CommunityOne/JavaOne Wrapup

Posted on June 4, 2009

CommunityOne is done, and JavaOne is passing by. As usual a great show. There is no way to even compare other events with that of JavaOne and associated events. The energy was high this year, although under a big “what is Oracle going to do??” cloud of fear.

From a OpenSolaris perspective there were a great number of fantastic talks. Of special interest was emerging technologies that have tremendous disruptive potential, such as COMSTAR and Crossbow. As a major advocate of Crossbow I was glad that it go so much attention, especially in the CommunityOne General Session (ie: Morning Keynote).

Of course, the most important aspect of events like this is the people themselves. I missed a lot of sessions I wanted to attend due to “hallway chatter”. The personalities collected there is amazing. I can’t even make a list its so long.

This was the first year I actually stayed in a hotel for the show. That makes things all the more interesting. For instance, there was a Sun Employee party at 9PM on Monday. I suddenly realized how many of my friends are Sun employees. After unsuccessfully attempting to crash the party with John Plocher he and I hung and talked for a while untill he headed home. Then I was adrift… so I hit my hotel room, settled in and set out for dinner. Walking out of my hotel, on the sidewalk, was Max Bruning! Both of us were taken aback and he agreed to let me buy him a beer at the bar we were standing in front of.

Talking with Max is a unique and special treat. He is an amazing trainer, that comes though clearly. Unlike most uber-geeks there is no ego or superiority in him. You can talk with him about gaps in your knowledge and he’ll start talking about it in depth in a totally non-threatening way. This is something rare at conferences, where you feel like you have to hide your inabilities for fear of a swift degrading reprimand. Besides, how many people do you meet that you can talk freely about ZFS and Solaris Kernel internals with? I can’t tell you how much I valued the hour or two I got to talk with him. Once I got home I attacked some pending post-mortems with a renewed gusto. I only caught the last 1 hour of his Deep Dive session, but it was incredibly useful. I’ll post the video link as soon as its available.

As for my talks… I did 3, as I noted prior to the conference in this blog. My talks went pretty well. I opted to go the “entertaining and informative” route. The comments on each were pretty positive. In retrospect I could have done a lot of refining in my delivery, but for these types of events its always difficult to guess at the audience, so I shoot for the middle and go high energy to at least be fun to listen to. 😉

Anyway…. most of the talks were video taped and will be appearing online next week. (Post-processing takes a while.) Sun wanted live feeds on things, but weren’t able to get it done through their AV people.

Of interest to the community might have been the OpenSolaris Town Hall, a chance to grill the OGB as a panel. That session was not taped, but nothing happened. The OGB updated the community on what they are working on (all of which is available on the web) and opened the floor to questions. The problem was that it was at the same time that beer was being served at the CommunityOne party and most people seemed more interested in the beer than politics… consiquently there were no questions, perhaps because anything that should be said already has been. The vibe was that of resignation to the whole process and trust in the direction that Madam Michelle Olsen is going. Whats to discuss? So the event wrapped up quickly.

Thanks to everyone who went and participated. A special thanks to Teresa Giacomini, Lynn Rohrer, Markus Flierl, and especially Deirdre Straughan for allowing me the privilege of participating in such an excellent event.