However, this is not a closed developers forum, it is a public forum. You are correct in that there will be developers who know about it first under NDA. This is standard practice. Do you know which
Sure, and all I'd expect to be said publically was "games developers interested in java on consoles apply [to email address xxx]. We will review your work, and get you to sign an NDA. If, after further discussion, it seems your work is relevant, we may accept you onto a secret program. We reserve the right to reject any applications, even once under NDA" or similar.
Which of course tells everyone else precisely nothing - other than that Sun is working on *something* to do with consoles (which we've known for a long time anyway
spec. dev kits for the PS3? No. Why? Under NDA
OT, but...Actually, if you want to know, you can normally find out who many / most of them are. It's pretty difficult to construct a legal document that says you aren't allowed to tell anyone you are constrained by a legal document (doesn't stop lawyers trying, but what do you do when someone asks "are you under NDA on this subject?" - if you lie, and work for a public company, you have broken public company laws. If you tell the truth, you've broken the NDA. And if you say "no comment", then everyone knows you meant "yes"
Or there's the tried and tested tactic of asking "what console is your game coming out on" and then looking at the recent hires (just look at job adverts on AASwift etc), which tends to quickly find the anomalies (e.g. superficial example: company has hired lots of multi-threaded programmers but has no PS projects at all. Hmm. Suspicious. Probably they're not doing PS2 because they're working on PS3 instead...)
So...news quickly spreads about who has and has not been NDA'd on something, even if few of the details of the thing itself spread.