Calendar.getInstance().get(Calendar.YEAR) == 2011 && ! J1

Here we are in the middle of yet another J1 and, alas, I won't be joining folks in the City of Oracle World. Of course I'm skeptical of the "new" hotel based format (from last year)... But the reason I would want to go is, of course, the "hallway track": to see friends and colleagues like: @robilad, @alexismp, @mreinhold, @fabianenardon, @virtualsteve, @delabassee, @brjavaman, @karianna, @romainguy, @headius, @AzulSystemsPM, @jddarcy, @jfarcand, @tom_enebo, @asz and @terrencebarr.

I'm not even sure of Oracle is aware of the hallway track?

The big news recently for FLOSS enthusiasts was the sunsetting of the DLJ. When we released a redistributable version of Java under the DLJ in 2006 we heard a lot of criticism about this new, less restrictive license. The Free Java world saw it as simply "not enough". As it turns out on the same day Rich Green promised the open sourcing of Java and with this news the roar of applause was amazing. However it would take a full year before the complete publication of OpenJDK source code. And, even then, the community was frustrated by the lack of support for the Java plugin.

During this intitial period we heard from people such as the Brazilian's at FISL that the Java plugin -- now well integrated with GNU/Linux under the DLJ -- made it possible to do banking and file tax returns on their favorite platform. Meanwhile an open source plugin effort was underway. Largely through the efforts of RedHat OpenJDK gained a truly open source implementation of the plugin. However due to the lack of a public spec (and source code) it continues to be very difficult to get the exact same Java plugin behavior with the IcedTea plugin.

Before the acquisition of Sun many of us had hoped that the code for the new Java plugin would be contributed to OpenJDK. Even though Larry has a beard he clearly doesn't drink the open source Kool-Aid and thus Oracle has decided to continue the closed plugin status. Since UI developers gave up on applets long ago maybe this is just an annoyance... At the very least its a shame that we now have a completely fractured Java plugin landscape and GNU/Linux users that need applets will have to struggle (as in the bad old days) to configure their browsers correctly.

Despite this setback it does seem that Java technology is enjoying a renaissance in the form of dynamic languages built on top of the JVM. I'm hoping to help with the modularization of OpenJDK and encourage community based performance analysis tools that extend the platform.

Send me a tweet and let me know how the hallway track is going!