Saturday, June 6, 2009

Was 2009 JavaOne the Last?

In April, I wondered aloud if 2009 JavaOne would be the last edition of this conference. I could not, at that time, find another blog or article questioning the future of JavaOne in light of Oracle acquiring Sun, but I was (and still am) sure that many people were wondering about that. Since that time, other posts and articles have started appearing that also question whether this just-concluded 2009 JavaOne was the final edition.

Perhaps the most well-known publication questioning whether this was the last JavaOne is InfoWorld's Could Next Week's JavaOne be the Last? In that article, Paul Krill makes several interesting points including the observation that Moscone Center does not have 2010 JavaOne listed on its Events Calendar (though nothing is listed for June or July of 2010 at this point), the observation of the existence of dates for 2010 JavaOne (June 21-24, 2010) at the Technical Presentations site, and the opinions of select members of the Java community about the future of JavaOne.

In JavaOne 2009's Final Day: Parting Thoughts and Appreciations, managing editor Kevin Farnham speculates on the possibility that Friday was the final day of JavaOne ever, but points out that other large Java-centric conferences will be held in the future.

Tim Bray wrote on day one of 2009 JavaOne and stated "here in the press room, the consensus is that this is JavaOne’s last go-around." Cay Horstmann, in covering the last day of 2009 JavaOne has a different personal conclusion: "My guess is that Oracle will not make any major changes in the near future, and that we will all meet again for Java One 2010 next year."

There are a couple reasons I think Oracle may not want to hold both JavaOne and Oracle OpenWorld every year. First, especially in the current economy, it is difficult to make money on conferences. There is significant evidence of this including the end of long-running SD Conferences and the end of the long-running Colorado Software Summit. Cay Horstmann's blog post for Day 0 of the 2009 JavaOne conference points out that JavaOne ended up offering "early bird" discounts "past the breaking point." Tom Foremski has written that Sun has been trying to get out of JavaOne due to the time and money investment. He argues that JavaOne is not needed anyway.

The second reason that Oracle may not want to continue JavaOne is that they already have many Java-related presentations at their own Oracle OpenWorld. It would not be difficult to expand the Java offerings, even if it meant expanding the conference by a day or two. The 2009 edition of this conference (to be held October 11-15 at the same Moscone Center that houses JavaOne) includes tracks such as Enterprise Java and Oracle WebLogic, Rich Enterprise Applications, and Service-Oriented Architecture.

Although few of us (except perhaps Larry Ellison) really know the future of JavaOne, there are some optimists regarding its future. Masood Mortazavi argues that the reason for JavaOne's existence is "common context." In Is this the Last JavaOne Ever?, Augusto Sellhorn states his reasons for believing this is not the last JavaOne and states: "I don’t think Oracle will 'deprecate' JavaOne." Larry Ellison's comments from the 2009 JavaOne keynote have also been construed as positive regarding the future of JavaOne.

In Swan Song for JavaOne? Better Not, Larry, several people's quotes are used to explain why Oracle should not combine JavaOne with the much larger Oracle OpenWorld (held three times per year in San Francisco, Japan, and Latin America). However, even as this article points out, many of these quoted individuals are asking Oracle to keep its own products in their own conference separate from JavaOne, a separation Sun rarely made for its own products and Java.

It will be interesting to see if there is another JavaOne. I previously thought that 2009 would be the last, then I thought for certain there would be more, and now I've moved back slightly to the guess that there will be a 2010 version, but I doubt that it will go many years past that (perhaps 2011 and 2012). Of course, it is all speculation and I could be wrong for years to come.

No comments: