December 08, 2000, 4:27 PM — One day after Microsoft begins its yearly TechEd developers' event in Orlando, arch-
rival Sun Microsystems will kick off its annual gathering of the Java faithful at the
JavaOne Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.
The event will provide an apt meter for gauging Java's momentum, which in some ways,
at least, may outpace Microsoft developer fever these days. In fact, for those who
count such things, JavaOne conference organizers expect 22,000 attendees at this year's
event. Microsoft, for its part, estimates that over 11,000 developers will make the
trek to TechEd this year.
This year's event marks the five-year anniversary of Java itself (Java was "born" in
May, 1996), and organizers seem to be pulling out all the stops. "We are testing the
limits of the San
Francisco fire marshal," enthused Bill Roth, group product manager for Sun's the
Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition. "It's going to be huge."
According to Roth, wireless technology is a "key theme" at this year's show.
"Our story at JavaOne is about how the Java platform are being used in
wireless applications from cell phone to supercomputers," he says. "Expect
some big announcements in the wireless space."
Among the expected announcements at this year's show is the completion of a
new Java Virtual Machine for handhelds and wireless devices. Sun's Connected
Limited Device Configuration (CLDC) is aimed at devices lacking the
memory and processing power to run an operating system and Personal Java
together. The new "Kilobyte VM" takes up only about 256KB of memory. The KVM
was first demonstrated running on Palm PDAs at last year's conference.
Attendees can also expect a host of announcement about the continuing
adoption of Java 2 Enterprise Edition by developers. About 40 of the
technical sessions will focus on J2EE; only a handful of those sessions will
be run by Sun. Sun recently announced J2EE licensing agreements with Oracle,
BEA, Silverstream, and Sybase.
Conspicuously absent from the list of licensees these days is IBM, a company that
had a lot to do with making J2EE possible, and which asserts that it is a "J2EE
licensee," although it has apparently failed to settle disputes with Sun -- royalties
and branding-rights seem to be the touchy points -- in time for this year's show. In
any case, it's safe to say that there will probably be lots of talk at the conference
about J2EE and Java's recent inroads into the $2 billion application server market.
This year's speaker lineup includes the obligatory conference keynote
kickoff from Sun's cheeky chairman and CEO Scott McNealy, and some special
mystery keynote guests, whom Roth describes as "really, really big." Sun's
relatively new president of software products and platforms, Pat Sueltz, who
left IBM just before Christmas to join the Team Java, will also speak.