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Poll Result: Impact of Java User Groups Is Substantial

Posted by editor on November 20, 2009 at 8:17 AM PST

This past week's poll suggests that Java User Groups have a substantial impact and play an important organizational role within the Java developer community. A total of 293 votes were cast in the poll. Here are the exact question and the results:

Do you belong to a Java User Group?

  • 22% (65 votes) - Yes, and I actively participate
  • 26% (75 votes) - Yes
  • 5% (15 votes) - No, but I sometimes attend JUG-related events
  • 3% (10 votes) - No, but I follow JUG-related news
  • 12% (35 votes) - No, there is no local JUG where I live
  • 31% (90 votes) - No
  • 1% (3 votes) - Other

Among those who chose to vote in the non-scientific survey, 56% either belong to a Java User Group, attend JUG events, or follow JUG-related news. Among the people who stated they do not belong to a JUG, about a quarter have no local JUG they can participate in where they live.

Almost a third of voters selected the "No" option, which implies that they could participate in a Java User Group, but currently choose not to do so. That's a fairly low fraction, in my view.

The poll elicited four comments. rdelaplante and jwenting commented that the JUGs in their areas have too many commercial presentations by companies and vendors. rdelaplante said:

I think my local JUG should be renamed to SUG (Spring Users Group) since we've recently had 3 presentations from SpringSource, and some of the other vendors that give us their sales pitch focus on Spring too like GigaSpaces. Why isn't Sun out here pitching GlassFish and Java EE 6? I guess it can be challenging for JUG leaders to find a constant stream of speakers, and companies like SpringSource are eager to take full advantage of the opportunity to give their sales pitches in every major city.

jwenting commented: "From what I've seen around here the JUG(s???) seem mostly to exist for the purpose of companies presenting whitepapers and giving commercial presentations of products. Not very useful at all."

To these comments, JUG co-leader fabriziogiudici responded:

Co-leading a JUG and attending some meetings from others, I can say I've never seen any whitepaper, any commercial presentation or any speech by a big company representative - with the exception of some specific events (e.g. the IDE shootout or the Application Server shootout) where representative from the various producers were invited - in any case, the talks were exclusively technical. JUG Roma is the one capable in Italy to organize the largest single-day gatherings (1200+ attendants) and, again, no white papers or commercial stuff at all. In normal cases, speeches are mostly held by JUG member themselves and arguments decided by means of the mailing list - usually they are the guy's direct experience with a technology, which also gives good hints for a discussion. I wonder whether there are big differences in how JUGs are managed in various parts of the world.

Meanwhile, ipsi finds "very little promotion of the local JUG":

I'm vaguely aware that it exists, but there's very little promotion of it, and I had to do a Google Search to find the webpage. I don't think it was mentioned to me at all during my University studies (which mainly focused around Java). The country-wide discussion list seems to have ~120 members, which is pretty pitiful.

So, it seems like the size of the Java User Group matters a lot, along with the location; and probably there are also some differences in management. A big JUG where enough members live nearby probably has a much easier time with having technical presentations by the members themselves. Whereas, smaller JUGs, or JUGs in regions that are not all that metropolitan, will have fewer attendees at the JUG meetings. And, a smaller pool of active members translates into a smaller pool of potential presentations from the members themselves. So, in order to have something interesting and at least somewhat relevant, vendors are called upon. Surely some vendors are more adept at presenting a genuine technical talk, while others will present mostly their standard marketing spiel.

New poll: closures in Java 7

The new poll asks What do you think about closures in JDK 7? If you've followed the DEVOXX news, you'll have heard about the surprising and tantalizing coin flip decision that was revealed in Mark Reinhold's presentation at the conference.

In Java Today, Bill Venners interviews Stephen Colebourne in Java To Get Closures in JDK 7:

At the Devoxx conference in Antwerp, Belgium, Sun's Mark Reinhold announced that closures would be added to Java in JDK 7. In this interview, Stephen Colebourne, coauthor of the FCM closures proposal, gives his perspective on this surprise announcement.

One year ago, Mark Reinhold, Principal Engineer at Sun Microsystems, announced At the Devoxx conference in Antwerp, Belgium that the next major release of Java, JDK 7, would not include closures. At the same conference this year, however, Reinhold announced in a surprise turn around the Java would be getting closures after all in JDK 7. I sat down with Stephen Colebourne, project lead of and coauthor of the FCM closures proposal, to discuss his perspective on the reason for this change of plans...

