Java sitting at kids table at Oracle conference

JavaOne held several blocks away from Oracle Open World this week

While covering JavaOne 2009, after Oracle’s bid for Sun Microsystems was announced but not yet completed, a lot of attendees were asking whether it would be the last JavaOne. Today, we have our answer.

Now that Oracle owns Sun and the open source application development platform Java, an event called JavaOne/Oracle Develop is being held concurrently with Oracle Open World in San Francisco this week, but at different locations. Oracle Open World will occupy the spacious Moscone Center convention facility, but you’ll have to walk a half mile to attend JavaOne at the Hilton San Francisco off of Union Square.

The JavaOne keynote schedule includes addresses that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and co-president Safra Catz will be making Sunday night at Moscone, but neither of them, nor new co-president Mark Hurd, famously formerly of HP, are scheduled to speak directly to attendees of JavaOne at the Hilton.

Holding a separate event at a different venue makes it seem like Oracle is seating JavaOne at the equivalent of the kids table and could feed the concern of skeptics who wondered how well Oracle would support open source software that would be competition for its more profitable licensed software.  One leading critic of Oracle acquiring Java, Florian Mueller, recently blogged about Oracle suing Google over violation of Java patents in its Android mobile platform, expressing criticism of Oracle's aggressive action. Mueller hasn't replied to my questions about the separate events.

However, there’s probably a reasonable explanation for the separate conferences, so it’s doubtful that Oracle is trying to hide Java or that Java won’t continue to be formidable competition for Microsoft’s .Net framework, which is the subject of a funny parody video making the Internet rounds the last few days.

Holding separate events could be just a question of logistics. JavaOne, when it was hosted by Sun at Moscone over the last several years, was a sizable event in itself and both Oracle Open World and JavaOne couldn’t likely squeeze into Moscone together. And to be fair, JavaOne/Oracle Develop has a robust schedule of its own, with numerous sessions on Java Enterprise Edition, MySQL database, GlassFish Server and other Java-based technology.

And to perhaps go out of their way to underscore that Java will continue to have a place in the house of Oracle, one page of the JavaOne/Oracle Develop Web site is titled, “I am the Future of Java.” The page is full of Q&As with various Oracle developers on the future of Java.

While their comments were all obviously cleared by corporate, one of them, Stephen Chin, a director of software engineering, states: “This year at JavaOne is the seminal event of Oracle's stewardship, which will drive the future of Java.”

“JavaOne 2010 is THE event that will make or break Java, the technology,” writes Rom Feria, a professor at the University of the Philippines. “I cannot wait to know what Oracle will do with this awesome technology—where will Java be on the desktop, enterprise and mobile in the next in the next year or two.”

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