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JavaOne 2006 Day Three

Posted by editor on May 18, 2006 at 7:17 AM PDT

It's 6AM PDT and your editors are pushing the morning page from their Japantown hotel. Daniel's picking the front page items from the many sources (our blogger coverage, podcasts, etc.), while I'm writing the daily blog and then writing two or three blogs of my own (micro-preview: yay Mac, boo Blu-Ray). This is after somehow wobbling back to the hotel at midnight, after Apple's night-capping BoF.

It's too bad that Apple only had a BoF, but the freedom of that format -- regular tech sessions need to have slides submitted months in advance -- suited them well. They were able to make some-up-to the second announcements, including a Mustang preview for PowerPC Macs and a fix to a long-standing SWT bug, which they marked as fixed in Eclipse's Bugzilla right there in the BoF. They even showed the Mac running the Aerith demo from Tuesday's general session. Well worth staying up for.

Still, the crazy-long days and nights of JavaOne, with general sessions as early at 8:30 AM and BoF's that end at 11:30 PM, make me wonder if there shouldn't just be some event that runs overnight -- some crazy MacHack-style coding contest perhaps -- so that JavaOne can finally be the 24/7 conference that it seemingly longs to be. That way, there'd always be something going on, and the night owls and insomniac jet-laggers could do something other than watch Conan and [adult swim] back at the hotel. Maybe there would even be a style of session appropriate for a 3AM block, not "birds of a feather", but something more nocturnal... "bats of a wing" perhaps."

JavaOne's size and many interests/passions/niches prevent there from usually being one big story that all attendees track. Sun PR was determined that I know in depth about the Linux licensing announcements that will make it easier for Linux distros to package the JDK in ways that make sense to them -- so you can finally apt-get jdk in Debian -- but this seemed not to be the point of Tuesday's general session appearance by Ubuntu's Mark Shuttlesworth, and it's primarily of interest to the Linux Java community, particularly to desktop developers who need to ensure that end-users can get Java easily. A good source for further information on this is David Herron's mini-talk podcast on licensing for Linux packagers.

Podcasting was most of your editor's day yesterday, with a long stretch of mini-talks at the java.net Community Corner. We did 14 of them yesterday, all of them available from the jnpodcasts project (check out the RSS podcast feed, iTunes page, and browser-readable announcement page for new podcasts). One that was particularly interesting was the panel discussion with non-Sun JDK contributors, in which Brian Harry, Jesse Sterr, and Andy Tripp talk about the bugfixes they've contributed to Mustang (Brian is the guy from the general session who's contributed a few hundred fixes, many of them in Swing). I led this panel discussion, and we talked about not just the bug fixes, but what it's like to participate in the Mustang program, and what it's like to work with the code. It was a refreshingly frank discussion, as Andy talked about working around the difficulty of building something as big as Mustang, and Jesse acknowledged that some of the internal inconsistencies inside the code came as a shock to him. Of course, one of the benefits of opening the source as has been done with Mustang is to shine a light on some of those dark spots in the code base, hopefully leading someone to make them better over time.

Today's the last day for the java.net booth and the pavilion as a whole (schwag and loud PA alert). So if you haven't come by to see us, we're under a big "java.net" banner in the 500's... right next to LoudSystems or whoever... and the booth offers a chance to meet with some of the community leaders and the Sun/Collab/O'Reilly team, as well as to attend the last day of mini-talks. I hope we'll see you there.

At this rate, why not just make it 24/7?