Microsofties at JavaOne

I’ve been cruising through the MSDN blog posts, and I’ve been surprised by the number of Microsoft FTEs (Full-Time Employees) who are at JavaOne this year, it seems. Most interestingly is their thoughts and opinions about being at JavaOne; not a single one (thus far in my reading) has recounted a negative tale about being at JavaOne, meaning that it sounds like they’ve been given a pretty warm reception. Or, perhaps it would be better to say, they’ve NOT been given the cold shoulder, something I genuinely worried about.

What strikes me most of all, though, is wondering how much of actively being exposed to the Java space is going to affect the .NET 3.0 ("Orcas") release–for example, CyrusN makes this comment (which I’ve excerpted from the longer post):

    I got to go see the BirdsOfAFeather talk with Josh Bloch concerning the new collection in Java1.5 (which you can read about: here) and the upcoming collections they have planned for the future (which you can read about: here). I’ve long been a fan of the java collections and i’ve found that they’ve normally held a good balance between simplicity and power. It’s actually a case of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" for me. stl is too complex and painful to use, .Net is too simplistic and limited in power, whereas java get’s it just about right. It’s not perfect, but it’s flexible enough to handle almost anything you’d ever need. I always found the deep use of abstractions to be enormously helpful for writing your own special collections while only writing 1/10th or evern 1/100th of the code necessary to implement the full interface. It’s also not cluttered with a gazillion interfaces like i’ve seen in other packages which isn’t especially helpful in a language like java which doesn’t have unions.

What struck me is that if the Collections API seems to be "just right", can we expect a richer .NET API–one that closely mirrors the Collections API–to come in Orcas? Believe me, I would be the first to vote for that; I’m with Cyrus on this one, I love the Collections API’s approach, and have actually suggested to .NET developers to have a look at it for ideas for their own collections classes.

Now, the interesting challenge will be to see if any (and how many) Sun and/or other Java-developing companies or individuals show up at PDC this year to start… um… leveraging more ideas from the .NET space in return. 🙂