With 2008 JavaOne nearly upon us, it is interesting to speculate on what big announcements will be made there or which we would wish would be made there. I won't be speculating much on this in this blog entry, but I will be providing links to web resources (blogs, articles, and other resources) that provide summaries of previous JavaOne conferences. Reading some of these articles provides a trip down memory lane, but also might provide insight into what is coming at 2008 JavaOne. The 2008 edition of JavaOne has already inspired An Ode to JavaOne and a "will work for food" type request in the form of Will Blog, Write, or Program for JavaOne Pass.
The JavaOne presentations also provide hints as to themes and announcements. For example, 2007 JavaOne's biggest announcement was JavaFX. Hints of this were available in the form of previously scheduled presentations on Form Follows Function (F3), the starting point for JavaFX.
Speaking of JavaFX, I suspect that it will remain a major player in this year's conference along with other recently emphasized items such as NetBeans, GlassFish, OpenJDK (OpenJDK 2008 JavaOne Blog Central), other open source efforts, and various scripting language efforts. Of course, Java EE 6 and Java SE 7 are likely to receive significant attention as well. These speculations are pretty easy to make based on the history and trends of recent JavaOne conferences.
Here are some web resources that describe the major announcements and news stories from previous JavaOne conferences. One caveat to keep in mind is that the significance of news or announcements is often dependent on the person. So, these are things that the authors of the resource and/or I think are significant from previous JavaOne conferences. One other interesting (albeit not surprising) observation is that it is much easier to find recent JavaOne summaries and reports than it is to find earlier JavaOne resources.
2007 JavaOne (8-11 May 2007)
JavaFX was probably the most dominant announcement at 2007 JavaOne for most people, but news on OpenJDK progress and on real-time Java (the oldest JSR of them all) was also significant. Open source in general was also big and there was significant focus on NetBeans and GlassFish as part of this theme.
Juixe TechKnow's JavaOne 2007 Conference Notes
JavaOne 2007: Prodigal Sun Returns to the Client (Client-side and JavaFX)
2007 JavaOne Conference: OpenJDK: Now the Journey Starts for the Community
TheServerSide Javaone 2007 Coverage - Day 1 and Days 2/3
JavaOne 2007: Sun Announces JavaFX
2006 JavaOne (16-19 May 2006)
2006 JavaOne continued themes of Ajax, NetBeans, GlassFish, and talk of open sourcing Java. High hopes for Java EE 5 and newly announced Google Web Toolkit also seem to have been popular.
JavaOne Today (16 May 2006)
JavaOne Today (17 May 2006)
JavaOne Today (18 May 2006)
JavaOne Today (19 May 2006)
JavaOne 2006: The Executive Summary
Sun to Open-Source Java
JavaOne 2006: 'Not a Question of Whether, But of How'
JavaOne 2005 featured The Return of NetBeans, Building and Strengthening the Java Brand (renaming JDK to Java SE and renaming J2EE to Java EE), and the beginning of Project Glassfish.
JavaOne 2005: Java Platform Roadmap Focuses on Ease of Development, Sun Focuses on the 'Free' in F.O.S.S.
JavaOne 2005 Special Report
TheServerSide @ JavaOne 2005 Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4
JavaOne 2005 Day 1: It's a Groovy Day
JavaOne 2005: Day 2: Hitting the Jackpot!
JavaOne 2005: Day 3: Share the News!
JavaOne 2005: Wrap Up
JavaOne 2005: Participate in the Future of Java
Major news at JavaOne 2004 centered on Sun's desire to grow the large Java developer community to a much larger size, making an open source reference implementation of JavaServer Faces available, EJB 3.0, Service-Oriented Architecture, and JDK 1.5 ("Tiger", JSR-176).
JavaOne 2004 Keynote Webcasts
The Java Economy is Thriving
TheServerSide.com Coverage of JavaOne 2004
JavaOne 2004: Final Thoughts
At JavaOne 2003, early talk about JDK 1.5 and J2EE 1.5 was underway and concepts that are popular today (scripting, annotations, and general ease of use) really got a head of steam.
JavaOne 2003: Less Hype, More Filling
JavaOne 2003: Java Roadmap (Technical Keynote)
JavaOne 2003: Technical Session Sampler
JavaOne 2003 Developer Conference
What's Happening at JavaOne (2003)
News from JavaOne (InformationWeek, 2003)
Open source and the relationship of Sun, Java, and open source seemed to be a highlight of JavaOne 2002. The Java Specification Participation Agreement (JSPA) is one of the most obvious pieces of evidence for this statement.
Best and Worst of JavaOne 2002
JavaOne 2002: Open Source Gets Some Much Needed Movement
JavaOne 2002: Zig's Notes
Web Services and Java Micro Edition were two popular topics at this edition of JavaOne. Running Java everywhere has been a regular favorite topic at JavaOne conferences and 2001 is one of the best examples of this.
JavaOne 2001 Conference
JDJ's JavaOne 2001 Summary
JavaOne 2001: Devices Take Center Stage
Among other things, the bundling of JS2E on the Mac and the use of Java with the Sega Dreamcast were big announcements at this JavaOne. EJB 2.0 and Jini also seem to have been popular topics.
JavaOne: A Product Roundup (2000)
JavaOne: Visions of a Future Internet and 'Java Number Five' (2000)
Exciting News from JavaOne 2000
Games Distracting at JavaOne (2000)
JavaOne 2000 - JavaBroker Review
JavaOne 1999 (15-19 June 1999)
JavaServer Pages received significant attention at JavaOne 1999. At this time, of course, XML was making huge headway and so it was not surprising that Java/XML integration would be a big topic at this conference as well. It would be years later before standardized Java/XML binding would be available with the JDK (Java SE 6).
JavaOne 1999 Report
Personal Java was perhaps the biggest announcement at JavaOne 1998. Sun has announced its End of Life because of it being superseded by J2ME.
JavaOne Unleashes Flurry of Announcements from Sun (JavaOne 1998)
Looking Back on JavaOne, April 1998
JavaOne 1998: A Watershed Moment
This may have been one of the most interesting JavaOne conferences in terms of breadth of new language APIs to talk and dream about. Applets were at a zenith and were of high interest at this conference.
JavaOne Offers Advancements, Mind Benders, and Disappointments
JavaOne '97 Conference Report: Same Thing Last Year?
The one that started it all ... does any more need to be said?
JavaOne Conference Report (JavaOne 1996)
SunSoft Announces Java Toolkit, JavaOS
JavaSoft to Host JavaOne: Sun's First Worldwide Java Developer Conference
When I had nearly finished this blog entry, I stumbled across a similar (but more concise) blog entry about JavaOne 2006. Bill Roth's JavaOne: A Look Back, and Predictions for this Year is similar in concept but has quite different coverage of past JavaOne conferences). I highly recommend reading it.
Two other interesting resources on the earlier years of Java are Java Technology: The Early Years (look back from 1998) and The Java Platform: Five Years in Review (look back from 2000).
Finally, another useful approach to determining what might be announced at a JavaOne conference is to try to find clues in other software development conferences. The Colorado Software Summit, for example, features Simon Phipps (Chief Open Source Officer at Sun) and John Soyring (IBM) regularly in their keynote speeches and I believe these give us a glimpse of what two major players in the Java space (Sun and IBM) are thinking regarding the future of Java and their support of Java.
If you have a prediction or guess as to what the big announcements will be at 2008 JavaOne, please consider replying with a feedback message and put your guess out there. Likewise, if you remember something that was important to you from a previous JavaOne conference, please consider replying with that memorable announcement as well.