It's Net Bean Day Eve. JavaOne is upon us once more and I am looking forward to a week of learning, connecting with my fellow engineers, and hopefully being amazed on occasion.
On Saturday I attended the java.net Community Leaders Meeting. Once a year just before JavaOne the leaders of various communities on java.net get together to discuss various ways in which to make java.net a better place to live.
One of the interesting topics this year was about internationalization. Most (perhaps all??) the projects on java.net are in English. It is difficult to impossible for those who do not speak English to participate in those projects even though there are many who would like to. The problem of internationalization is not limited to only project home pages but also extends to such content as javadoc and code comments.
Bruno Souza (community leader of JUGS based in Brazil) gave a cool demo of how using open source solutions such as the open-language-tools project can be used to make some headway towards solving this important and difficult problem.
By the way the technical sessions and BOFs are not the only place to find interesting talks about Java Technology. Check out the Java Community Corner at the java.ner booth on the Pavillion floor. Lots of very interesting topics. Check it out the schedule here.
Today (Sunday) I got registered and layed-back a bit. I did take some time to complete my schedule using Schedule Builder. This year as most of the attendees already know, Sun has mandated the use of schedule builder to enroll in technical sessions and the hands-on labs.
It would be interesting to know what the majority of attendees think about this (good topic for a survey question).
All in all, Schedule Builder is a pretty nice tool. I do have a couple of suggestions however that might make the application a bit easier to use.
The first thing I did was list out all the types of sessions for all days. I started at the top of the list and checked off every session that I had any interest in. I then clicked the "Add to My Schedule" button.
The application very nicely brought me to a page telling me that I had a whole bunch of scheduling conflicts and showed me which selections were conflicting. But much to my surprise there were no check boxes next to the selections, just a button at the bottom of the page that when clicked took be back to the listing of available sessions.
So I clicked the button and went back to the session listing, but the sessions were not sorted by time so the check marks I had placed were all over the page. I could not remember which sessions had conflicts.
I noticed that the table headings where links. So I clicked the heading labeled "Date" figuring that the table would sort and I would more easily be able to see my conflicts. Well the page refreshed, sorting the table rows by date, but in the process all my check marks disappeared (standard problem with many web applications) and I had to start all over again. It would be nice if that state could be remembered when sorting the table.
Another small nit is that in order to navigate to the various functions, the application provides tabs at the top of the page. It would be nice if the navigation could also be represented as buttons at the bottom of the page. When I was reviewing my Friday schedule (at the bottom of the page) I often found that I did a lot of scrolling on order to navigate between the various pages.
So I hope the good folks that wrote the Schedule Builder will accept these suggestions in the constructive spirit in which they are given. After all we're all here to make things better and if you don't believe me just ask Josh.