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Poll Result: New java.net Is Better, But Still Needs Improvement

Posted by editor on June 21, 2011 at 10:32 PM PDT

The results of the last java.net poll indicate that the community in general considers the new java.net to be better than the previous edition of the site -- but further improvement in many areas is still needed. The poll was designed to be a forum through which the community could provide feedback on the changes to java.net that were implemented starting in late February. A total of 96 votes were cast, and a valuable conversation was carried on in 15 posted comments.

The actual question and voting results were:

Now that you're accustomed to it, what do you think of the new java.net?

  • 20% (19 votes) - It's much improved
  • 45% (43 votes) - It's better, but some areas still need improvement
  • 9% (9 votes) - I likejava.net about the same as I did before
  • 19% (18 votes) - The old site was better
  • 3% (3 votes) - I don't know
  • 4% (4 votes) - Other

For java.net, this is a very positive set of numbers (65% consider the site to be improved compared with its previous edition). At the same time, it's clear that most people who chose to vote believe java.net could be better. The posted comments emphasize this by pointing out several problem areas, and pointing out the seriousness of the site's deficiencies.

For example, wadechandler, in a thoughtful and detailed comment, said:

I think whoever is working on Java.net needs to seriously check out SourceForge.net and GitHub.com. I find Java.net to be quite "anti-social" with its anemic feature set. Heck, I'm honestly trying to use it out of loyalty and all, but it is pretty frustrating in some areas, and I'm debating going back to SourceForge for my own projects because who has time to waste.

One of the problems with java.net is the lack of documentation for the users. For example, Wade asked "How do I contact and arbitrary user of Java.net? So, I know their name and their user name, and I want to send them a message..."

It's actually quite easy to accomplish this on java.net, because sending an email to javaNetUserName@java.net automatically forwards the message to that user. But, only a few people know this. In addition, the performance of email initiated through java.net addresses has often been poor (including project email lists). The performance problems are being addressed. But, if you'd like to contact an arbitrary java.net user, and you send an email to javaNetUserName@java.net, you can be pretty certain that your message will get through, ultimately.

Java.net really could use a User's Guide of some sort, whether a wiki, or a java-net-doc project, or something like that. The java.net team is aware of our documentation deficit -- but, reading the comments posted to this poll makes me think this is a more serious problem than I had considered it to be before now.

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