Last week was a busy week – with JavaOne, and a flood of customers in town.
I started the week previewing the week’s announcements at the NetBeans tools community gathering. Here’s a little known secret: I used to run developer tools for Sun – and as I said then, and I’ll say now, you need only two documents to understand a technology company’s corporate strategy: their end-user tools roadmap, and their sales force comp plan. Given that the former is public knowledge, inquiring minds can wonder about the latter.
This is my JavaOne keynote – which was a ton of fun. We broke a bunch of attendance records, with something near 15,000 attendees in the room (my favorite comment came from a reporter I spoke to after the event, who said: “I was amazed at the number of languages being spoken in the audience!”). Great buzz, tons of new stuff (capped off with a real-time Java roadrace after Scott’s keynote). Another reporter said, “it’s like a social movement.” Well, yes.
I got a chance to talk with Ed Zander, CEO of Motorola (go buy a RED phone!); and two of the world’s most vocal advocates of free and open source software, Mark Shuttleworth (the guy behind Ubuntu/Debian GNU/Linux who flew up from DebConf just for this event), and Marc Fleury (CEO, JBoss, Inc. – the company bringing Red Hat into the Java community). Definitely watch the video – you’ll see the symbolic passing of the pickle to Rich Green, Sun’s newly minted (but refreshingly familiar) Executive Vice President, Software.
After JavaOne, I spoke with Darrell Plummer and Paul McGuckin from Gartner at their conference (video here). David Berlind, as usual, had a thoughtful analysis of the hour. Frankly, I was a little disappointed in their questioning, as well – it seemed like so many of their questions had been hashed out in blogs and user generated analysis.
But all in all, a really great week – we’re now making serious progress on open sourcing Java (and despite the cynics, using a GPL license is very much *on* the table), while focusing the debate on what matters most: not access to lines of code (that’s already widely available), but ensuring compatibility. Compatibility is what brought a record number of people to JavaOne this year (making it the world’s largest free software conference), it’s what’s behind nearly 3 billion+ Java enabled devices. And for those that missed the subtlety, that compatibility is what creates the market Sun, and others, can monetize with network innovations, from software to hardware and services.
Seems like an obvious connection to me…
[update: fixed broken link]