First impressions of the opening session:
Java is really healthy. Combined with the community around it and open-source/free-software momentum, I think Java could survive even the complete collapse of Sun. Not that I think Sun is going anywhere, but some people do.
The technical platform is growing right now. Just from the big vendors: J(2)EE 5 with the new persistence technology, WebServices from everyone, SCA/SDO from IBM. The open-source environment is just as busy. Most of this growth will be a disaster of complexity, but at least some of it (e.g. Java Persistence) is really a simpler, more useful replacement for something existing (i.e. 1.1 entity beans).
Is the JCP for real? I have no idea. Mr. Schwartz was pushing all developers to join the JCP as individuals. Why isn’t Intelliware a member of the JCP? We’ve built the whole company on Java — should we help steer it?
Finally, I can’t imagine how hard it is to speak to 10000 people. Even the technical presenters seemed comfortable on stage. The mind boggles.