McNealy, Ellison Headline JavaOne Keynote

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy closed out the opening keynote for the JavaOne conference by reassuring attendees that investment in Java will continue, and even increase.

It came at the end of morning announcements and speeches, with just McNealy and Ellison alone on stage, following an earlier keynote from current Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) CEO and conference host Jonathan Schwartz. With Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) about to acquire Sun, the two old friends gave the audience at least some of the assurances they wanted to hear.

“We’re going to accelerate our investments in Java,” Ellison told the audience. “We see increasing investment in Java from the overall Oracle/Sun community and you are going to see more from us.”

He added that “Sun has done a fantastic job inventing Java, giving it to the world, and we’re going to do more of the same. Don’t expect a lot of changes, just more investment and a lot of enthusiasm coming from Oracle.”

Oracle’s middleware strategy is based 100 percent on Java, and it was Java’s openness that allowed Oracle to extend the platform, he said. “Our whole next generation of business apps, the Fusion suite, is built entirely on Java,” said Ellison.

Ellison also said he wants to see increased emphasis on JavaFX, and made one telling comment that shows what he thinks of Ajax , the interactive technology built on JavaScript and XML.

“We want to see accelerated JavaFX development,” said Ellison. “Thank you very much, James [Gosling, the inventor of the Java language], that we no longer need Ajax tools. Thank you, James, a lot of long-suffering programmers will pray to you because they don’t have to suffer with Ajax any more.”

Ellison said Oracle would get “very aggressive in developing Java apps for phones and netbooks,” but did not say if Oracle might actually get into that business.

He never did address the big question of whether JavaOne would continue on its own or be folded into Oracle OpenWorld, though. McNealy closed it out with a note of thanks.

“My last message to you all for this JavaOne, and I don’t know about future JavaOnes, but I’ve admired and respected all the work this community has done and I don’t believe any environment has gone as far and as deep as this one. I’m just incredibly proud of what you’ve done and a huge, one last final thank you to all of you,” he said.

Serious moment

The first 60 minutes of the JavaOne keynote were like so many others, with some product news and demos, executives from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and Sony Pictures speaking, and CEO Jonathan Schwartz not saying a word about Oracle.

Then he invited James Gosling, Sun vice president and fellow, to talk about the new Java Store. Monetizing Java projects would be the best way to make them grow, Gosling said. “These days in the desktop Linux world, if you’re going to be a developer, it’s an act of love. You take a vow of poverty,” he joked.

“So many of these things aren’t advancing as fast as they could because they are a labor of love,” Gosling added, and Schwartz said the Java Store would help address that.

“The whole point of this store is to give a developer with a great idea an opportunity to get it out there,” said Schwartz.

Before Ellison’s appearance, Gosling and McNealy presented an award of recognition to Randy Bryant, dean of Carnegie-Mellon’s computer science department, who discussed the work of his most famous colleague, Professor Randy Pausch. Pausch’s speech, The Last Lecture, his final lecture to students after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, made him a YouTube hit, followed by a best-selling book.

Pausch’s computer science work, Alice, is an open source Java language tutorial, and Bryant discussed the newest version of the software to a very quiet audience.

JavaOne runs through Friday, where Gosling will be the final keynote speaker, as is his tradition.

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