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JavaOne 2006: "Not a Question of Whether, But of How"

JavaOne Keynote Presentation Stresses Compatibility over Openness

Schwartz also stressed the importance of the Java Community Process (JCP), which now has 1,052 members, and urged all JavaOne attendees to become part of this process.

Jeff Jackson, Sun's VP for the Java Developer Platform, reinforced this notion as well, saying "community matters." He stated "three takeaways" from a recent JCP survey:

* "Portable applications and compatible platforms remain valued"
* "(There is) a commitment to future application development in Java"
* "Maintaining compatibility"

Jackson said Sun will be donating Java Studio Creator to NetBeans.org, and urged the audience to "participate in AJAX" by going to http://blueprints.dev.java.net

Former Sun COO Zander, now Motorola's CEO, made a special appearance on-stage during the keynote, during which he said "mobile broadband is going to change the way we deliver applications and do things," also noting that "we're in the usual battle against proprietary alternatives."

Zander also said that the development community "needs to get mobile applicationss right to Java and develop the next generation of applications in an open environment. He also mentioned security, DRM in this case, but stressed "we need to get the applications porting now" through the company's Motodev platform.

Two other CEOs, Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical and Marc Fleury of JBoss, made brief appearances during the keynote. Shuttleworth, whose company is involved with the Ubuntu project, said "we can now make linux available directly to users of free software deskotps...So java will be directly available to Ubuntu, and there will be a server edition of Ubuntu." Fleury noted that JBoss is joining Netbeans, saying "You need committed entities behind any successful software project."

As an old codger who played a key role in launching the first JavaOne conference oh so many years ago, I must admit that Scott McNealy's absence at this keynote dramatically notched down the pure id and energy to which Sun observers have become accustomed over the years.

The absence of McNealy's leering grin and pugnacious talk of hairballs left a void. His ease in front of an audience and apparent cavalier lack of concern about what media or analysts or anyone might say was replaced by nervous jokes about dress codes, new jobs, and an amazingly pedantic overview at the beginning of this session of how attendees are expected to manage a newly installed process at this event for registering for specific sessions by using their badges.

Schwartz did try to inject some energy into the room by talking about the company's new Free Kit program, "for those who have never downloaded hardware." He also said "the Java community has never been more vibrant."

So there you have it. As an entertainment vehicle, the keynote was lackluster, the applause uniformly tepid. Its main message was one of ambivalence.

But It is a question to the SYS-CON readership whether Sun made any true progress toward open source Java, and to what degree this matters. A variety of opinion should emerge in coming days from the various reports, blogs, analyses, and comments that appear in SYS-CON's Java Developers' Journal and other publications for which the present state and future of Java is critical.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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