Skip to main content

Patiently waiting

Posted by daniel on July 1, 2003 at 5:11 AM PDT

Much of the content on Java Today is produced by people when the mood strikes them. We don't tell someone when to blog nor assign a topic. We don't set release dates for our affiliated communities so we can't possibly know when they will post new code or start an interesting thread in one of their forums. Mostly what we do is watch the activity and highlight it for you when it happens.

I know that sounds as if we sit around all day, waiting, and doing nothing. In some sense, that's probably true -- but waiting is important. I used to teach Mathematics. There are many important moments in a classroom, but one of the recurring important moments is when the instructor asks a question. Sometimes an eager student volunteers and answer, but once the first week is over and the freshness of the semester starts to fade, the class will generally look back at the instructor. Silence drives some teachers nuts. A five second lull seems to last forever and so they fill it. Experienced teachers just wait. Maybe they offer a hint, but they know the class is waiting them out expecting the teacher to just continue with the lesson. Just answer our questions and don't bother us. Midway through the semester, students understand that the instructor is not going to answer the questions for them and they begin to participate more actively in the class. Everyone benefits.

We're in a similar spot right now on Java Today. The excitement and shared experience of JavaOne is over. People are on vacation and back to thinking about other things and the blogging and wiki activity is down a bit. I get interesting phone calls. "Why don't we have the bloggers write entries two to three times a week?" It doesn't work that way. We tried to enlist interesting people as bloggers and told them to write whenever an interesting enough topic presented itself. We can't schedule when they will encounter things that interest them. "Can we have a list of all of the bloggers for the site?" Anyone who has blogged for the site is listed at "Who are the bloggers not on that list?" It doesn't matter. You aren't a blogger until you blog. I have a gym membership in my pocket, but if I don't go then I can't say that I work out. Having a membership only means that I can use the gym. It doesn't mean that I ever will.

So we wait. While we wait, we're signing up new bloggers, working on the wiki and other content, and watching communities and projects. If you check the status in the lower left corner of you'll see that there is a healthy number of projects and members. As that number grows, the amount of available content has grown.

In today's featured Weblogs Will Iverson looks at "A Busy World Filled with Links." He uses his blog entry to point you at products that have been capturing his imagination lately. OSCon is next week. Just as blogs started popping up everywhere in the last couple of years, wikis seem to be becoming popular. Wikis have been around a long time. Often workshops at OOPSLA would create a wiki before the conference to start a conversation with participants that could be continued at or beyond the conference. The wiki is a great medium for conferences and academic classrooms. Follow Tim O'Reilly's link in his blog about the "Unofficial OSCon Wiki".

In Also Today, the Struts 1.1 Final has been released by the Apache Software Foundation. The Java Boutique article on "Using the Struts 1.1 Validator" takes a comprehensive look at what you need to add to your web application to set up the validation code and xml configurations files. Also, we continue our link to affiliated Java User Groups with "Featured JUG: Salt Lake City, Utah."

Steve Mallett, the Java Today news editor has gathered the following Java Today News Headlines: "Struts 1.1 Final Released", "Mozilla 1.4 Released", "State's high court upholds right of ex-Intel mass mailer", "drjava-beta-20030701 Release", and "AOP Alliance: Bring together different AOP frameworks".

Once this page is no longer featured as the front page of Java Today it will be archived at You can access other past issues by changing the address appropriately.