I am not a big fan of keynotes, they are mostly too high level for me. But it was raining outside in the beginning of day 1 at BLUG so I decided to listen to Kevin Cavanaugh's keynote. And it was quite good, although not technical at all, if you do not count using Expose :-)
He pointed out (in a CxO language) where IBM is heading with all that "social this and social that".
Then I listened to Martin Donelly's Domino Designer and beyond presentation. Some really interesting features are ahead: preloading XPages runtime and/or specific DBs during the start of Lotus Notes Client (XPagesRuntimePreload=1 in notes.ini), sortable search results (at last!), css and js files aggregation and general focus od speeding up development and runtime of XPages. Martin is one of the authors of Mastering Xpages book and I couldn't resist to talk to him a bit and he seems like really great guy.
Several months ago GBS introduced Transformer technology (I do remember that webcast, it was a complete disaster, but it happens): a tool to "automagically" convert legacy Notes applications to XPages. Main power of this tool is in it's use on many (hundreds) applications at once. As I can imagine - and as they are honestly presenting - a lot of effort (paid extra, charged per hour) has to be invested to analytic phase. Is this application ready to be converted? If it is not, what do we need to do to make it possible? And even after succesfull conversion there is still lot of work ahead. But compared to complete manual way it could save you time (=money). GBS's Paul Calhoun presentation was funny, full of information. I liked it a lot.
Collaborative Product Management 2.0 was the title of one of the Business Partners (and sponsors) session: it was given by Kris Geens from GFI and he showed us some basic functionality supporting project management in web 2.0 environment, on top of Lotus Quickr.
Martiinj de Jong's session about differences between Domino and Exchange simply showed (for me) the already known facts: Domino is better than Exchange and Microsoft is very carefully choosing the facts that they use in their comparative studies.
Last session I chose to attend on day 1 was Paul Withers's Enter the Dojo. There wasn't anything new to me, but I can imagine that for someone starting XPages and web development in general it was just right.
Free beer part of day 1 was fun and interesting at once. Small groups of attendees were circulating through the lobby from one sponsor stand to another and spending exactly 5 minutes listening to the presentations. Those of you familiar with speed dating or events like Pecha Kucha night know what I am talking about.