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Inscrutable Java, by Jeremy Geelan

One of the joys of Java is that it never seems to lose its capacity to surprise. This has been true ever since its debut at one of the earliest DEMO conferences, one of the most dynamic and interactive gigs in the whole technology industry.

The formula, for those unfamiliar with DEMO, is that each year the organizers conduct over 1,000 individual interviews with companies that represent the best and the brightest new ideas to hit the technology markets. These 1,000 are whittled down to about 75, and those 75 get to do a presentation at DEMO that year...in front of the "influencers" who will be helping to shape technology opinions in the coming 12 months.

Imagine having been there when the Java "applet" was first presented. Is there anyone out there, any reader of JDJ, for example, who claims today to have sensed six whole years ago the possible impact of this new programming language? If so speak up, we'd love to hear from you in the next issue!

It was a surprise that Java turned out to be far more than just applets. It was a surprise that Java evolved into an entire platform. My own secret view is that Java simply surprises every one of us, almost all the time.

And the surprises continue. In the extraordinarily relaxed and modest chat at JavaOne that James Gosling, the "Father of Java," had live on SYS-CON Radio with JDJ editor-in-chief Alan Williamson and JDJ editorial panel member Blair Wyman, he evidenced similar surprise...in this case, it was at the fact that in 2001 Java was all set to make its appearance in 100 million Japanese telephone handsets. It's "kinda cool" to think that Java has found its way into such a mass application.

As developers, readers of JDJ will of course be thirsty for more. Thirsty to hear that, maybe at DEMO 2002, Sun Microsystems - or, more likely, some independent software development shop - has come up with some new twist, some new evolutionary leap, to the Java story.

Maybe we can't afford the time to sift through 1,000 or even 1,200 different companies in order to achieve a sense of what's over the i-tech horizon. And maybe we lack the connections that obtain us a place at DEMO so that we can see firsthand the 75 demonstrations that make the cut.

But surely we can all afford the time to keep our eyes on Sun. Which is why upwards of 17,000 Java developers happily got themselves to the Moscone Center this year, to JavaOne. And why SYS-CON Radio managed to record and transmit live interviews over the Web not just with James Gosling, but also with over 100 i-tech whizzes, from the CEOs of some of the major software giants to the CTOs of some pretty left-of-field startups.

Among the latter category, for all we know, was a future Sun. Anyone who wants to hear the interviews can tune into www.sys-con.com/java. Or, better still, come to JDJEdge 2001, the conference and expo produced by SYS-CON Events, and hear a great many of the same i-tech professionals firsthand, either in the keynote addresses, the expert panels, the FastTrack sessions, or the main presentations.

The conference is being held September 23-26 at the Hilton New York and, well, with Java you just never know what new product announcements will be made, or what strategic twists of fate may go down.

Can you afford not to be there? Come join prominent executives, technologists, analysts, VCs, and entrepreneurs, all of whom will be there to rub shoulders with the developers who make the whole Java ecosystem work. You'll meet the editors behind JDJ as well as James Gosling, who is giving a keynote address, and a host of other Java luminaries. Register today!

Author Bio
Jeremy Geelan, editorial director of SYS-CON Media, speaks, writes, and broadcasts about the future of Internet technology and about the business strategies appropriate to the convergence of business, i-tech, and the future. [email protected]

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