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Every Kinda People

Posted by editor on November 27, 2006 at 7:53 AM PST

Saying "thanks" to projects you find useful

Last year, we ran a poll asking How active are you in projects? The answers got us some hackles:

  • Project owner
  • Have contributed code
  • Have filed bugs/RFE's
  • Have discussed projects in lists/forums
  • Not active in projects

Some people said we should have had a fifth response, between "have discussed projects..." and "not active", for "Have downloaded project code". I actually considered that, and chose not to make it an option, because I wanted all the active choices to involve some kind of write-level access. My thought being that if you don't even acknowledge a project by filing a bug, or posting a note on its boards, or interacting in any way with any person involved in the project, then that's not participating in the project in any meaningful way. After all, the least you can say is "thanks".

The latest JavaTools Community Newsletter makes a similar point. In the "tool tip" section of the November 22 newsletter, Daniel Lopez writes:

In many cases, behind all these things there are real world people that do something they are passionate about and give it for free to others "just because", there are probably as many motives as people, and they simply receive no monetary payment for that. The only payment they can expect is a simple "thank you" that tells them somebody actually used their software, read their tutorial, used their trick to solve a problem... and it worked for them; that the time and effort they invested to give that thing for free was worthy, because it helped someone. That's all.

So let's pay them:
That's what I would love all of us to do: Choose an open source project, tool, a blog, a tutorial, a free book or something that helps you, or did so in the past, and that was provided to you for free and simply spend a minute or two to write a grateful email to the author. Just a simple "Thanks, I've used your X and it has helped me a lot" is enough, even though if you can tell them a bit more I'm sure they will love it.

For those in the US, it's a few days after Thanksgiving, but I think it still counts. Let's hear it for everyone who's posted code, helped others with problems, documented how to use something, or done anything else to help.

Also in Java Today,
Alexey Popov has posted an Introduction to Java ME Testing Tools that lists some available tools, and addresses how to deal with large test suites, CDC and SE testing tools, and CLDC and MIDP testing tools. "This blog is based on and is about my and my colleagues' experience in Java ME testing tools and test suite development. It is inspired by SUN open-sourcing Java ME software stack and Java testing tools."

A well-written API can be a great asset to the organization that wrote it and to all that use it. Given the importance of good API design, surprisingly little has been written on the subject. In a presentation recorded at Javapolis, Joshua Bloch on Good API Design Java library designer Joshua Bloch teaches how to design good APIs, with many examples of what good and bad APIs look like.

In today's Forums,
markash wonders
Should EventListenerMap not contain a list of WeakReferences:
"I was wondering if it would make more sense for EventListenerMap to contain a list of WeakReference objects containing the EventListener objects instead of the current references. This would enable the listener map to prune out event listeners that are not active any more. It also relieves GUI objects from removing the references from the map when they are closed."

fommil is digging in to implement
JSR-179 (Location API):
"I am working on a LGPL reference implementation of the JSR-179 (Location API) and would love to contribute my work to this project! How do I go about committing my work? I am on OS X, so the only J2ME SDK I have is the MPowerPlayer one, which is not open source... but is pure java. When should I expect PhoneME to work on the mac? I guess my question really is, *why the hell isn't PhoneME written in pure Java*?"

If you're up for parsing a typing-challenged message and brain-dumping everything anyone knows about Java, then purger asks
Pls: Give ne links for Complete Reference of Java:
"hi I want complete notes of Java from core java to advance Java.Givin basic knowledge abt java to the most complex things Pls provide me wid links from which I can download.."

John O'Conner has an update on various changes to official time-keeping systems in today's Weblogs.
Updating time zone data just got easier, he writes:
"Earlier this year, Australia made changes to their time zones that required a completely new JRE. Then, the US announced time zone changes for 2007 that required a completely new JRE... For those that ignored the message the first time, your job just got easier. Sun just announced a beta version of a tool that will update the time zone data in place."

C further with CVM, Mark Lam answers the question
"Why is the phoneME Advanced VM (CVM) written in C instead of C++? And a few other thoughts about performance and portability"

Finally, Jacob Hookom has been
Trying out NetBeans 5.5 and reports
"I decided to give NetBeans a try and I found myself fumbling through some features."

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Saying "thanks" to projects you find useful