The Fireside Chat is usually an interesting conversation between JavaOne alumni and some of the more Java founders. This year it was James Gosling, Graham Hamilton, Jeff Jackson and a few others. These are more disjointed notes of what I am interested in, than a running commentary on everything that's said.
The format for this chat is that someone in the audience asks one ore more questions, and the panel tries to answer as much as possible. Nothing advanced.
Questions about Java Applets downloading time, is there any plans on having a Java Web Edition? Short answer: no.
Performance, specifically the startup time of the Java engine; Sun have tried, but right now it seems hard to get it any faster without removing significant functionality.
I gathered from some comments that one of Sun's primary priorities right now is good interoperability with Microsoft and .NET.
Regarding deprecated API's, it seems likely they will never disappear, at least not until there is enough good tool support to actually remove and refactor all dependencies on such code.
have to care about AJAX.
Then the panel got the question what one thing they'd like to remove from Java if they could. Goslings immediate answer was java.awt. He got off on a tangent and talked a little about how the basic feature set of Java was decided, and that he only put in stuff that people really, really needed. The result of this is that he doesn't regret anything with the language. He seemed particularly glad that he didn't try to put in generics or enumerations from the beginning, because he would probably have failed doing it "right".
If he could add something to the language, that would be really lightweight objects. Some kind of structs, for implementing the canonical example of an object oriented number class, for example. Right now the most lightweight classes are still way to heavy. Also, Hamilton would like to improve getters and setters, but he doesn't know how yet.
There seems to be some interesting improvements to JavaBeans in Dolphin.
Hamilton also said that he would like to undeprecate java.util.Date, since it is very much more usable than java.util.Calendar most of the time.
Sun is also working on really good refactoring tools. Gosling has a vision of "lint on steroids". They have a few good prototypes, but nothing close to being released yet.
Another point in planning is better performance for JNI. Make it possible to remove checks and stuff like that. It seemed that arrays were the big problem. You can get quite good speed already, by not using arrays, and having as much NIO as possible.
These were my opinions on the more interesting stuff from the Fireside Chat.