After the debacle on Sunday afternoon where all of the attendees were turned back by the thugs at the doors to the Welcome Keynote, my expectations for Monday’s opening JavaOne Keynote were not high. The magnitude of the irony of calling the Sunday event the “Welcome” Keynote, but not allowing JavaOne attendees to watch it live makes my head spin. I have it on good authority though (I was actually allowed in because of my Press credentials), that once the JavaOne attendees had trudged back up the hill to the Hilton to “enjoy” the video feed, alcohol was found to be available and so it turned out to be one of the better Keynotes in spite of Oracle’s lack of hospitality.

After changing seat locations 3 times to try and find an unobstructed view of the stage from the Press area (I gave up, I never did find one), the first JavaOne Keynote had gotten off to a bad start for me.

Intel is the Platinum Sponsor for both JavaOne and Oracle Develop conferences this year and so Doug Fisher, VP at Intel was given the stage first before any Oracle employee (see my previous post on Oracle’s focus on vendors). Intel’s presentation focused on delivering high performing Java applications on Intel’s chipset. Intel expects data center size to continue to increase as demands from sources like mobile computing and private cloud initiatives continue to accelerate. However at the same time, Intel’s Xeon class chips have delivered as much as a 20:1 consolidation in recent generations, so companies are able to leverage these advances to keep their data center size in check.

From a Java perspective, Intel’s Xeon chips have set record benchmark results over the last 5 years and continue to do so in a variety of boxes from manufacturers like Cisco and HP. Intel announced a new benchmark record for the SpecJAppServer2004 benchmark as part of their presentation.

Intel then gave the stage over to Thomas Kurian, EVP at Oracle (who has been at Oracle since 1996 and was not part of the Sun acquisition) to outline the future of Java. Even prior to the Sun acquisition actually happening, the Java has been in a speculation frenzy as to Oracle’s intentions for Java. So the Keynote was used to give Oracle’s 3 year vision for Java and I suspect, hopefully to quell some of the unrest in the .

As far as JavaSE goes, Kurian spoke briefly about JDK 7 and JDK 8 and how these releases will include support for new application models and . Additional support for scripting languages and other developer efficiencies will also be included in the releases. There was also a brief demonstration of Oracle’s Mission Control JVM monitoring tool.

For web development, Kurian highlighted the Web Profile concept in the latest 6 release which will radically reduce the resource footprint needed to run lightweight Java web applications. He also talked about a new programming model where will be able to be cross compiled into 5 and 3 (which sounds an awful lot like ’s GWT technology, which may explain some of the reasons behind the recent lawsuit).

Finally, Kurian talked about Java on devices (ie. JavaME). There had been some rumors before the conference that Oracle would make an announcement about a product to take advantage of Apple’s new relaxed policies regarding writing applications for the iOS platform. Perhaps a Netbeans plugin that would allow you to write an app for example. No such luck though. In fact Kurian went out of his way to emphasize that Java is targeted to run on feature phones (as apposed to smart phones like the , Android or Blackberry). The screen graphic of a clunky red phone with Java running on it really was quite underwhelming. You could be mistaken for thinking that Oracle’s mobile phone strategy is “If it is neither sexy or cool, we will be there“.

On the positive side, Kurian did commit to 2 releases of the JDK, one in 2011 (JDK 7) and one in 2012 (JDK 8). He also committed to 2 Netbeans releases, both in 2011. And finally he also committed to 2 releases of the Glassfish application server both in 2011 as well.

It was clear that Oracle’s intent for their Keynote was to settle the debate about their intentions for Java and all of the associated technologies. They have probably made a good start, however there still remains many open questions, like what is Oracle’s intent for the Java Community Process and will it continue to support an open process for driving future features of Java? Oracle continues to make small missteps with the Java community and will need to pick up their game going forward to avoid any kind of exodus from the platform by developers.