Thursday, December 23, 2004

JavaOne 2005

Well the CFP for JavaOne 2005 is out. A quick perusal over what they want this year shows that maybe they've started to listen to the attendees. I've been going to JavaOne for quite a few years and have presented at a couple. However, over the years I've noticed the attendance level drop and my own opinion is that there are a few reasons for this:

(i) at the start, it was almost impossible to get a presentation accepted unless you were a Sun employee or at least that's how it seemed. I remember looking through the agendas for early JavaOne's and playing "spot the non-Sun employee" - it was hard.

(ii) following on from (i), I think it became hard for people to get information that was truly for the community and from the community. OK, Sun brought us Java, but as a percentage of the people who actually use and develop the technology, are they really that influential? So, the early JavaOne's were hype-shows, with not a lot of content. I remember one friend commenting to me after one early show "This conference intentionally left blank." and he was pretty much on the mark. I suspect this kind of comment wasn't unique and had knock-on effects.

(iii) JavaOne became a "show" and not a conference/workshop. Even the BOFs started to suffer. Unfortunately the marketing still pushed "conference". Now when I attend a conference I have certain expectations for the types of presentation and their technical detail. Definitely a different expectation for a "show".

So it looks like Sun have finally started to listen to the people who attend these conferences and turn the tide away from a "show". Let's hope it works because JavaOne should be the place to go if you're into Java.


Anonymous said...

Did you just sabotage the chances for our proposed joint session this year, or increase them...

greg.pavlik @ oracle.

Mark Little said...

Increase them I hope. :-)

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