JavaOne is over for another year and it was a mixed bag. It was the first JavaOne where Oracle was in charge and for one reason or another they decided to co-locate it with OpenWorld. I can't believe it was for monetary reasons, given how much they must have paid for the Black Eyed Peas, Lance Armstrong etc. I suspect it was more to do with stamping their authority on the Java landscape and distancing from the old Sun days. So this was the first JavaOne that wasn't held at the Moscone: that honour went to OpenWorld attendees. (I went to Moscone on several occasions, for old times sake, and it seemed as busy as JavaOne in the past.)
But JavaOne was split across several hotels, with many different meeting rooms used for the presentations and vendor pavilion. As a result, it was difficult to get a good feeling for how many people were at JavaOne this year: gone was the feeling of size that you got in the past when moving between Moscone North and South, replaced with only knowing how many people were in the session you'd just attended. The atmosphere was also different. Yes, there was some of the old JavaOne buzz, but it really just felt like yet another conference on Java, not the premier event it had been in years gone by.
Now don't get me wrong: the sessions I attended were great; probably better than many I'd seen in previous years. So even if JavaOne is relegated to "just another Java conference", it was still a good conference! However, I think that many of the people attending, both presenters and audience, were still expecting the old JavaOne and gave it their best efforts to help achieve a semblance of those days. All of the sessions I attended and gave were packed, which is different from previous years (though perhaps I just chose better this time). But the overall atmosphere was heavy with Oracle pixie dust, doing it's best to ensure we all understood that Java Is Under New Management.
As for JBoss, well we had many sessions and BOFs this year. Hopefully a good sign of things to come, assuming JavaOne continues next year. Our booth at the vendor pavilion was always packed, and unlike other booths, not with our own people! We ran a very successful succession of booth presentations, where core developers (and I still include myself there!) talked about a range of topics. The feedback from everyone who listened in was positive and I've never seen our booth or teams manning them as busy as this year.
And of course it wouldn't be JavaOne without a JBoss party. Now we may not have been able to afford Will.I.Am et al, but that didn't mean we couldn't have fun! The team selected The Slide, an old Speakeasy, with a real slide used to access the lower floor (yes, I and several others used it just to be sure it was working ;-). Our party was packed with people from across the industry divide, and from what I heard, to the detriment of several other parties that were going on at the same time. Yes, I think that despite JavaOne not being quite the same, the JBoss party was on a par with some of the best we've had in the past!