Thursday, October 7, 2010

JavaOne 2011: The Middle Way Approach

The Middle Way Approach is proposed to peacefully resolve the issues with JavaOne and to bring about stability and co-existence between JavaOne and Oracle OpenWorld based on equality and mutual co-operation. It is inspired by the Dalai Lama's Middle Way Approach for resolving the issue of Tibet. Obviously, our issues with the co-location of JavaOne and Oracle OpenWorld are trivial compared to the issue of Tibet. That in itself will hopefully bring some lightness to dealing with the JavaOne logistical issues. In the grand scheme of things, it is truly not all that significant. Having said that, it still matters a great deal to those of us in the Java development community.

I much prefer a middle way approach rather than the nuclear option (i.e., the community starting their own "J2" conference). The problem as I see it though is the sheer size of Oracle OpenWorld makes it very difficult for JavaOne to co-exist with that event. I do accept the practical necessity to have them in close proximity. However, the use of adjacent hotels for the JavaOne 2010 sessions was a logistical nightmare and dismal failure this year. Since holding a separate JavaOne conference at a different time is a non-starter in discussions with Oracle, I propose here some slight modifications to the current organization of the combined events that I believe would significantly improve the situation.

Instead of relegating all the developer sessions to the hotels, the primary goal of this proposal is to move the developer sessions back to Moscone. The way I propose accomplishing this is by having the JavaOne developer sessions start one day earlier on Saturday and the OpenWorld sessions shift their start/end dates by one day. The old format was:
  • User Group Sunday
  • Oracle Open World/JavaOne on Monday-Thursday
The new format would be:
  • JavaOne on Saturday-Sunday
  • User Group Monday
  • Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday-Friday
You might be wondering what this really buys us. It would allow JavaOne to move back to Moscone. There will be no competition with OpenWorld during the weekend. So, we can have the technical sessions like in past years in the meeting rooms at Moscone. I also envision a few Java talks of crossover interest being held on the overlapping Tuesday of the two events. Since it will only be a few talks of crossover interest on Tuesday, they can be fit into the overlapped schedule at Moscone on Tuesday. In my personal opinion, being back in Moscone for two full days would be better than the current situation being in the separate hotels for 4 days. Plus, it does retain an overlap between the two events that is important for some of us. With respect to the big appreciation event/party on Wednesday night, that could be a separate additional option you can choose to buy (or not) when you register for JavaOne.

By the way, this would allow Oracle Develop and a new MySQL conference to also move back to Moscone for the weekend. There is plenty of room at Moscone to co-locate all three developer focused conferences. They could follow the same overlapping schedule as JavaOne. I truly believe this is a middle way approach that could work. My biggest logistical fear is that it is already too late to change the Moscone reservation for next year's event to include the additional days required to do this.

As an aside, a JavaOne pass could have the same benefits as the Discover Pass this year did for OpenWorld. That way, JavaOne attendees that choose to hang around could still network with the OpenWorld attendees later in the week.

Namasté, Van