JavaOne 2006: Image gallery and final thoughts

Join me as I take a final look back at JavaOne 2006 with a new image gallery. What will this conference be best remembered for? And what are the take-away lessons?
Written by Ed Burnette, Contributor

Couldn't make it to JavaOne this year? No problem; for your viewing pleasure I have created a JavaOne 2006 Image Gallery with a selection of the best pictures from the show.

As I said before, this was my first JavaOne, and it was quite an experience. The best part for me was just meeting all the folks that make Java interesting. Of course, the big names like Scott McNealy, Jonathan Schwartz, John Gage, James Gosling, and so forth, but also the people in the trenches like Joshua Bloch, Romain Guy, Scott Violet, Marc Reinhold, Ben Galbraith, Scott Delap, Joe Winchester, and many others. It's the people that make Java special.

This conference will probably be remembered most for two things. First, the announcement that Java SE would be going open source. "It's not a matter of when, but of how", said executive vice president for software Rich Green. No time table was specified, but it's clear that Sun can't ignore the momentum behind projects like Gnu Classpath and Apache Harmony any longer.  

The second big thing that happened at the conference was the announcement of Google's Web Toolkit. GWT could turn out to be one of those "singularity" events that cause web development to veer off in a completely unexpected direction. It allows Java developers to leverage all their programming, debugging, and IDE skills to bring applications into the dynamic Ajax-ified world without having to deal too much with the vaguaries of browser incompatibilities and unfamiliar languages.

One thing you couldn't escape at JavaOne was NetBeans. I tried counting the number of times NetBeans was mentioned at the opening session but lost count at around 30. Eclipse did manage the occasional appearance in talks by non-Sun speakers, and was called "One of the most successful software projects in history" by John Gage. But if anybody expected NetBeans to roll over and concede the field to Eclipse, they were sorely mistaken. Look for a continued emphasis from Sun on NetBeans, Swing, Swing based Rich clients, Swing data binding, and other related technologies in the months to come.

And now, in case you missed any of my coverage of JavaOne 2006, here's a complete list of articles I posted here on ZDNet about the conference:

In summary, while I don't feel brainwashed or assimilated, and while I haven't "switched" to NetBeans, I did leave San Francisco with a deeper understanding and respect for Sun's single-minded devotion to the Java platform. When it comes to what they consider their core technologies like the the JVM, GUI frameworks, and IDEs, it's going to be in everybody's best interest to work with Sun and not against them. It's like Scott McNealy said in this interview, "We're not going away".

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