Joe Darcy wrote about Project Coin: Milestone 5 Language Features in NetBeans:

To go along with the language changes available in JDK 7 milestone 5, the NetBeans team has created a
developer build of NetBeans supporting the same set of language changes, including improved integer literals, the diamond operator, and strings in switch. In addition to just accepting the new syntax, the NetBeans build has some deeper support too. For example, when auto-completing on a constructor with type arguments, the diamond operator is offered as a completion...

Java Champion Stephen Chin has posted his Devoxx University Slides:

My Devoxx university session yesterday was packed, which was awesome! It was 3 hours of hard-core JavaFX knowledge, and almost everyone stayed for the duration. Aaron Houston got a great shot of the venue (more on the Java Champions site). I posted my slides on SlideShare, so check it out when you get a chance. Special thanks to my co-authors, Jim, Weiqi, and Dean for help with the content.

In today's Weblogs, Harold Carr provides his Kynetx Impact Conference - notes - morning day 1:

9:00-9:45 AM: The Intention Economy: What Happens When Customers Get Real Power, Doc Searls, Sr. Editor of Linux Journal, Author of The Cluetrain Manifesto. I only caught the tailend - stuck in traffic...

Aaron Houston posted DEVOXX Day 3 - JUG BOF with James Gosling - MP3 recording:

Here is a raw recording of the JUG BOF at DEVOXX with James Gosling who was our special host. We had 56 Java User Groups represented at DEVOXX; We had 60 people in the room with James. Detailed list of topics discussed by timing marks in the MP3 recording. MP3 is 19MB to download and is 40+ min long. Here's bits and pieces, so here is the disclaimer: Please Listen to the MP3 before making any judgments/opinions on the accuracy of the transcript...

Cay Horstmann comments on the "tantalizing announcement" at DEVOXX in Closures? In Java 7???:

Today, a tantalizing announcement by Mark Reinhold about closures in Java 7 has made its way through the twittersphere. On the same day, Neal Gafter updated his closure proposal (known as the BGGA proposal, named after the initials of Bracha, Gafter, Gosling, and von der Ahé, and not at all related to the B. G. G. A. organization)...

In the Forums, shankar_vn wonders about a Circle Layout in LWUIT: "Hi all, I know there is no Circle layout, but does any one tried placing some 'n' number of images in a circle a format. Something like this: (Ignore the dots)..."

bernard_horan announces Clickable Link now in stable modules: "fyi I've just moved clickable link into the stable modules, and it will now be included by default in the list of capabilities. If you had previously been using/working with clickable link from the unstable modules, please update..."

hellofadude is getting an Unknown file type error (.jsp file): "Hi Im running windows vista on an M1330 (dell) with netbeans/glassfish bundle. Netbeans 6.5 and glassfish v2.1. when I try to run the guessNumber examble, I get a system error saying unknown file type with options to download from..."

Our current Spotlight is Josh Marinacci's new JavaFX open source Project MaiTai: "What is MaiTai? MaiTai is an open source tool for building interactive artwork. You create interesting sketches by wiring different blocks together with lines. There are blocks to produce graphics, process mouse and keyboard inputs, connect to webservices, and perform complex graphical transformations. The end result is limited only by your imagination. MaiTai can export a Java Webstart application or a QuickTime movie..."

The new Poll asks What do you think about closures in JDK 7? The poll will run through next Thursday.

Our Feature Articles lead off with Sanjay Dasgupta's in-depth article Simplify Native Code Access with JNA. We're also featuring Eric Siegelberg's Using a Service Delegate to Avoid MVC Controller Bloat, which describes how to maintain separation of concerns and avoid MVC controller bloat through the use of service delegates. And, our latest Java Tech guest column is Marina Kamahele's "Transparent" Panel - Mixing Heavyweight and Lightweight Components.

The latest Java Mobility Podcast is Java Mobile Podcast 90: Augmented Reality: Excerpts from the JavaOne 2009 Augmented Reality session with Kenneth Andersson and Erik Hellman of Sony Ericsson.

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