Only about 2.5 weeks until 2009. I think this will be my 5th or 6th time around.

There is no doubt that above all of the hot technology and vendor clamoring and free , the one thing that will be the biggest topic will be the takeover of . And seeing as the deal hasn’t been consummated yet, the specter of the deal will be looming over the all week. I am expecting the signage to still be branded (I hope), but I am curious to see what the Oracle footprint will be.

Hopefully Oracle will do the right thing and keep a low profile this one last time. The worst possible thing would be to have Ellison trot out on the main stage that first morning. I would prefer to hear McNealy speak over Schwartz no doubt, but I will take Schwartz over Ellison hands down.

If you are a fan of Java and the technology eco-system that hangs off of that central keyword, then I encourage you to come on out. Beat your boss into submission if necessary. Who knows if JavaOne will survive to see another year. Even if it does, will Oracle have sucked all the fun out of it by then anyway?

I am concerned that the buyout announcement may damage attendance this year. I hope I am proved wrong. I think the Java community needs to send a strong message to Oracle and vote with their feet by attending this year. Let Oracle know in no uncertain terms that the Java community is vibrant, engaged, innovative and will not go gently into the night.

If you haven’t registered yet, you will have the opportunity to credit someone as referring you to the conference. If this emphatic plea has inspired you to go, my registration number is W1302019 and you can fill it in in the appropriate space on the form.

I will be Twittering while at the conference. You can follow me here

See you in San Francisco.