Splashing into the new JavaOne
Today is the big day (well, actually the introductory keynotes have been held yesterday evening) and I was eager to splash into the atmosphere of the new JavaOne.
First, there is a JavaOne. Many owls predicted that Oracle meant the death of JavaOne. It's clearly wrong, at least for the first year, even though the conference is co-located with the Oracle World. Now, the first impression that you get is that the thing is h-u-g-e. If you're not here in SF and remotely following the events, you might have not noticed that the Moscone is not enough for both of them, and Oracle has rented a large number of hotels and other venues around Market street. There are even landmarks stamped on the walkboards to help people moving among the venues (BTW, Oracle, next year a mobile app would be useful - also an Android app, of course - thanks :-), there is a tent mounted in the section of Mason street in front of the Hilton (with packs of policemen - never seen so many real US policeman uniforms together, not on a movie I mean) and of course a big number of huge advertisements around. You have the impression that a part of San Francisco downtown has been literally oraclized. Figure out that yesterday even the priest at St. Patrick's, after celebrating the function that I attended, saluted "the Oracle World visitors who participated in the mass"!
This morning (a bit late because Thunderbird decided to crash in the worst moment, as usual, and I had to fix it) I walked to the Moscone, even though the first sessions I'm interested into are not there - just to have a look around and see whether the attendees at Oracle World are different beasts than us. It doesn't look like so, at least a first sight (but maybe there were also other curious Java guys like me?). Then I had a stroll at the exhibit area and then moved to the Hilton. Well, this means that I've already walked around for about 1,5 hours this morning.
It could be the sign of a problem. I remember that a few months ago, when they said that JavaOne 2010 was alive and kicking, I wondered how much the two "peoples" from Sun and Oracle heritage would be able to melt. Apparently one possibility is given by the two conference being co-located (and attendees being able to attend both paying a single ticket). As a matter of fact, this could not be so easy, as there is that large space separation that I'm talking about. While walking is fine (and perhaps will help me in losing a couple of kilos), it's also fatiguing, especially if you're bound to a timetable (a relaxed hike in the countryside is different!). Maybe it's a personal problem, but being San Francisco so damp (*) I've started sweating like a fountain after a short time - and then entering spaces with the air conditioned USA-style (which means at quite a low temperature) feels really unhealthy. In the end, I'm wondering how much this could prevent you from enjoying everything. Figure it out that I had planned to start with an OSGi session this morning, but in the end I met my friend Mario Fusco from JUG Lugano who's eager in hearing Mark Reinhold's keynote about Java 7 - I was so fatigued I decided to sit down and stay, even though I'm not that interested in Java 7.
This is not necessarily an Oracle fault. Melting the two worlds will take time; and the JavaOne being oversized was already a problem in the last years of Sun management. That's why in the end I prefer differently sized conferences such as Devoxx. But it's a bit early to draw any conclusion; let's wait for the end of the week.
PS Just to be clear, the Java people is not being treated with a minor citizenship, even though Moscone is focused on Oracle World. The Hilton itself is huge (I've already gotten lost in it) and it's just one fraction of the total space (I've not seen the other venues yet). The investment (translated: expenses) from Oracle must have been conspicuous. Also considering the wealth and quality of snacks that are offered in the hall (snacks that probably jeopardized the hope of losing some weight after this morning walk...). Of course, it's a fraction of the total thing. Oracle World is huge by itself and, sooner or later, we should think a bit why (that is: contrast and compare Oracle's and Sun's business models, and how much the change will impact on us).
(*) Maybe dampness it's just today's weather... yesterday was even worse. I didn't remember any single day of rain in San Francisco since when I started attending the JavaOne in 1999 (with some discontinuities). I think that September is also supposed to be the month with the lowest rain chances, possibly just one rainy day in the month. It must have been yesterday, which I picked for an exploration of the birding spots along the coast from Half Moon bay up to the Marin Headlands. Too bad (but there was a plenty of birds, so I could put myself in the shoes of an american user of blueBill Mobile). And seeing San Francisco floating in the fog from the Marin side of the Golden Gate has been quite an experience (what a pity that the vision vanished by the time I was able to find a place to park the car).