miserably failed this year by letting sponsors to perform keynotes. It was quite boring and awful. Oracle should really make a cease fire with formed rock stars and bring them on the stage no matter what! A JavaOne can never be a JavaOne without Gosling, Bloch... and others. However still they could do much better with what they already had. For example why not letting Simon Ritter hosting the keynotes? He is still an Oracle employee and had been there at the era of Sun. He was always behind the scenes on most of the SPOT, JavaFx or other geek demos just like this years kinect show. Why not just bringing him or people like him more on the stage.
JavaEE6 is great, Java7 with coin, fork&join is very thrilling, Java8 with lambda is exciting but Oracle, you really need to bring the old guns back in the stage to make JavaOne more fun, more innovative and more alive. Also running between sessions distributed to 3 hotels is not really a good conference experience. This year Oracle had a tremendous effort to organize this such as putting each track to a dedicated hotel and hiring stuff to show people their way but still 3 hotel conference area is no where near moscone. I do not really understand to schedule Oracle Open World and JavaOne on the same dates. Please Oracle just bring JavaOne back to Moscone.
You don't need to license Java to Android or say sorry to Gosling. Just give them a hand to unite the community. I am very hopeful on JavaOne'12 and very happy that I didn't publish what I wrote on JavaOne'10 but I wish i would not be disappointed the next year.