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Following the Tweets from DEVOXX

Posted by editor on November 17, 2009 at 5:25 AM PST

As you can see in Java Today, the Java Tools Community is providing Devoxx live coverage! via Twitter coverage of conferences seems to be overtaking blogging, at least for as-it-happens coverage. If you go to the DEVOXX 2009 home page, you see "#Devoxx Tweets" prominently occupying the left column of the page. Meanwhile, a search for Devoxx posts at Technorati or Google Blog Search as I write this post (about 6:00 AM GMT Tuesday), yields only a few blog entries.

This is amazing to me! Or, at least, I would never expected reporting on conferences to come to this point, where a "story" consists of a set of <= 140 character "tweets" -- and the number of blogs you can readily find after Day 1 of a major conference is a handful -- and the conference itself highlights an agglomeration of the tweets.

As I said when I followed TheServerSide Symposium via Twitter, a conglomerated Twitter feed does give you the feeling of being at a conference in the hallways or some crowded central area, where you hear many different people saying many different things, but all centered on what's going on at the conference. A conglomerated Twitter feed is unique in that way.

Of course, if you actually want to learn something, for example, about what was stated at a specific conference session, you need to step out of the crowd and go into a specific tweeter's set of tweets. For example, the Java Tools tweeter(s) attended a presentation on Generics on Devoxx Day one. The Java Tools tweets tell us that Professor Eric Steegmans explained the basics of generics:

Pros: better readability, compile time verification

Type erasure: the compiler removes all informaion on generic types for binary compatibility with legacy code

At compile time the code is converted to raw types. So Java 1.6 ArrayList is still compatible with 1.4 ArrayList.

And so on. As you can see, you can actually learn something about what was said in the presentation.

So, today, we publish in real time the notes we previously scribbled into notebooks as we attended conference sessions (at least, that's how I always did it). We publish those notes live, as the events are occuring -- rather than recording a day or half-day of notes, meditating briefly upon them, so as to gather some sense of the overriding import, then posting a blog based on the notes and the subsequent analysis.

After the conference is over, the presenters publish their presentations. And there are videos of the keynote addresses. And some people do post blogs, though more after the fact (for example, post-conference summaries) than was the case in that by-gone pre-Twitter era...

Ultimately, I suppose this new method does provide pretty decent coverage of the happenings from a conference. We're provided with a lot of raw material from the conference, that we can interpret ourselves in whatever way we choose. At the same time, I do consider the reduction of insightful blogging, that includes a few moments of reflection upon the import of the events, to be a loss for those who were unable to attend the conference. Tweeting really can't be journalism; blogging can be.

Anyway, this week I'll be following Devoxx via tweets from @JavaTools and Geertjan Wielenga, and I'll undoubtedly find some other interesting people to follow as well, from browsing the devoxx Twitter search feed. It may not be journalism, but from the right sources, tweeting is great reporting.

The next time I attend a technology conference, I intend to blog during breaks, and especially in my hotel room each night -- just as I've always done. But, yes, I'll be tweeting throughout the day, too!

In Java Today, James Gosling is enjoying Moules Frites @ Devoxx:

I'm back in lovely Antwerp for Devoxx. The purgatory we're in over the situation with Oracle has it's pluses and minuses. On the plus side, I don't have to do a keynote.... Steve Harris from Oracle get's that job. I will be doing a talk, but I'll be concentrating on the store we're in the process of launching. The hard part is that the only questions that anyone will be asking are the ones that neither Steve nor I can answer: until the acquisition clears the EC competition commission and closes, we're required to be mostly silent about the future. We're pretty much limited to the official statements...

Geertjan Wielenga interviews Tim Boudreau in his new article NASA Adopts the NetBeans Platform:

Tim Boudreau, Senior Staff Engineer at Sun Microsystems, recently spent some time with engineers at NASA, showing them how to use the NetBeans Platfom. Below, he reflects on some of the interesting engineering needs that NASA has and how the NetBeans Platform is well suited to respond to these. During the interview, Tom Wheeler, one of the NetBeans Platform's several external contributors, talks about his participation in the course at NASA, too! ...

The Java Tools Community announces Devoxx live coverage!: "JavaTools reporters are covering Devoxx this week. Want to know what is going on? Then, follow us!"

In today's Weblogs, Alexander Potochkin has news about The alternative Swing frameworks:

Hello Swing community. While the SAF project is on hold, the Swing team welcomes the active development of the alternative implementations of the Swing framework. I found a few promising projects and put the links to them at the SAF project main page...

Remi Forax demonstrates Strings in switch and closures with reference to JDK 7:

As you perhaps already know, jdk7 milestone 5 (jdk7b76) is

This new milestone contains a lot of bug fixes and improvements.
This blog entry is about two of them:

  • Strings in switch
  • Method handles (yes again)

Carol McDonald presents The Top 10 Web Application security vulnerabilities Presentation:

I gave a talk at a the Jacksonville JUG about the Top 10 most critical web application security vulnerabilities identified by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). You can view or download the presentation here:
Top 10 Web Security Vulnerabilities ...

In the Forums, prmatta asks about the Scope of server side instance of implementation ?: "Hi All, In Metro, if I instantiate objects in the constructor of the implementation, can those be used in the web methods? I am probably missing something really basic here. My implementation has a constructor, and in that..."

steflik needs help with Role based client access: "Has anyone given thought to making the client role based so that once a world is deployed to a production environment that many of the client controls (including drag'n'drop ) object placement is disabled so that a user cannot either accidentally or..."

interactivemesh posted Heavyweight Internal Frames : Java 3D Sample: "Hi, as of the JRE 6 Update 12 release mixing heavyweight and lightweight components works almost perfectly. JInternalFrames with a heavyweight content are now supported. To test this new capability I wrote the Java 3D..."

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 Do you belong to a Java User Group? The poll will run through Thursday.

Our Feature Articles lead off with Sanjay Dasgupta's new 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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