The opening keynote at the JavaOne conference was a bittersweet moment, for in a sense it was the end of the Sun some have grown to love.
The standard dress code of jeans and a tshirt were much in evidence, even if it wasn't the most flattering attire for James Gosling. Schwartz still has his ponytail, which personally I think looks ridiculous but Java developers love him for it.
There was a fun atmosphere on stage, with tshirts being flung into the audience from the main stage using a giant catapult at one point.
But then at the end of the keynote Larry Ellison came on stage, suited and booted and ready to shake things up. His immaculate suit and grooming were alien to most of the attendees and I could see some of them were worried that the free and easy days of Sun's corporate model were over.
While most attendees accept the Oracle takeover is going to happen there are very few people on the show floor that like the idea.
Sun has been a good company to work for and develop with. It's so laid-back it's practically horizontal. Oracle on the other hand is almost the direct opposite; sharkish, formal and driven totally by the bottom line.
I spoke to one developer, obviously a Sun enthusiast by his tshirt, big beard and bigger beer gut. He was mournful at the change-over, fearing developers were going to be given a tougher time from their new masters.
Of particular concern to him (JavaOne is one of the most male dominated conferences on the circuit) no details have been forthcoming about Sun's commission on applications sold in the new store
. He, and others, are expecting to get hosed. I suspect they may be right.